press release

SculptureCenter is pleased to present the little contemporaries, a new installation by Scott Lyall. the little contemporaries will be on view September 9–November 25, 2007 with an opening reception on Sunday, September 9, 4–6 pm.

Scott Lyall's artistic practice is grounded in research into the relationships between graphic processes, sculptural display, and the design legacies of conceptualism. He has pursued experimentation through works on paper and in writings, as well as large-scale exhibitions featuring work in various media. Most recently, his work has focused on forms of performance notation, and the transformative layers imposed on works of art when they are documented.

For his exhibition at SculptureCenter, Lyall's point of departure was a collaboration with the New York-based dancer and choreographer, Maria Hassabi. Hassabi approached Lyall about collaborating on a new dance performance after seeing an installation of his work in 2006. Having little knowledge about the conditions and criteria of current dance, Lyall reviewed a set of videotapes made by Hassabi at her rehearsals, eventually transposing the information into figures and linear diagrams. These diagrams traced a map of the shape of the dance performance and were used to design a set of elements that could be placed on stage as visual marks for the dancers.

The installation at SculptureCenter transposes elements of Lyall's set design to the more specific discursive conditions of the contemporary art gallery. Notably, the work has been separated from its performances; its functions of mapping and marking the dance space have become opaque, or perhaps dormant. There is a sense that dance and sculpture enjoy two different temporalities that lack equivalencies, interacting instead to perform the limits of each other. The artist also incorporates a video monitor that provides light for the installation, by displaying color gradients "grabbed" from details of a videotape by Hassabi. These animated color shifts are remnants of refracted light from her dance leotard, as recorded during a 2006 rehearsal workshop in Moscow. Just as Marcel Broodthaers defined his exhibitions as decors in order to refer to theatre sets and set theory, Lyall works with the differences between fragments and complete sets, designing an abstract re-collection in both sculptural and graphic languages.

During the little contemporaries Maria Hassabi's Gloria will be performed at Performance Space 122, between November 17 and 21, 2007. Components of Lyall's exhibition will become new elements in the set for this iteration of Gloria. During this period at SculptureCenter documentation will explore the work's absence. After Gloria's duration at PS122 the components will return to SculptureCenter.

Scott Lyall received his MFA from California Institute of the Arts and has exhibited internationally since 1996. His most recent exhibitions include When Hangover Becomes Form, with Rachel Harrison at Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver and LACE, Los Angeles, in 2006; and a dancer dances at Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York, also in 2006. Upcoming projects include solo exhibition at Sutton Lane, London in 2008 and a group show at the Weatherspoon Museum in Greensboro, North Carolina in 2008. Lyall was born in Toronto, Canada, where he currently lives and works.

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Scott Lyall
the little contemporaries