DCKT Contemporary is pleased to present MICHAEL VELLIQUETTE’s third New York solo exhibition Awaken and Free What Has Been Asleep. VELLIQUETTE’s new paper sculptures and drawings expand his engagement with ornamental abstraction. His bold new forms evolve from a self-described “rite” of meditation, reflection and drawing and show a heightened prowess with the process of cutting, layering and gluing his colored paper shapes.
VELLIQUETTE paints and draws on heavyweight paper that he uses as the raw material for his wall-mounted sculptures. This development results in an intense color palette and the precision of the cut paper components are countered by gestural brush strokes on their surfaces.
VELLIQUETTE’s new series is influenced by the practice of sigilization - an occult-based method for developing personal symbols by which the words of a statement of intent are reduced to a formal design. The drawing series Good Ciphers 1-12 reveal this process most explicitly. Along the margins of each drawing are handwritten statements like “Opening to a deeper sense of self” which are accompanied by gestural rune-like symbols made from the very letters of the statements. The symbols are then repeated on a larger scale and more elaborately articulated.
The sculptural works also derive from sigils and emanate a ceremonial aesthetic. Meat Eater appears to be a mask of a creature that is part vegetable, part animal. Works such as Flambeau and Illumine suggest symbolic lights while Chromasoul and Lil’Orphist reference the power of color. The stalwart presence of the lone achromatic work Grey Guard allows viewers greater access into the complexities of the work’s construction.
VELLIQUETTE lives and works in Madison, WI. His work is included in the collection of the San Antonio Museum of Art (Texas) and the Progressive Art Collection (Cleveland). Recent solo exhibitions include John Michael Kohler Arts Center (Sheboygan, WI). Recent group exhibitions include Psychedelic: Optical and Visionary Art since the 1960s at the San Antonio Museum of Art and Slash: Paper Under the Knife at the Museum of Arts and Design (New York). In 2011 he will be included in the group exhibition PaperWork in 3D at the Shelburne Art Museum (Vermont).