Carl D’Alvia “Cyclops”

Mulherin + Pollard

poster for Carl D’Alvia “Cyclops”

This event has ended.

Mulherin+Pollard presents Cyclops, new sculptures and wall installation by Carl D’Alvia. This is his seventh solo exhibition and first with the gallery.

Phalluses play large in this exhibition, and we note the comical efforts that D’Alvia brings forth to begrudgingly assume responsibility for nature’s gifts. . Like Polyphemus wooing Galatea in Ovid’s Metamorphosis, these figures sport their hirsute disadvantage with considerable panache.

“And my hair abundantly-pours down my severe face, and it shades my shoulders just as if it were a grove. And do not think that there is anything ugly in rough and thick hair covering my body: without leaves a tree is ugly…Yes - in the middle of my forehead I have but one eye, yet that one eye is like a massive shield.”

Ovid’s Cyclops is a horrible, pathetic, dangerous and self-aggrandizing cannibal, but who can resist him? Such is the case for D’Alvia’s cast of oddly sympathetic weirdos. In Swannabee (Space Bird), D’Alvia’s overly endowed wallflower for example, we encounter an inviting high polish marble surface juxtaposed with an impenetrable posture. A kinder, gentler phallus who yearns to be liked, or at least understood? D’Alvia’s virtuosity with materials has never been so perfectly matched as it is with these cyborg/cyclopian subjects, the hyper-craft accentuating the subjects’ yearning despite their perverse forms.

Juxtaposing the comic, there is darkness. Wedge glides silently across the gallery as a funereal repository. In Happyday, the suicidal protagonist steps over another absurdist line by taking the form of a monkey, an effort for the heart (or Nature) to right the misguided directions of the brain, a multi-layered reference that belies misgivings about progress. As David Foster Wallace prophetically explained the cliche of “the mind being an excellent servant but a terrible master…” noting, “It is not the least bit coincidental that adults who commit suicide with firearms almost always shoot themselves in: the head. They shoot the terrible master. And the truth is that most of these suicides are actually dead long before they pull the trigger.”

Process functions as a descriptive element in this exhibition with the inclusion of a 50+ drawings and ideas accumulated throughout the past year while he was a Fellow at the American Academy in Rome and in Tricky Richard, 2013, where the artist partially peels back the reliably pristine surface by casting in resin the unfinished plywood base alongside the figurative element, a reminder of the farcical dichotomies that occur and inform within the studio.

Carl D’Alvia, born 1965, lives and works in Connecticut and New York, and has exhibited his work throughout the US and Europe. He is a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, the recipient of the Rome Prize in 2013, and a director’s guest at Civitella Ranieri in 2009. He was the co-curator of L’Idea Del Realismo with Christian Caliandro earlier in 2013.



from September 04, 2013 to September 29, 2013

Opening Reception on 2013-09-08 from 18:00 to 20:00


Carl D'Alvia

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