The surrealist sculpture exhibition “Black Holes and Rabbit Holes” by Tristan Lowe opens January 22
The style of multidisciplinary artist Tristin Lowe can be difficult to define, but he says that “absurd” and “surreal” are two words that could describe most of his work.
Whether it’s a rendition of Frosty the Snowman made from copper tubes and plastic jugs, a giant three-dimensional comet made from neon tubes, or half an old car hanging from the ceiling. of a gallery, he always does something unexpected.
Starting Saturday, January 22, an array of sculptures and other art projects collected over Lowe’s decades of career will be on display at Moore College of Art and Design’s The Galleries in Moore, at 1916 Race St.
The exhibition “Black Holes and Rabbit Holes” takes influences from space, fairy tales and the surrealist movement.
While many pieces have been featured in other exhibitions over the years, Lowe is delighted to give them a new perspective by placing them in the varied spaces available to him at Moore. His work will occupy the entire gallery until March 19.
One piece that will be there is “Frosty”. The deconstructed snowman’s head is made of copper tubes covered with insulation, and his body is made of three empty plastic pots. He wears a pork pie hat and has a cigar in its month, but perhaps the most interesting element of the sculpture is the large freezer behind the snowman to which it is connected with a thick tangle of wires and ropes.
“I take that sort of thing as a metaphor for what you’re trying to do with art,” Philadelphia resident Lowe said of the original Frosty the Snowman story, in which a group of children imagine it in existence. “You rub a few sticks together, and you hope that triggers some kind of transformation and breathes life into something.”
Another highlight that Lowe chose is his piece “Comet”. He’s made several versions of the sculpture over the years, mostly from neon-filled glass pipes, but the one to be featured in Moore is particularly tall at 14 feet long. There will also be a 13-foot-wide felt moon in the exhibit.
Lowe has a penchant for making sculptures of disembodied legs clad in jeans. Some are realistic and proportional, but others are super long and wavy, extra high, or weirdly fused together.
He also created sculptures resembling halved objects floating through walls or ceilings, seemingly transverse to otherworldly realms.
Lowe cut an old car in half, a 2001 Volkswagen Passat Wagon, the vehicle he had a near-death experience in while driving in November 2015. The piece is titled “Transmutation: Into the Wind”. Passat means “trade wind” in German.
The artist was driving back from a work trip to North Carolina, where he was preparing for an exhibition. He was on Route 113 near Dover, Delaware at around 9 p.m. when a woman driving in the wrong direction with her lights off crashed into the passenger side of Lowe’s VW.
He survived the crash without major injury and was released from the hospital hours later, but the traumatic experience shocked Lowe. He felt a strong connection to the car, so much so that he bought it back from the insurance company so he could take it home.
“I had this weird relationship with the car,” he said. “I felt like it saved my life.”
He spent hours getting the car into his studio through its 30-inch door piece by piece, then crawling around the vehicle and slicing it up, familiarizing himself with every facet of the remains of the old Volkswagen.
In January 2016, he had reassembled the rear half of the vehicle and installed it on the ceiling of the Temple University art gallery where he had stayed for about two weeks. On January 22, the vehicle that may have saved Lowe will hang from the ceiling of The Galleries at Moore.
The gallery will hold an opening reception for the exhibition from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, January 21.
Black holes and rabbit holes
January 21 to March 19
11 am to 5 pm | Close on Sunday
The galleries at Moore
1916 rue de la course
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103