In his first solo exhibition in New York, Mike Womack presents Warbling, a vast, shimmering abstraction that morphs painting & sculptural processes into a dynamic, shifting image. The piece is an intricate installation comprised of carefully angled mirrors that reflect unseen sculptural components. The result is a seemingly digitized plane of color that flickers and morphs as the viewer changes position. The back of the piece reveals the objects which are the sources of color and freestanding sculptures in their own right, consisting of materials as varied as garden hoses, cinder blocks, cheese doodles and rubber gloves.

As Michael Brennan wrote of another of Womack’s recent installations, Heat Is Not Made of Tiny Hot Things, “Womack’s installation extracts color from objects and re-presents it as light, un-tethered color that for the moment is reorganized along a grid and sagittally shot back at the viewer, who completes the image as the final stopping point in its triangular projection.” (Sculpture Magazine, November 2006). See below for image of that project.

Unlike Heat, Womack’s new piece conceals the source of color and the nexus of its reflection — so that only with a full investigation of the surrounding space does the viewer understand how the moving image is made. Furthering his examination of optics, sculpture, painting and the digital age, Womack’s renewed objectification of materials and the physical and conceptual displacement of the elements come together in a poetic, illuminating gambit.

As the artist explains: "Inquiries of painting drove me to make this installation. Still celebrating the handmade art object, I am trying to create a context where the hand-crafted can compete with something as technologically sophisticated as a television or a computer…. Both the image and objects can be conditioned to stretch this void. The next idea is about transmission and the attempt to make a handmade pixel. I also have some ethical underpinnings that are grounded in abstraction and representation, pop imagery, transcendence, and our American object culture… The mirrors will reflect objects that are behind the viewing wall. The colorful sculptural assemblages will only be discovered after walking around the mirrored wall. After this discovery the image will exist on the oscillating border between two and three dimensions. The sculptural assemblage space will be separated from the mirror’s viewing space via the wall housing the mirrors, and so the viewing space will be considerably darker than the sculptural space. This will allow for much greater relative color intensity in the viewing space – like the difference between watching TV during the day with all the lights on and at night with all the lights off."

The side gallery will feature a smaller wall-mounted piece, a chevron shaped installation of mirrors reflecting the glowing relief sculptures on either side. Mike Womack’s Heat… was recently seen at Real Art Ways, in Hartford Connecticut and reviewed in Sculpture Magazine. The artist is originally from Texas and received his MFA from Pratt Institute.

Installation View: Mike Womack, Warbling, ZieherSmith

Installation View: Mike Womack, Warbling, ZieherSmith

Installation View: Mike Womack, Warbling, ZieherSmith

Installation View: Mike Womack, Warbling, ZieherSmith


top