Robert Burnier, Iom, 2013, primer on aluminum, 16.5 x 12 inches. Image via andrewrafacz.com.
September 19 – November 1, 2014
835 West Washington Boulevard
ANDREW RAFACZ is pleased to announce Inland Delta, new works by Robert Burnier. This is the artist’s second solo exhibition with the gallery.
For the last several years, Robert Burnier’s practice has concentrated on the deconstruction and manipulation of systems and structures, investigating the potential beauty inhered in its disruptions. The results are sculptural, born from sheets of aluminum that have been scored, folded, twisted, and compressed. Works exist both on the wall, acting as three-dimensional collages, and on the floor or pedestal in a more directly sculptural capacity.
With this exhibition, the artist continues his exploration of planned systems, while also introducing new forms and materials. Utilizing the idea of an inland delta, a river meeting a flat area of land, Burnier relates this real and conceptual plain to his studio practice. A territory in which a stream of objects meet to divide and transform in accordance with the conditions of the space, an inland delta operates as a nexus. An array of rivulets come from the same origin, yet yield different pathways and end points. Materials offer resistance, producing a push back when manipulated, forcing the artist to often navigate previously unknown territory through each object’s creation. Through this process, Burnier creates sculptures that are genetic relatives of each other, born from the branching off of the original plan, yet impressing distinct similarities on their respective final forms.
With the artist’s newest wood-based sculptures, Burnier places the formal necessities of an enclosed object built with a specific purpose around an object with foreign, external visual concerns. In this particular case, these enclosures are based on crates that Burnier constructed for artwork made years before. Burnier reveals a compelling hybrid existence as he cuts into the complex structure, sometimes leaving the original artwork inside its vessel. A place of resolution is reached as vestiges leading back to the original objective are ablated.
ROBERT BURNIER (American, b. 1969) lives and works in Chicago. He will receive his M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute in Painting and Drawing in 2015. He also holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania (1991). He was included in the Evanston and Vicinity Biennial 2012, curated by Shannon Stratton, and Some Dialogue, curated by Sarah Krepp and Doug Stapleton, at the Illinois State Museum, Chicago, 2012. Recently, he was included in Ghost Nature, curated by Caroline Picard, at Gallery 400, Chicago, IL and La Box, Bourges, France. He is also included in the recently opened exhibition, The Chicago Effect: Redefining the Middle at the Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL. His work has been exhibited at art fairs in Miami, Mexico City, New York, and Chicago. He is included in numerous private and public collections.