Will Boone “No Man’s Land”


poster for Will Boone “No Man’s Land”

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22 East 2nd Street
New York, NY, 10003

Karma presents No Man’s Land, a solo exhibition of new sculpture by Will Boone. For the opening of the exhibition, please join us for a conversation on No Man’s Land between Will Boone, writer Randy Kennedy and curator Lucia Simek on Saturday, January 7th at 3pm at 22 East 2nd Street.

No Man’s Land is a scenic exhibition that began for Will Boone with an encounter at a swap meet in 2017. Among a menagerie of figurines, toys, horror movie monsters, and busts of United States presidents and music legends, Boone found resonance with sculptures of antiquity. Medusa and Julius Caesar were swapped for Frankenstein and John F. Kennedy; dinged-up plastic and flaking enamel paint took the place of chipped marble and weathered bronze.

Across this body of work, Boone transforms relics of Americana into bronze statues. Like a model toy, Boone hand-paints each with enamel paint, producing a brushy and vibrant surface. Amidst cacti and aloes, a tiger and a barking dog have a standoff at the gallery’s center. A rabbit leaps across a skull and an eagle hangs from the ceiling. A vulture perches on a rock, surveying bones. Several works are deliberately paired together, forming tableaus: a rat and a ribcage, a dinosaur and a tree stump, a spider’s web amidst barren branches, a cactus and a foot. A sculpture hall sourced from the desert of American culture, the exhibition marks the first time this body of work will be shown in its entirety.

For Boone, who has returned to live and work in his hometown of Houston, the visual language of Texas is foundational. Boone’s bronze sculptures are made in a foundry which also produces roadside attractions, located in the small town of Bastrop, which is also home to a gas station barbecue joint featured in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. To Donald Judd, Texas famously offered a featureless landscape, an empty space that harmonized with his sculptural practice. In contrast, for Boone, Texas is defined by its features—cultural artifacts, specificities, and oddities, exemplified in the strange monuments through which small towns assert themselves against the desert.

Boone’s sculptures stand in a strange arrangement, like an abandoned movie set. Their bronze construction guarantees their permanence, through which Boone unites the vastness of time with the vastness of the desert. There, we find his sculptures, lingering in the inexorable unknown that is No Man’s Land.

Will Boone presented his first solo show in New York at Karma in 2011 and has since shown at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (2019); Galerie Patrick Seguin, Paris (2018); David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles (2018); Desert X, Coachella Valley (2017); and the Rubell Family Collection, Miami (2014), among others. In 2019-2020, Boone had his first solo museum exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston. In February 2020, Boone’s sculptures were featured in the backlot of Paramount Pictures Studios as part of Frieze Projects, a special Frieze LA presentation co-curated by Rita Gonzalez, LACMA, and Pilar Tompkins Rivas, the director of Vincent Price Art Museum. Public collections include Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, Florida; Rubell Family Collection, Miami, Florida; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands; and Fundación Baruch Spinoza, Lisbon, Portugal, among others.



from January 07, 2023 to February 25, 2023

Opening Reception on 2023-01-07 from 18:00 to 20:00


Will Boone

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