Mar 17 — Apr 23
Marlborough Chelsea is pleased to present the first New York solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist Edie Fake.
To call Fake’s gouache and ink drawings meticulously rendered is both an understatement and a bit of a red herring. While these small, densely packed pieces are astonishingly realized in ornately patterned geometries and exuberant color, Fake is no dry technician. It is the powerful, funny and subtly poignant content which surprises and gives them their punch.
Conceived as allegorical architectures representing the body (both personally specific and sub-culturally collective) and imagined built environments, the artist sees the drawings as “shelters for paradox” inherent to queer identity. A work like The Tear Down could refer to the economic prospects of a derelict building in a gentrifying neighborhood, as well as a body in gender transition. Similarly, The Stick it Inn is a fantasia of a gay bar as manifest glory hole with utopian potential.
Tightly composed from the smallest architectural units, Fake’s structures accumulate power and meaning brick by brick, tile by tile. Classical fluted columns and friezes coexist with Art Deco detailing and Modernism’s reductive severity. Tricky spatial conditions are created which allow for perspectival depth while maintaining a surface that emphasizes the painterly qualities and the artifice of a set or flat for the stage. These artworks are façades, in both senses of the word—marquee and mask.