Vincent Fecteau Galerie Buchholz / Berlin

October 24, 2020

Galerie Buchholz presents 12 new, wall-mounted sculptures by San Francisco artist Vincent Fecteau.
They are made from papier-mâché, epoxy clay, and acrylic, and adorned with burlap, cotton batting, wicker, felt, rattan, rope, and tulle.

While the works are painted, Fecteau is not a painter. Instead, he considers the problems of painting – illusion, composition, color, tone, texture, and more – via physical form and sculptural depth. Works that are most susceptible to flattening, like an image, are afforded the most significant profile. A bright yellow cylinder floats across the lower midsection of the deepest work, like caution tape or a roller coaster safety bar.

The artist reports that the works “fall apart” and “come together” countless times in the course of their creation; they perform similarly as one approaches, slipping from rough rectangles into countless permutations of irregular form.

Looser and more varied in individual character than recent efforts, they are at turns sweet and strange, solemn and screwball.

The new works have further embraced accoutrement under quarantine: A sheet of dark green net hangs over a gap; a golden felt diamond sits on a shadow (or a hole); and a narrow gingham ribbon skirts a long edge. Their physical and metaphysical heft is counterbalanced by these dolled up and decorative touches. The cyclical admission of sincerity and its opposite is one way the work moves.

Some sculptures are scenes, some are objects, and sometimes they switch positions. This is another way the work moves.

After many months, they’re finished, autonomous. It’s as if they announce themselves: We’re here, we’re done. The artist reports that the smallest sculpture may be the heaviest.

— Jordan Stein

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