American sculptor Ian Pedigo composes objects and collages from seemingly abandoned materials; scraps of wood, ends of material, electrical tape, plastic cups, Plexiglas, magazine pages. However regardless of how throwaway the materials appear, the artist’s arrangements retain a potent visual coherence whilst the ephemeral is eloquently articulated through the components.
One is inclined to read the assemblages as akin to other things in the world; a landscape, urban emblem or architectural form but the viewer is constantly reminded that the work is made up of jettisoned parts which are assembled into forms that retain a sense of functionality thus generating a dialogue about the literal, physical and imaginative qualities of objects. Details original to the objects such as stains or tears are evident, though the artist’s sparse touches of colour or line and the prudent sense of structure hint at something far from unintentional and ask that we take a closer look at the fragments and remnants of that which surround us.
Considered as contemporary relic’s or artifacts it is noteworthy that Pedigo has recently developed his interest in archaeology. Like Walter Benjamin’s concern with the ruin, Pedigo’s selected materials retain a similar value in residuum, as something that has passed through a history, or has the marks of a process on it. The significance of that history lies in its reconstruction and interpretation, remaining sensitive to its relevance in the present. In a similar vein the technique of montage construction and its temporal aspects were admired by Benjamin, and can be considered in relation to Pedigo’s practice; for Benjamin montage was important for precisely its ability ‘to interrupt the context into which it is inserted’.*
Ian Pedigo was born in Anchorage, Alaska; he lives and works in Long Island City, New York. He earned his M.F.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and has had solo shows at Pianissimo, Milan and Klaus Von Nichtssagend Gallery, Brooklyn alongside a recent solo exhibition at Atelier Cardenas Bellanger, Paris. His work has been included in group exhibitions at Peter Blum and D’amelio Terras, New York amongst others. Pedigo’s work has been written about in publications including Artforum, Frieze, Art Review and The New York Times.