Morphic Fields, bronze and limestone, 2014. Courtesy artist.
New York-based curatorial producer Helen Varola established VAROLA, a project space at the landmark Pacific Design Center, West Hollywood in 2014. The gallery aims to present new ambitious projects with artists, operating as a project space and production site for contemporary art with a focus on design as an extension of artistic practice. Programming is characterized by research on recent contemporary sculpture and installation with four exhibitions per year.
© 2014 VAROLA, West Hollywood
ANTHONY JAMES: Morphic Fields
March 24 - July 29
Opening: Friday, May 27
Varola gallery is pleased to present Morphic Fields, a monumental installation of eight bronze sculptures by Los Angeles-based artist Anthony James. James’ initial inspiration for creating Morphic Fields was Robert Rauschenberg’s cardboard box series (1971-72). Like Rauschenberg, James started collecting discarded cardboard boxes as found objects that would later become subjects for investigation and invention. While experimenting in a bronze foundry for the first time in Munich in 2013, James became fascinated with the process of transforming cardboard waste as he witnessed the fragility of cardboard turn into ash and then into bronze, which for the artist represented moments of transcendence, death, rebirth and the never-ending cycle of life.
According to James, invention is part of the “morphic field” of collective culture based on patterns of memories, instincts and experiences common to all mankind. The title of the exhibition refers to a quote by British biologist Rupert Sheldrake, who describes the process of transformation and the passing on of recollection in nature ("morphic resonance") in his ‘hypothesis of formative causation.’ The American author and art critic Glenn O’Brien states, 'There’s a kind of oracular vibe about the work, as if staring at it might be good.’
Anthony James (b.1974) is a sculptor, painter, and performance artist who is known for setting fire to a Ferrari in a birch forest and entombing the ravaged car and trees in an act of sacrifice derived from Greek antiquity. James has had solo exhibitions at Walter Storms Gallery, Munich (where he first exhibited Morphic Fields), Brand New Gallery, Milan, Patrick Painter, Los Angeles, Gavlak, West Palm Beach, Kantor/Feuer, New York and Apex Art, New York. His work has been featured in numerous group exhibitions internationally and is the collections of prominent private and corporate collections. James studied at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design in London (1994-98) and has lived in New York and Munich. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles.