Friday, February 13, 2009

folding piles



I went to Chelsea yesterday and saw a lot of nice stuff. But by far my favorite piece was at Black and White ...I was blown away by the pure beauty of the work of Derick Melander.
His work really stood out in the show because of its technical and conceptual clarity and simplicity.


Derick collects, carefully folds, and stacks used clothing to create architectural structures such as columns, wedges, and curving walls. The clothes are carefully color coordinated- creating beauty in the work but with this careful attention also creating the heart and emotional pull. The work becomes a portrait of a greater community paying attention to both gender and class.
It is also great to look at his older work compared to newer work- you can see how he has evolved.


Derick states:
As clothing wears, fades, stains and stretches it becomes an intimate record of our physical presence. It traces the edge of the body, defining the boundary between the individual and the outside world...

For me, the process of folding and stacking the individual garments adds a layer of meaning to the work. When I come across a dress with a hand-sewn repair, or a coat with a name written inside the collar, the work starts to feel like a collective portrait. As the layers of clothing accumulate, the individual garments are compressed into a single mass, a symbolic gesture that explores the conflicted space between society and the individual.


I walked into the gallery and literally my jaw dropped by the beauty of the piece...and I am truly inspired by his simplicity and care towards each work.
Unfortunately today will be the last day you can see the work and it is entirely different in person then through image...but he will be on my radar now and hopefully will have his own show in NY soon.

9 comments:

Jane said...

These are amazing - wish I could see them in person.

Sister in Second-hand Sequins..... said...

These works seem to be very methodical and overwhelming. I'd be afraid I might knock them over. Sort of like Polly Apfelbaum's Fallen Paintings before the fall. Thank you for sharing.

Joetta said...

glad you all like them...
and i have to say the one that i saw made me feel like i could run into it full force and it not move. The "wall" pieces feel very substantial...but i like the comparison to Polly...another person that I should revisit.

nadia said...

I love folding!!! i love how everything looks- specially old linens!

donna said...

I wish I had seen that show before it closed. There is so much content in folded clothing, and it feels so heartfelt. I love when work has the vestiges of life and memory, and is formally beautiful as well.

Brittany Noel said...

I would love to see these in person. What an amazing concept and brilliant execution of it. I love the metaphor that this brings up with a greater community. Beautiful.

glam.spoon said...

I am in awe of the patience of this artist.

Joetta said...

i kind of wish i could just sit in my studio and fold all day today...folding and feeling like i am getting work done at the same time. Lovely.

Brittany Noel said...

You should! Really. It would probably get your mind working a lot. Just fold all of your fabric, your linens, your favorite clothes. Just the feel of the fabric will be worth it :)