Art Writings

Erik Frydenborg's Protein Recital at Bonelli Contemporary (read at
For his first solo exhibition, Erik Frydenborg assembled appropriated imagery and multicolored cast sculptures, which he displayed on modular pedestals. These presentation modules, made of stained wood and based on a found prototype, strike a high modernist look but are more reminiscent of a natural history museum than of a gallery setting. Frydenborg's smaller-scale sculptures, made of polyurethane plastic, foam, pigments, and latex rubber, seem casual and approachable on a human scale. They suggest castoffs from the process of fabricating much larger work. The arrangement of objects in pieces like Sotto Voce and Selected Region, in which smaller cast objects are cut in half and set next to other halved objects in mismatched pairs, creates uncanny relationships among the elements.

Rather than each sculptural element being a work in itself, Frydenborg curates a collection of his objects into a single piece. In Legend, Frydenborg presents his base materials as one small sculpture resting on a pedestal plus a collection of images (including a food pyramid and various underwater creatures) that are altered and repeated throughout the rest of the installation. Works such as Untitled (Young Group) and Sleeper present bits and pieces put together to present a semblance of, well, bits and pieces. Instead of the building blocks of a holistic universe, these deformed fragments resemble the pottery shards of an entirely synthetic world, unable to evoke any sort of complete picture.

Frydenborg's parallel world isn't simply a direct reflection or critique of ours. In Untitled (Refrain), as in the rest of the show, he makes no claim on a privileged position of judgment within the piece. There is only a metonymic chain of elements set next to each other. Frydenborg is neither an optimist nor a pessimist, directing our attention without bias towards the chaos of deterioration, fragmentation, and reassembly as his various objects create a rhythmic chorus of forms.
--Mathew Timmons

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