Triangle Installation, 2004. Wood, plaster, and lights, installation view. Photo: Jeremiah Jones

Karlis Rekevics: Recent Sculpture

Karlis Rekevics’s generously scaled, weirdly architectural cast plaster constructions are some of the most robust, aggressive, materially expressive sculptures around. They are also among the most evocative and elusive. For all their size, their evident mass and weight, and their rough material palette, Rekevics’s haunting structures refuse to rely solely on the unignorable fact of their considerable presence or to yield to a single reading. Somehow, they conjure up a wealth of often contradictory but enriching associations. With their idiosyncratic metal superstructures and glowing incandescent bulbs, they suggest the unlovelier parts of the urban environment—expediently built, unconsidered, usually peripheral, often decaying elements of the city—that we habitually encounter but almost never register. Yet these references are simply Rekevics’s starting point. His real subject is the way that memory transforms perception. His sculptures are rooted in real experience, but experience tempered by recollection, changed, fragmented, conflated, and re-ordered before being translated into an intensely physical metaphorical language. The architectural allusions of Rekevics’s work notwithstanding, he plays fast and loose with rational spatial and structural relationships, altering scale and defeating logical expectations. His component forms are never cast from pre-existing objects; he constructs his own versions of his chosen glimpses of the urban landscape essentially in reverse, as molds, their proportions and character subtly altered.