Opening Thursday, April 14, 2022 in The Future Perfect’s San Francisco gallery is Mineral Abstraction, an exhibition of new works from Brooklyn-based duo Chen Chen & Kai Williams.
Mineral Abstraction represents a continuation of the artists’ investigation into the fundamental nature of their materials and how those materials inform the construction of the artworks. This body of work is an exponential unfolding of the processes and objects that have come to be synonymous with Chen & Kai. Among those we see the dissection of stones, as exhibited by both the newest permutations of the Stone Roses and Geology Mirrors, in which the surprising interiority of the seemingly immutable, titular stones is offered to the viewer for inspection.
Conceptually, sculpturally and visually, Mineral Abstraction is an elaboration on Chen & Kai’s oeuvre. With the newest Stone Roses they have brought the production of these pieces to the forefront, leaving soldering marks exposed in order to tell a story of an object’s making while honoring the process of its construction. With the newest Geology Mirrors, which have formally evolved into “tombstone” shapes that serve as architectural commentaries, they have activated a new sculptural element made from the offcuts produced in the mirrors’ making, wherein stones are bisected and joined with glass. These small stone sculptures serve as three-dimensional counterpoints to the mirrors’ use of flattened abstraction.
Mineral Abstraction is a monograph of sorts, in which two artists seek to better understand their own work. Specifically, how the materials and processes they employ may be seen as means of navigating the production of objects, surfaces and images. Through a process that is highly controlled while still deeply expressive, Chen & Kai produce thoughtful work that utilizes the material constitution of objects as an abstracted and gestural agent.
Mineral Abstraction will be on view in our San Francisco gallery through May 20, 2022.