Cuchifritos Gallery is pleased to present Undone Yin Yang, an installation of new work by Jerry Blackman curated by Brigitte Mulholland. Featuring a suite of drawings and a series of wall and freestanding sculptures, the exhibition continues Blackman’s exploration of archetypal themes and binaries. The installation functions simultaneously as both a singular work, and an aggregate of discrete objects.
Blackman’s ongoing Disk series, begun in 2014, involves a complex and labor-intensive technique of extruding partially set plaster through rigid stencils that are designed to break. His material and process-oriented practice yields sculptures that become metaphors for the metaphysical themes organizing our spiritual universe. That brief moment of time where the plaster is in an unstable state—neither solid nor liquid—takes on symbolism for the cosmic balance of chaos and order, embodying a kind of non-dualistic state of transcendence.
A series of circular floor sculptures are extensions of these wall works, arranged to suggest a latent energy: elements waiting to be activated. As Blackman uses and reuses the mold to cast them, traces of detritus from previous castings become integral, unforeseen moments in new works; the various logos and material markings that appear in the sculptures are subtle artifacts of their origins. And yet, for the all of the apparent emphasis on an objective geometry, the rigor and physicality of Blackman’s sculptures and process also make them deeply personal and self-reflective.
His new series of black and white graphite drawings are diptychs, each displaying circuits of contradicting terminals that are completed with the partner drawing. Further resolution of those diametric forces manifests in the gray color that covers the gallery. Blackman’s formal pairing of opposites—black and white, horizontal and vertical—are referencing the sculptures too, nodding to the larger process of mixing water and plaster dust (at a 50/50 ratio) to make them.
Like a closed circuit cosmogram that articulates its own materiality, everything in the exhibition is a holistic reference to itself and to the other works. Inspired by elements of Buddhism and Vipassana meditation, the binaries Blackman conjures —man and woman, front and back, internal and external, flat and round (to name a few)— manifest across multiple works and channels. The installation becomes a complex system of circuits that are superimposed on one another, referencing, mirroring, and balancing their own tensions, yet never quite resolving them either, thus remaining in a perpetual state of energetic incompletion.