Friday, February 3, 2023

Stars Art Gallery Exhibits, Claudette Gacuti: December February 4–March 18 Opening reception tomorrow Saturday, February 4, 5–7pm

Claudette Gacuti: December
February 4–March 18

Opening reception tomorrow Saturday, February 4, 5–7pm

Claudette Gacuti Needle in Two Parts, 2022, Unfired earthen clay, cellulose clay, sawdust/wood glue clay, polyurethane, pigment, each part 27½ x 2½ x 2½ in. (69.85 x 6.35 x 6.35 cm)

Time is not so deep that a tremor cannot unwrite histories. December, the New York–based Claudette Gacuti’s first exhibition with the gallery and first solo presentation in Los Angeles, presents three new wall works and eight earthenware and mixed-media sculptures with shapes inspired by upholstery needles.

Magnified in scale, the “needles” appear born of an alien realm, another world that is in part Gacuti’s own: these objects have been worked and re-worked from fractured fragments of prior sculptures. Repaired with sawdust and polyurethane and painted clay, they reveal scars and braces, rendering them more stable for having been broken. Laid flat on a raised bed, the six sculptures are hardly inert. They feint at an abstract potential for function: perhaps sewing together ruptured ground—that is, if they weren’t themselves, like parched soil, so brittle. 

In their horizontality and materiality, the sculptures suggest a kind of landscape painting, one in which earth and atmosphere are indeterminate and interactive. The wall works, hung like an altarpiece in triptych formation, also act as almost-landscapes, their images conjuring fields viewed from overhead. With what we might take to be curtains, they transform into three improbable windows onto lands both distant and near, or onto somewhere that has yet to arrive.

Though hung side-by-side, these assemblages will likely live separately from one another after December closes. By anticipating their displacement in their very constellation, Gacuti’s objects in cloth and wood and paper reckon with psychic and physical instability. Taken together, December’s arrangement transgresses and rejects neat boundaries of geologic and human time, domestic and exterior, object and image, ground and sky.

Drew Zeiba


Claudette Gacuti (b. Burundi) makes objects for a world whose ground will not settle. She conflates scales—geologic, domestic, psychological—to study and adapt to earthly instability. Fear and fantasy cohabit in her forms. Gacuti holds an MS in architecture from the University of Minnesota and an MFA in sculpture from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College. Gacuti is also showing new work in “Taylor Davis Selects: Invisible Ground of Sympathy,” on view at the ICA Boston through January 7, 2024.

*Concurrent to December, in the STARS vitrine gallery, is Roula Nassar’s piece, The weather’s warm here my darling. (Write to me!)

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Los Angeles, CA 90028

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