Power of Myth
June 4 – July 9, 2022
Nino Mier Gallery is pleased to present our first exhibition with sculptor Casey McCafferty (b. 1989, lives and works in New Jersey). McCafferty’s hand-carved wood and stone objects meld the formal with the functional, fine art with design. A group of new mythopoetic sculptures will be on view in Los Angeles from June 4 – July 9, 2022.
McCafferty is drawn to artistic forms that represent hybrids of human anatomy and the natural world. The works in Power of Myth are filled with undulating, biomorphic forms that oscillate between quasi-figural totems and surreal functional sculptures. Chairs, tables, and stools are juxtaposed with wall and free-standing sculptures that meld uncanny, anatomical motifs with meticulous artistry. Reminiscent of the visual language of Indigenous American, Norse, and African statuary, these works are masterfully executed in chlorites, oiled and oxidized walnut, sandblasted and ebonized ash, oxidized cherry, cedar, and Douglas fir. His woods are sourced from family-owned sustainable lumber yard or from his friends’ tree service. Most hail from downed trees that have been collected in the Los Angeles Area.
A sense of liveness saturates Power of Myth. Sculptural Chair - Rana, for instance, features both a chair back reminiscent of a frog’s profile, and a rod resembling an arm and a hand connecting the chair’s legs. The arm and hand repeat throughout McCafferty’s works, appearing in other sculptures such as Sculptural Chair – Manus, Conversation on a Wall Part 3, Sculptural Wall Light - Shy Guy, and Power of Myth. The extended hands invite an active relationship between viewer and object, cultivating a profound sense of touch throughout the exhibition.
McCafferty’s sculptures are reminiscent of works by American Studio artists of the midcentury, particularly Jeremy Anderson, Wendell Castle, and J.B. Blunk who also resisted the separation of ‘art’ and ‘design’ as two distinct categories. Like McCafferty, these artists took cues from non-Western traditions of art-making that blend utility with artistic innovation. McCafferty follows the more playful, erotic, and mythically-minded sect of this tradition.