Pegram 07.jpg

Joe Ferriso, Conrad Guevara, Chelsea Pegram
curated by Anna Nearburg & Evan Reiser
October 13-November 16, 2017
Opening reception: Friday, October 13, 6-8pm

Levy Art + Architecture / Space 151
151 Potrero Ave Suite 200
San Francisco 94103 (map)
Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm

Tours by appointment through November 16

Linchpin is an exhibition of recent sculpture by Joe Ferriso, Conrad Guevara and Chelsea Pegram. The works revolve around a compositional point of tension which supports the “weight,” both actual and metaphorical, of its cumulative parts. This precarity exposes vulnerability in otherwise sturdy objects, resulting in dynamic, architectural constructions tottering on the brink of total dissolution.They appear ready to unravel, a game of Jenga at its penultimate moment.

Each of the artists works primarily with common building materials, relying upon rigid, structural elements which belie the softer, more playful, and subtler aspects of the works. This dichotomy is achieved through delicate engineering and a deft use of gravity. The “linchpin” in these sculptures is the point at which they achieve balance and where art-making intersects with ontology, philosophy and mathematics.

Joe Ferriso’s plywood constructions, painted in bright, contrasting colors, elegantly bend and fold from the wall. Held together with nothing more than clamps, the sculptures are modular, to be reconfigured and adapted as Ferriso sees fit. The plywood seems to defy its own physical limitations, challenging just how much an otherwise flat, rigid surface can be bent into a dynamic, curvilinear form.

Conrad Guevara’s multi-panel paintings on canvas are in held in place by implied and actual tension. The works present a dichotomy between functionality and sentimentality, caged by their component parts which adhere them to the wall and influence large swaths of their richly painted surfaces.

Chelsea Pegram uses MDF and concrete to create geometric, architectural works reminiscent of Brutalism, yet punctured by moments of soft, organic vulnerabilities. Sea shells embedded in concrete recall bodily orifices, while strips of sand and small rocks form long arcs inlaid to wood. These small reminders of sex, nature, and fragility are almost hidden from the viewer. Their power is their rarity, subtle masses overwhelmed by the harsh, monolithic fortresses surrounding them.

Above: Chelsea Pegram, Untitled, 2016. Cast concrete, decorative shell, 5.5 x 6.5 x 11 inches
Below: Joe Ferriso, Blue Maze, 2017. Acrylic on plywood, clamps. Dimensions variable.


Anna Nearburg is an independent curator and founder of Some.Time.Salon, an apartment gallery in San Francisco.

Evan Reiser is an independent curator and founder of the galleries City Limits in Oakland and   in San Francisco.

Thanks to Sara Haag and Ross Levy for their support, generosity and hospitality.