DCKT Contemporary is pleased to present Michael VELLIQUETTE’s first New York solo exhibition. Sheets of multi-colored archival card stock are hand-cut then glued, working from background to foreground, onto a paper backing in successive layers. Narratives ranging from the intimate to the epic address ongoing philosophical quandaries of the human condition including questions of self, other, place, transformation and transcendence.
The flatness of the paper is countered by a dense layering of successively smaller and more ornate pieces; bending, folding and rolling elements coupled with the graphic qualities of the paper cut-out’s edges create dramatic spatial relationships. An intuitive use of color supports the works’ handmade aesthetic. The intricately crafted constructions are set in deep frames to heighten the works’ three-dimensionality.
Recurring strategies for image-making appear in several of the works and include eye-shapes accumulated into silhouettes of open hands and human profiles. These spectral embodiments are encountered in several of the works by a more visceral presence as depicted by mass groupings of small, faceless paper figures. To Willfully Summon the Storm represents in this meeting the need to embrace the consequences of one’s life choices. Works such as Familiar and Exotica romanticize the natural world through fantastic landscapes populated with brightly feathered bird creatures and dense accumulations of paper flowers. Other wild terrains are dominated by imposing stone fortresses in Visitors at the Gate and The Awaited Return and are concerned with the tendencies of invasion and protection, on both personal and political levels. Finally, the visually jarring icon-like portrait titled The Great Protector depicts an omniscient and ferocious deity.
VELLIQUETTE was the recipient of an artist residency and one-person exhibition at Artpace (San Antonio) TX in 2004. He has previously had one-person exhibitions at galleries in Dallas and San Francisco and has been in included in group exhibitions at Western Bridge (Seattle) and Deitch Projects (New York).