Darren Lago: Sugar
October 2 – November 3, 2012
Opening Reception: Thursday, October 4, 5:30 – 7:30pm
Davidson Contemporary (724 Fifth Avenue, 4th Floor)
New York, September 13, 2012 – Davidson Contemporary is pleased to present Sugar, an exhibition from Darren Lago. This is Lago’s third solo show with the gallery, and his first in five years. Sugar includes work in an array of media, though consists mostly of sculpture – over two dozen – ranging in size from five inches to over five feet.
Previously, Lago has often combined two or more recognizable everyday items to create a new idea that the viewer’s mind must deconstruct, reconstruct, and then make sense of. For Lago, much of that overt humor was removed after 9/11. When the everyday thing – an airliner – was distorted into yet another means of mayhem and murder, the irony became more cogent and focused. It would seem that the everyday thing is no longer so innocent and, after more than a decade of war, objects of death and destruction are commonplace.
As is the case with all of Lago’s work, there is much more than meets the eye. The layers of art history, social context, wordplay, and irony are denser than the tactile heftiness of the sculptures’ handmade resin. There is no escaping the obvious when first encountering Darren Lago’s Candy Colts. The artist has conjured up some of the most iconic American handguns and transformed them into lusciously saccharine inert objects. Their harmlessness is evident, and the declawed machismo of steel weaponry is transferred into gaudy yet seductive pastels and fruity hues.
The larger sculptures in the exhibition are jarring. They stand in Pompeian stillness while we wade through their matrices of pregnant association. Lago has brought the sedulous fabrication that is his watermark to every sculpture. As always with Lago, we marvel at his abilities to create endlessly ramose works, and to leave his viewers agape in the realization that nothing is mundane, and nothing is ever as it seems.