Lucy Skaer

Random House

8 January - 21 February 2015

New York



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Peter Freeman, Inc. is pleased to present Lucy Skaer’s Random House, the artist’s most ambitious installation since her 2009 Turner Prize exhibition. Comprising new and recent work, this is the artist’s first solo show at our New York gallery.

Throughout her practice, in sculpture, print, drawing, and film, Skaer mines the conceptual possibilities of each in order to examine the shifts between dimensions, to explore the gap between object and image, and to represent the gradations between these mediums.

Central to Skaer’s handling of objects and materials is the idea of blankness, as a state of being and as a device. It is a way to represent the abstraction and ambiguity of the commonplace, and to consider the transformation of its use and value, as in American Images (2013), the three large lithographic stones in this exhibition. The stones were mined by Skaer from a quarry in Iowa on the site of Lithograph City, a ghost town originally developed by entrepreneurs to provide the US with high quality limestone. Although the town built its own housing, a hotel and a local newspaper, its inception coincided with the invention and popularization of cheaper metal plate printing. This Iowan rock’s value now lies in its being crushed up and used in building materials. In American Images, the abstract language of the stone slabs, their blankness as raw materials with image-bearing potential, and their uncertain future and use, are all at play. A similar transfer of meaning, and historic weight, within an abstract vessel is in her installation My Terracotta Army, my Red Studio, my Amber Room (2013), a large collection of small ceramic “lozenges” assembled on the gallery’s floor.

Among other works on view are selections from a series of lithographs, handprinted by Skaer from the original metal plates used in the mass printing of The Guardian newspaper. In the artist’s re-prints, the images only partly legible, making way for new associations and meanings, and presenting a surface intended for daily information as a pictorial space of typographical artifact and symbol.

The exhibition title Random House references Skaer’s father’s house, the steps of which are on view in this exhibition, having been removed and subtly altered by the artist. The title is also linked to the New York publishing house of that name, in reference to her earlier exhibition, Thames and Hudson (on view at Tate Britain in 2009).

Lucy Skaer was born in Cambridge, England in 1975. She earned her degree at the Glasgow School of Art, and in recent years has developed a considerable international reputation. Her solo exhibitions include Tramway, Glasgow (2013), Yale Union, Portland (2013), Kunsthalle Wien (2012), Kunsthalle Basel (2009), and Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (2008). She has been included in numerous international group exhibitions at venues including The Renaissance Society, Chicago (2013), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2013), Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (2010), Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2010), and K21 Düsseldorf (2010), Tate Britain (2009), the 5th Berlin Biennale (2008), and the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007).

A reception for the artist will be held Thursday 8 January from 6 to 8 pm. For reproduction requests, interviews with the artist and general inquiries, please contact the gallery at 212-966-5154 or info@peterfreemaninc.com. Concurrent to our exhibition, Murray Guy will present Lucy Skaer: Sticks and Stones (10 January – 21 February).