January 28—February 26, 2016
Ulterior is pleased to present Shroud, a solo exhibition by the New York-based artist Douglas Goldberg. The exhibition opens on Saturday, January 28 with a reception for the artist from 6 to 8 pm. This will be Goldberg’s first solo exhibition in New York.
Douglas Goldberg is a sculptor who works in stone. In his most recent work, he portrays still life objects concealed under drapes. The objects are utilitarian ones: nightlights, screws, a bottle of painkillers, etc. The title of each work identifies its subject, but the drapery obscures it. The rough outlines of the objects are just perceptible while the creases and folds of the drapes are highly articulated.
Goldberg calls these works Fear Series. Each object represents a personal fear of the artist’s. By simultaneously materializing (in stone) and enshrouding (in drapes) these objects, Goldberg both undercuts and augments their minatory power. Canary, 2008, on view in the exhibition, is the first work Goldberg created in the series. Carved in Italian agate, the sculpture depicts a dead canary in what might be its burial shroud. The work is classical in its themes—it echoes traditions of nature morte and funerary sculpture—and contemporary in its scale, intimacy, and reference (for memorialized here might be the proverbial canary in the coal mine once used to detect the presence of toxic air).
Carved in Belgian black marble, Rotisserie Forks (Hell), 2015, similarly reinterprets a venerable theme through a cloaked depiction of a common commercial item. The sculpture is modest in size, yet the black marble imbues it with a sense of monumentality. The work’s title, material, and sense of scale evoke medieval stone carving or Rodin’s Gates of Hell while its abstracted, slightly menacing oddness is unmistakably contemporary. Goldberg uses time-honored materials and techniques to address our common fears and fallibilities and to both ennoble and estrange the humble things that surround us.
Douglas Goldberg received a MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Baltimore, MD in 1999. For the past seventeen years he has lived and worked in Brooklyn, NY. He has participated in many group exhibitions, including most recently Beautiful Object at Jeffrey Leder Gallery in Long Island City, NY (2016); Prime Matter at the Laholm Drawing Museum in Sweden (2015); and Matters of the Jugular at SUGAR, Brooklyn, NY (2016).