Patrice Renee Washington's Drab Contortionist is an exploration, and defiance of, gravity and form relative to material. Washington forces a slab of clay over a hurdle-like wooden rod, pulling and stretching the clay as if it were a piece of fabric. The slab then becomes something light, effortless, and carefree. The inspiration for Washington was to evoke an emotion of longing through a simple sculptural gesture. Here, the fired clay is hardened as it bends over backward on the rod, pushing the limits and notions of clay as a material: first soft and pliable and at the mercy of maker, and then hardened, finalized, stuck. In this sense, Washington sees the slab as longing to transform itself into something it is not, or something we do not think it is. The clay takes a sort of character, an acrobat or contortionist, while almost stubbornly remaining a basic, primitive form.
The West 10th Street Window is curated by Natalie Diaz and Jennie Lamensdorf and is sponsored by the Time Equities Inc. (TEI) Art-in-Buildings Program. TEI is committed to enriching the experience of our properties through the Art-in-Buildings Program, an innovative approach that brings contemporary art by emerging and mid-career artists to non-traditional exhibition spaces in the interest of promoting artists, expanding the audience for art, and creating a more interesting environment for our building occupants, residents, and their guests.