Collections and Accumulations

Galerie Nagel Draxler

We are pleased to present Sayre Gomez: Collections and Accumulations. For his first solo exhibition with the gallery the artist will present an ambitious new project featuring new paintings, sculptures and video.


We often believe our collections – whether books, furniture or framed photographs – reflect who we are. On occasion they remind us what we are: oxygen tanks and Ezy dose pill cases tell us we are vulnerable bodies, subject to expiration. Negotiating one’s self and subjectivity in relation to the objects and surfaces surrounding us is a complex affair, particularly for art history. The self, as David Joselit wrote in 2001, “is constituted through a play of surfaces” what he called “psychological flatness” – a proposition that engaged with the material and psychic qualities of “flatness” to demonstrate how intricately subjectivity is informed by both.


The works in Collections and Accumulations reflect the hollowness of form and the ambivalence of abstraction. The window, as framed transparency, remains a useful model for thinking through paintings that do not attempt to enclose pictorial content as much as embody transparency itself. If the effervescence of diet cola, the protracted combustion of smoke, and the pixilated glitch of digital transfer are iconography that evoke the disembodied and impalpable, the arbitrary manner in which such content takes on the guise of emotive abstraction or precise photo-realism troubles our expectations of how artistic styles convey meaning, reducing painting to an even flatter logic of images rather than medium.


The sculptures are collected from varied sources both public and private, an assortment of objects are projected into the field of aesthetics by way of physical displacement, both in form and context. The artist initially cast these objects in plaster, only to re-cast them again into a more modern material—synthetic, black plastic. While such alterations may not be immediately discernible to the viewer, it is the very viability of this forced material traversal that reflects both the troubling proximity of art to more banal domestic objects and the ease in which the social and technical conditions of production undergo erasure.


From the invisible labor of post-industrial economies to the impalpable forms of digital media and the instability of art historical categories, the works presented here form an allegory for the nature of images in perpetual transit.