press release

We are pleased to present Andra Ursuta’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles.

Ursuta will present in the main gallery space one of her largest sculptures to date, a swing, which combines the functionality of playground equipment with crudely fashioned modernist forms. Coming out of colossal pillars of handmade crumbling blocks of concrete support, recalling abstract Eastern European war monuments from the 70s, a freshly painted safety orange steel frame holds two pairs of multicolored cast urethane plastic seats hanging from chains. Toilet holes are cut into the seats, transforming the swing into a gigantic weapon of defilement from which excrement can be hurled in broad range.

The swing shitter is in some respect a simplistic literalization of a 1979 book by psychologist Alice Miller’s “The Drama of the Gifted Child” about “a child that was so aware, consciously or otherwise, of the wishes of his parents and had such a strong desire to fulfill them, that he lost track of himself and his own identity”. According to the book, this process begins very early on with the gifted child learning to control his/her bowel movements in order to not anger the parent. For the sake of the piece, Ursuta tried to come up with the best way to fix this problem.

Similarly merging machined produced powder-coated steel elements with pre-ruined, handmade concrete elements, ”A Worm’s Dream Home” presented in the entrance gallery, is a miniature replica of a wartime bunker from the coast of France. Cast in a form built from hundreds of tiny planks of wood and left to sag like a deflated beach ball, it features an embrasure and multiple escape routes at the back. Its flaccid walls are a sculptural equivalent to a special effect used in films to cut into a dream sequence, when the image on the screen turns into a wavy distortion.

Born in 1979 in Salonta, a small town on Romania’s border with Hungary, Andra Ursuta moved to New York in 1997, and graduated from Columbia University. Selected exhibitions include solos with Ramiken Crucible in New York, and group exhibitions; including “Ostalgia” at the New Museum, NY, “Glee” at Blum and Poe, LA, and most recently at Canada Gallery, NY, Andrea Rosen, NY, François Ghebaly Gallery, LA, and Venus Over Manhattan, NY. She is represented by Ramiken Crucible in New York.

Andra Ursuta
Mothers, Let Your Daughters Out Into the Street