Lennon, Weinberg, Inc.
Peter Soriano was invited to France to work in porcelain in Limoges this year, and he came home with a group of objects he calls Late Submissions to the Hand-Ax Club. Like the paleolithic stone tools, they are made to be held in your hand and there is a particular way to hold them. Soriano indicates the grips with arrows, letters and words: R and G, Right and Gauche. In pairing French and English words Soriano reflects his mixed ancestry; he is an American born in the Philippines in 1959, and his parents are Spanish and French. He is multilingual and a bit dyslexic. He travels a lot, often carrying a sculpture or two to deliver to an exhibition somewhere; indeed he brought these porcelains back to New York in a knapsack.
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One of the sculptures in the exhibition is called Mission Mobile. It is a pile of identical forms: flattened, round shapes with lobed edges, cast in orange-colored resin. The title and an idenfitying number is stencilled on each one. They have handles and they’re lightweight, easy to pick up and put down. They’re mobile. The words "mission" and "mobile" are the same in English and French, although in either language the title’s intent is somewhat ambiguous. A first version, in yellow, was shown in France last year.
Other sculptures suggest their potential mobility. Wood is Cozy has its own moving blanket and its parts are leashed to each other with nylon straps. Wax Annually With Paper Towels is a bulgy blob with protuberant handholds. Soriano uses both additive and subtractive processes to achieve these shapes, such as carving wood and modelling plaster, and casts the finished forms in polyester resin.
One sculpture, however, is not cast, and this is unusual in Soriano’s recent work. Sled is a somewhat figurative wall-hung object made of apoxy over aluminum tubing partly inspired by the "skeleton" used by Olympic atheletes to plunge face-first down the luge run. Unlike Calder’s mobiles, Soriano’s don’t move on their own. These sculptures suggest that we might interact with them physically as well as visually, as he himself does as he makes them. "I want the sculptures to be precise and designed like those wacky tools you can get by mail order and, in addition, as useless and categorically abstract as possible." (Peter Soriano, Centre d'art Contemporain, Mulhouse, France, 1999)
Several additional sculptures and a series of luminous watercolors complete the exhibition. This is Peter Soriano’s fourth show at Lennon, Weinberg since 1994. He exhibits regularly at the Galerie Bernard Jordan in Paris and was one of the organizing artists for MIR2 at Smackmellon in Brooklyn last year.
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