The Chimney is pleased to present 2020, a two-person exhibition by French artist Juliette Dumas and Colombian American artist Sara Mejia Kriendler. A result of their friendship, this exhibition explores the divergence in their practice and their responses to the political, economic and environmental emergencies of our day. While Kriendler imagines the inevitability of man’s evolution towards mechanization and artificiality, Dumas emphasizes the urge for nature’s prevailing power.
2020 juxtaposes wilderness with control, natural forms with industrial ones, utopia and its opposite, the human and the celestial, rigid symmetry and wild curves. Exploring the dichotomies and analogies in their works, the artists embody two opposite poles, tempering each other’s fixations– Dumas’ captivation with the wild with Kriendler’s fascination with control.
Juliette Dumas’ monumental column-like sculptures are inspired by whale bones, the largest skeletal structure in nature. Made of metal, plaster, paper, clay and charcoal, fused together with fire, they stand 13 feet from the ground. Dumas’ practice aims to insert forms of nature into conventional systems of art. Her "Ice paintings", minimalist pieces made of blocks of ice, refer to a scarcity of natural resources, and will disappear over the course of the exhibition. Dumas’ work reminds us how beautiful and fragile our surroundings are, and stresses a return to nature.
Kriendler asks, is this the end of wilderness? Her sculptures sprout from the ground up. In Stockpile I, styrofoam trays hold rows of stacked terracotta test tubes, arranged in a grid pattern evoking both a laboratory experiment and a landscape. In Stockpile II, breast like forms grouped in four packs are shrink wrapped and stacked. They recall inventory piles in a warehouse, but also the articulation of complex architectural forms. The architecture of both sculptures speaks to Kriendler's interest in domestication - the wondrous and deeply disruptive enterprise of molding nature to suit human needs and desires.
While Kriendler’s work invests the floor space, corresponding to the human scale, Dumas brings our attention to the horizon and points upwards. Both artists collaborated on New Moon, a lunar projection 20ft from the ground, the highest plane in the exhibition. The moon is given a place of prominence in 2020, a constant companion, a source of inspiration, and a guide to look up to as we enter a cycle of uncertainty.
Juliette Dumas (b. 1987, Paris, France) completed her BA at Villa Arson in Nice France and MFA at Schoolof the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) in 2013. Dumas has been awardedartist residencies at Festival Grandeur Nature, Ristolas, France in2009 and La Station, Nice in 2015. She was nominated for Clare Rosen& Samuel Edes Foundation Prize for Emerging Artists by the Paintingand Drawing Department of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.Dumas' work was featured in notable group and solo exhibitionsincluding "No Safe Harbor" (2016), Art3 | Silas Shabelewska gallery,NY, “Winter Studies” (2015), Kunstverein Gaestezimmer E.V, Stuttgart,Germany (Curated by Alf Setzer); “Ad Hoc”(2015), La Station, Nice,France (curated by Collectif Culbuto).