Fluorescent Fragments: Devra Freelander destroys one of her sculptures to create new artworks

For her latest exhibition, Fluorescent Fragments, Devra Freelander is presenting a series of wall-mounted and sculptural resin fragments all taken from a larger pre-existing sculpture, one that was installed on-site at Socrates Sculpture Park in 2017.

During the deinstall process, without a storage space large enough to house the large-scale artwork, Devra decided to use a circular saw to slice the sunrise into manageable slabs that would fit into the boot of her car, ramming into the remains with a bobcat and jackhammering the base of the sculpture to fully excavate it from the ground.

This mix of controlled and anarchic actions resulted in a myriad of uniquely shattered fragments that broke along naturally occurring fracture lines within the material. The resulting pieces resemble icebergs or ice shelves, the very geologic forms that inspire her artistic process in the first place. Each shard has been carefully cleaned, sanded, and polished, but its shape is completely dictated by the physics of the material’s destruction.

Devra’s practice is about setting parameters and making decisions within those parameters. For this show, she chose to work only with the pre-existing material from de-installing Fluorescent Sunrise. After the physically and emotionally taxing process of cutting up her first and only large-scale sculpture to date, she was overwhelmed to find that the fragments of that sculpture were just as beautiful as the original, and each with their own unique material identity.

"It gives me great joy to give another life to this sculpture and to allow its pieces to go out into the world and proliferate as representatives of their former selves," says Devra. "While I may have set up the conditions for the creation of these fragments, their individual forms transcend my own abilities through chaotic physical perfection. Spending time with each of these fragments, I have learned that sometimes the part is greater than the whole.”

Fluorescent Fragments by Devra Freelander is on show at Cooler Gallery in Brooklyn, NYC, throughout July. Find out more at cooler-gallery.com.


Get the best of Creative Boom delivered to your inbox weekly