José Antonio Hernández-Diez' third solo exhibition with Sandra Gering Gallery was presented at its former Chelsea location.
The exhibition coincided with a major retrospective of Hernández-Diez's work co-curated by Dan Cameron, Senior Curator and Gerardo Mosquera, Adjunct Curator — New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York. The retrospective was on view at the Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art through November 17th, and traveled to SITE Santa Fe and the New Museum in 2003.
Through his sculptural and photographic work, Venezuelan artist Hernández-Diez has developed a personal iconography centered on familiar, often domestic, objects. The ordinary is made extraordinary through Hernández-Diez's provocative, darkly humorous use of material and scale. Among a number of works by Hernández-Diez exhibited in the 2000 Carnegie International were a series of gigantic, twisted, acrylic spoons — both Pop and Surrealistic in nature. A previous sculptural installation at Sandra Gering Gallery incorporated skateboards made of fried pork skin. As Lisa Phillips, Director of the New Museum, says in her foreword to the retrospective catalogue, these skateboards "form part of a complex vocabulary derived from the artist's deep fascination with the ordinary as a mask for the truly bizarre."
At Sandra Gering Gallery, Hernández-Diez will exhibit a version of his Almost Worm video sculpture. In Almost Worm, cardboard boxes form the body and head of a giant, low-tech "worm". To represent the worm's feet, Hernández-Diez places a row of televisions under the cardboard, all playing a video of the artist's tongue licking the floor. Futility is a recurrent theme in Hernández-Diez's work, echoed here by the uselessness of his tongue's repetitive motion.