Skylar Haskard "Rickle Works": Chinatown

14 January - 18 February 2023

Sebastian Gladstone is pleased to announce “Rickle Works,” Skylar Haskard’s solo exhibition of new sculptures and steel wall works at the Chinatown gallery. The exhibition will be on view from Saturday, January 14th with an opening from 6-9pm, until Saturday, February 18th, 2023. Through a series of galvanized steel vitrines and assemblage chair sculptures, “Rickle Works” critiques the modernist inclination towards aesthetic ease. Developed in two parts, the exhibition spans Haskard’s long-time practice of reexamining the potential of a sculptural object as it relates to craft, utility, and it’s cultural context.

Fabricated vitrines frame photographs alongside fridge magnets, beaded bracelets, and found objects on the gallery walls. These shallow troughs become stages for spontaneous comical vignettes that contextualize Haskard’s practice at large. The imagery resembles the experience of the “doom-scroll”; flickering images moving across the eyes, incoherent and chaotic yet compelling. Some of the photographs are highly staged and intricate works created by Haskard, whilst others are found imagery from existing sources like Google, Etsy, and OfferUp. Many of the photographs allow Haskard to present sculptures that could not exist outside of the medium, such as a rococo chair legs made of turkey drumsticks. This presentation allows the medium of sculpture to become static within a two-dimensional image, giving the artist further control over a three-dimensional object for a contained chaos whose full potential remains speculative.

The chair sculptures resemble figures towering, leaning, and arching towards the ceiling. These pieces, crafted and repurposed chairs, transform functional objects into non-functional assemblages through their multiplicity of stacking, wrapping and attaching. The “Body Object” series of work consist of vertiginous gestures connecting various materials at their grounding points, from chair legs attached to one another, to screwdrivers piercing polystyrene balls. These sculptures thrive in their absolute lack of functionality; in “Body Object V” 2022 a gaming rocker chair is bonded to a series of bentwood ribs crossing over the seating area of the chair. In this work, even if one could manage to sit in the chair, the hanging cradle would entangle a potential sitter, challenging an innate ergonomic sense, while collaging two opposing design sensibilities. The work becomes distracting–almost menacing in its uselessness, and evokes a brooding figure taking up space for no reason other than to exist. “Body Object IV” 2022 acts similarly, but strays in its lighter comical approach. Its scale and ease of connecting parts allow the viewer entry points to examine the body’s physical presence, or lack thereof, within the work. These material piles are perhaps a familiar sight to anyone who has spent time driving around Los Angeles, where curbside furniture and general piles of refuse are common, due to its abundance and lack of human containment.

Brought together within the gallery, the vitrines and free-standing sculptures resemble a factory in disarray, perhaps stopped mid-production. The great power of Haskard’s work lies in its temporal quality, and its ability to feel in motion. The artist himself acknowledges that all of his works are always in-process and chimeric. From a distance the vitrines at times resemble switch-boards in a power plant. In all of these works, the feeling of something not being exactly as it seems gives dimension and depth to the works’ imaginative potential–as if their true nature and meaning are not yet sedimented. Perhaps the most redeeming quality of “Rickle Works” is that Haskard resists resolving these ambiguities, and instead asks the viewer to ponder the meaning of materiality and it’s place in our collective figurative landscape.

Installation Views