Over the Influence is honored to present Ramble Ramble bringing together a new series of sculptures and wall reliefs by LA-based Australian artist Mark Whalen. Ramble Ramble will be on view from April 14th through May 26th with a reception on Saturday, April 13th from 6 – 9 pm.
“A ramble is a journey with a kind of meta-destination, a route without any particular goal except the adventure of forward motion. For artist Mark Whalen, it’s the perfect analogy for his recent studio practices and arrival at this body of fresh sculptural forms for wall and floor. Representing both an evolution of and a break with previous series, Whalen has achieved an exuberant freedom of materiality, scale, gesture and palette in his accumulative, totemic stacking of objects and images; yet his core directive remains consistent. That is, the transformation of elements of our ordinary surroundings into witty, abstract musings on deeper levels of experience.
The generalized, gender-fluid figures who appears in the pictorial scenes and whose body parts are featured in the sculptures is not Whalen himself — or it’s not only him. The figure is an avatar for the broad spectrum of human experience. The seductive richness of the saturated palette and alluring surface treatments evokes a range of emotional responses to that life; and the ordinary found objects and minerals that surround, support, and oppress the persons in the compositions represent the profound absurdity of basically everything.
Whalen’s primary work as a painter has expanded to include a significant sculptural practice and a more fundamentally dimensional thought process. Though he’s visited installation and ceramic modes in the past, the new cast aluminum sculptures are assertively self-possessed objects. “Sculpture creates an experience,” says Whalen. “It interrupts space and makes you deal with it in a more direct, physical way.” Even his works for the wall are paintings on canvas on aluminum, because his cognitive progression toward shape and contour in addition to surface and color is such that a rambling continuum emerges which renders terms like painting and sculpture almost obsolete.