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Martin Kersels
Redling Fine Art, Hollywood, California
Recommendation by Jody Zellen


Martin Kersels, "Droner," 2015, wood, steel, bearings, cello strings and victrola motor, 70 x 48 x 30"

Continuing through January 22, 2016

Martin Kersels had a long career in Los Angeles, but currently resides in New Haven, CT, where he is the director of Graduate Studies in Sculpture at Yale University. Humor has always played a part in Kersels' work, and he often used his own body as both the subject and object of these investigations. In this exhibition, titled "Seen and Heard," he creates a suite of evocative sculptures and works on paper that incorporate found photographs and objects. Using discarded materials and things left behind, Kersels gives them new life.

The highlights of the show are the three viewer-operated sound machines. You twirl an old-fashioned crank that brings the sculptures to life. Subtle sounds like a drone or a snore emerge from the inner working of the mechanism, a nod to old-fashioned whirligigs or automatons. Kersels' objects are purposely off-kilter wooden constructions that have musical instrument and furniture associations, at once recognizable and formally abstract. An accompanying series of altered photographs and record albums are also a delight. Found planks of wood with perfectly rounded holes sit atop discarded album covers revealing only the eyes in the image below. The same strategy is applied to old photographic images where Kersels overlays them with thin pieces of wood. This creates a veil over all but the eyes of the original. The title "Seen and Heard" is a playful pun that further illuminates the conceptual power of the exhibition.

Published Courtesy of ArtSceneCal ©2016

Redling Fine Art

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