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Cuchifritos Gallery | New York City

May 6, 2016 - June 5, 2016

Curated by Kelly Shroer

Photo Credits: Bill Massey


Cuchifritos Gallery is pleased to present Denise Treizman’s first solo exhibition in New York, DelanceyLudlowRivingtonNorfolk. This recent body of work takes its starting point with the gallery’s neighborhood in mind, considering site-specificity in both the use of found materials, as well as the sentiment and spirit of the Lower East Side. Continuing and expanding upon her process-oriented and material-centric practice, Denise’s work conjures a sense of hopefulness and resourcefulness reminiscent of the area’s history.

Perhaps best known for her use of found objects, Denise’s oeuvre has an inherent sense of surprise that is shared by artist and viewer. Her intuitive process is led by a response to materials and a formal interest in the finished work. The rubbery sheen of a ball or grainy texture of sand can inspire a particular direction in her making. While the works might seem haphazard at first glance, Denise’s use of color, texture, and spatial relationships between objects are carefully decided through a process which is playful yet restrained. She takes the traditions of readymades and assemblage, and pairs it with her own unique perspective in which formal concerns meet an ephemeral or durational approach.

Each found object has a history, both in its prior life in its intended use, and in its extended narrative within Denise’s practice. A delicate touch of glitter over a thin board that falls accidentally onto the floor under the sculpture becomes part of the piece; not only to express the joy and fear of the unexpected, but also as way to allow the work to have a life of its own. Complete only in their moment of exhibition, Denise’s works are in constant flux as her materials are reused and re-imagined in future pieces. When improvisation meets intent, the dual potential for limitlessness and finalization creates a significant moment in the life of these combined materials.

A relatively recent addition to Denise’s use of material is the incorporation of ceramics. Traditionally considered precious, the fragile and handmade nature of ceramic further emphasizes an ongoing interest in the perceived value of materials. Combining a gritty object from the street with this art historically “pure” medium evokes tension in its pairing and in its physicality. To the same end, a tire with its rough texture and durability is rendered fragile by the simple cut of applied rubber paint, pinned and delicately clinging to the wall that supports it. This potential for the work to break or fall apart is crucial to Denise’s practice, and creates a continued feeling of suspense in the work. The possibility for breakage is met with humor, wit, and a resulting resilience through her process of discovery and experimentation.

For this presentation, Denise’s site-specific approach goes beyond repurposing materials in the blocks surrounding the gallery. The Lower East Side’s history of immigration and the ideas of discovery, struggle, and reinvention that surround the neighborhood, are echoed in the dichotomy of optimism and melancholy in Denise’s sculptures. With this in mind, her interest in the way objects blend seamlessly into the cityscape is addressed in both formal and poetic references. She has said, “The way things were just left on the street, placed on the sidewalks, leaning against trashcans or fences made me conscious of placement and arrangement…but also made me think about displacement, lack of space and how replaceable things are these days.” In this way, both artist and place find themselves in a constant state of regeneration.

Link to Press Release

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