Simchowitz Gallery is pleased to present Golden Spike, a solo exhibition of work by the Los Angeles-based artist, Lilah Rose. This is the artist's first show with the gallery.
Rose's soft sculptures are constructed from stuffed satin, muslin, silk, and other fabrics, which have all been hand-dyed, quilted, twisted, and turned to create the undulating shapes present in the exhibition. In the work she has created for this show, the plushness of her materials stands in contrast to the rigid physicality of her subject matter: automobiles.
The artist views the birth of the auto industry as a type of golden spike–a term geologists use to describe a distinct point in the geological record in which a new stage begins. Rose argues that while the spread of cars does not necessarily herald the beginning of the Anthropocene epoch in which we now find ourselves, it does reflect a tangible legacy of humans upon the planet.
A ravine near Rose's childhood home contained an old garbage dump from the 1930s and '40s. The artist would explore the area, paying attention to the bodies of cars stuck in walls of dirt, fossils of the contemporary age. These images help inform the work in the exhibition; Rose imagines a world in which these discarded forms eventually build up to such excess that a new layer of the earth is formed.
The works included in the exhibition imagine such a techno-geological future. The Coast envisions a landscape in which an endless mass of cars stretches until it meets the sea. Similarly, Citroën Canyon conjures a scene in which the titular autos stack endlessly in a multi-hued, stratified landscape.
The exhibition aims to shine a light on cars not only as potential geological relics but as accessories to identity, highlighting the tension between the cultural desire for them and their apparent disposable nature. Through her automotive stacks and pile-ups, Rose crafts a sharp commentary on these inescapable machines of our time.
Golden Spike opens May 15, 2021 and will be on view by appointment through June 5, 2021.
Lilah Rose (b. 1990 in Rockford, MI; lives and works in Los Angeles, CA) has been a Los Angeles-based soft sculpture artist since 2017. Her interest in fabric work was initially encouraged by a family legacy of print-making and fashion design through the brands Marushka/Michigan Rag, which were launched by her uncle Richard Sweet with support from her parents. Later, as a boarding student at Cranbrook Kingswood, outside of Detroit, her approach to textiles was enhanced by her participation in the school's weaving program and the indelible influence of its founder Loja Saarinen upon the campus.
While attending the Evergreen State College in Washington, Lilah apprenticed with a theatrical costume designer, aiming to refine her technical skills and pursue a career in the field. However, her interest in art was revived after meeting her husband, landscape artist Jean Nagai, and by enjoying the opportunity to spend several months as a guest of the Roswell Artist in Residence community in 2016. Today she draws heavily on her logistical experience with fabric–using the visual vocabulary of garment and upholstery construction to create works which evoke a sense of both tensile strength and blurred boundaries.
Press release courtesy Simchowitz.