ANDREW RAFACZ is pleased to announce Strata, new works by Daniel Baird in Gallery Two.
Chicago, IL, February 315, 2014 – ANDREW RAFACZ begins 2014 with Strata, new works by Daniel Baird. This is the artists first solo exhibition with the gallery. It continues through March 29, 2014.
Concerned with the intangibility of historical knowledge, Daniel Baird’s work speaks to our experience with the past and its simultaneous effect on our present. In Strata, Baird exhibits two sculptures that reference objects containing an inherent history that forces viewers to consider the passage of time. Humanity is presented through the use of the artist’s hand, both as an additive and subtractive gesture, creating a tactical and candid connection to the viewer. Layers of material directly relate to the layers of physical and psychological sediment that Baird believes is necessary for the continuous cycle of change in society.
Reminiscent of both a shelving structure and sedan chair, the larger sculpture alludes to the act of a single person being carried on a platform as well as items being held in a particular space. Simultaneously possessing the possibility of being transported and stationary, the viewer is left unsure whether the large casts are ready to be moved or have just been placed. As a cohesive body, the earth toned casts reference sediment and history. Each individual cast presents a shorter moment of time, seen through the literal gesture of Baird’s finger displacing material from the form’s beginning to its end. Corinthian columns hold each unit into place, citing Greek influence as the root of western society, while layers of ideological sediment show the human hand and cite its ability to invisibly dissects and manipulate nature.
The opposing sculpture references a three-dimensional scanning of a cave, and the ability of technology to immortalize structure and is based on the premise that that viewing a painting on a cave wall holds equal value to viewing a three-dimensional model of a cave on a flat, digital screen. Previously, related work has used articulating arms that hold monitors and computers that make use of flat surfaces to illustrate depth. For this work, Baird removes the technological aspects, making a mold of an actual surface and allowing viewers to see the marks made by his own hand in the process. The resulting artifact is then reinforced as both object and fragment, molded from actual sediment and rock, and linked to technology rather than dependent on it.
DANIEL BAIRD (American, b. 1984) lives and works in Chicago. He received his B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2007 and his M.F.A. from U.I.C. in 2011. Exhibitions include Merge Visible at Prairie Productions, Chicago and Downcast Eyes at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. He collaborated on the exhibition Has the World already been made? with Haseeb Ahmed at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht, Netherlands. He will have a solo exhibition in September at Appendix Project Space in Portland, OR. Newcity recently listed him as one of Chicago’s leading artists in the annual publication Breakout Artists: Chicago’s Next Generation of Image-makers.