Mel Kendrick: Markers
Mel Kendrick’s Markers, five new cast concrete sculptures, is both a bold departure from the artist’s characteristic use of wood as his primary medium and a natural evolution of the formal motifs and self-evident processes that have become synonymous with his work. All five works are installed adjacent to one another in a progression of innovative form across the Oval Lawn of Madison Square Park. Separately, the objects consider art historical tropes such as figuration and abstraction, void and completion, construction and destruction. Since the mid-1970s, Kendrick’s method has involved slicing and gutting blocks of raw wood, then reconfiguring and reconstituting their interiors atop the shell of the block from which they originated. In Markers, Kendrick applies the same aesthetic and procedural methods to cast concrete, a new process and material for the artist. The black-and-white concrete is poured in layers, striations, and rippling surfaces which contain the fossil memory of previous action. Inspiration for the Markers varies widely, from the black-and-white marble found in Italian cathedrals in Orvieto and Siena to the simplest methods of marking, where one object is placed atop another.