Using the covers of old encyclopedias, law books and African American reference books, Samuel Levi Jones makes collages on canvas that question what changes as time passes. Jones employs books as symbols of obsolescence to further represent how the ideas expressed therein can also run their course. (At Chelsea’s Galerie Lelong through Jan 28th).
Samuel Levi Jones, 101, deconstructed encyclopedias, law books and African American reference books on canvas, 49 x 60 inches, 2016.
Petah Coyne Untitled #1243 (The Secret Life of Words), 2007 Silk flowers, curly willow branches, chicken wire fencing, specially formulated wax, silk and rayon duchesse satin fabric, spray paint, white pigment, pearl-headed hat pins, fabricated steel understructure, chain, cable, cable nuts, wire, Velcro, thread, quick-link shackles, and jaw to jaw swivel 92 x 37½ x 43 inches Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Lelong, New York
British artist Andy Goldsworthy works in the fields and forests near his home in Scotland using natural elements as his media. His pieces have a tendency to collapse, decay and melt, but, as he tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross, “It’s not about art. It’s just about life and the need to understand that a lot of things in life do not last.”
The list of elements Goldsworthy has worked with includes ice, snow, mud, wind and the rising tide. In one piece, he used twigs to fashion a giant spider web hanging from a tree. In another, he decorated a stone wall with sheets of ice. He has also lain in the rain to create “rain shadows” in the shape of his body on city streets.
Goldsworthy refers to his creations as “ephemeral works.” He says, “When I make an ephemeral work, when it’s finished, that’s the moment that it ends, in a way.”
But Goldsworthy’s ephemeral creations aren’t completely lost to audiences upon completion; a new book,Andy Goldsworthy: Ephemeral Works: 2004-2014, presents a collection of photographs of his work. There’s also an exhibition of Goldsworthy’s photos opening Oct. 22 at the Galerie Lelong in New York.