Licking Yellow Fog
November 3 - December 8, 2012
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 3, 6-8pm
The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.
-from The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock, by T.S. Eliot
gallery km is proud to present licking yellow fog, the gallery’s first solo show of work by Los Angeles-based artist Rebecca Ripple. The exhibition consists of large and medium scaled sculpture installed from ceiling, floor and wall, as well as drawings and process-pieces that act as instigators for Ripple’s sculptural conversations. Materials used include acrylic, aluminum, vinyl, tape, plastic, wood, hair, linoleum and florescent light. The exhibition will take place from November 3rd through December 8, with a reception for the artist on Saturday November 3rd, from 6 to 8 in the evening.
Rebecca Ripple opens to interpretation the values we embrace as a society, the stories that surround them, and the language with which we assign them meaning. Her work takes the spaces where we have invested authority—an authority so ingrained it is often difficult to see—and presents them in a manner that affords us the opportunity to truly look at them. In licking yellow fog, tiny representations of Jesus combine with plasticized forms that resemble magnified human pores, layers upon layers of clear tape invoke both institutionality and peeling skin, and the ubiquitous linoleum of the medical clinic becomes the meticulously cut surface of a sculpture that reads as one part enlarged medical instrument, one part life form.
Ripple’s past work has often utilized a combination of language and highly worked, evocative materials in order to conjure subjects ranging from the strictures and potential ecstacies of Catholicism, to the catch phrases of a broken political empire. In her current work, Ripple continues these examinations and presents us with a further exploration of the intersection between the body of discourse and the physical body, and our intertwined obsessions with pathology and transcendence. That these potent subjects are approached with the intention to question rather than contradict is communicated with ferocity of detail, deep entry into materials, and humor.
The title of the exhibition refers to the yellow fog of T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”, a passage in that well-known poem that has long been considered by scholars as one of its most difficult to interpret. In choosing what is arguably the least accessible stanza of Eliot’s poem, Ripple invokes both the poem and the critical interpretation associated with it. Accordingly, the reference to Eliot’s “yellow fog” calls to mind not only the searching mist we find in the writing itself, but also the way in which we, as audience members and readers, often feel an anxious and sometimes premature impulse to assign meaning.
In licking yellow fog, Ripple asks us to embrace this feeling of anxiety and hold onto it, to spend some time in the space in which meaning has yet to be assigned, and in so doing to allow ourselves to look at the ontology of our precepts—to move from the unconditional into the considerably less comfortable space of the conditional.
Rebecca Ripple received her M.F.A from Yale University in 1995, and has exhibited throughout the United States and in Italy, including shows at Kristi Engle Gallery and the Brewery Project in Los Angeles, the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, Rosamund Felsen Gallery in Santa Monica, Ludwig Drum Factory in Chicago, and many others. Her work has been featured in Sculpture Magazine, and reviewed in LA Weekly, ArtScene, Chicago Tribune and American Craft. She attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and has received multiple awards including a C.O.L.A. City of Los Angeles Individual Artist Fellowship and a Nathan O. Freedman Endowment for Exceptional Creative Accomplishments Award. She teaches at California State University, Northridge and Los Angeles Community College, and she lives and works in Los Angeles.