Mono No Aware
06 – 09 February, 2106
press: Purple

56 HENRY is delighted to announce Mono No Aware, an exhibition of new work by Wade Oates. The exhibition, which consists of a single ice sculpture, will be on view from February 3 through February 9, 2016.

In the main gallery, Wade Oates presents a figurative sculpture, hand-carved from a single block of ice. Based on a simple graphite drawing, the sculpture depicts a human of indeterminate physical form: a head and two arms, which emerge from the same shoulder, are visible above a blanket that hides the lower portion of the body. The figure’s gender is rendered ambiguous: the blanket covers the figure’s chest and genitalia, leaving visible an androgynous face. The sculpture’s two arms are carved to be recognizably gendered, the front female and the rear male.

The sculpture will melt over the course of the exhibition, gradually losing detail. Visual attributes that suggest gender will disappear, and the sculpture will becomes less recognizably figurative. With time, the figure will continue to lose its form, until the ice forfeits its solidity altogether. What began as a solid will turn entirely liquid, and Oates’ sculpture will pass between two material states; his art object has not dematerialized, but rather shifted states.  

Oates’ ice sculpture rests on a plywood table coated with a water resistant polymer. As the figure melts, the water will drip onto the table, which Oates has angled to drain into a large camping cooler on the gallery floor. By the end of the exhibition, the cooler will contain all the water left over from the ice sculpture, functioning as visual reminder of the melted figure. It is this attention to transience that Oates alludes to with his show’s title: “Mono No Aware” is an idiomatic Japanese term, describing a generalized awareness of impermanence. 

Wade Oates lives and works in New York City.  This is his first exhibition with 56 Henry. 

Exhibitions at 56 HENRY are visible 24 hours a day. Gallery doors are open to the public on Thursdays, from 12:00 - 6:00 pm. For additional information, please contact Ellie Rines at (646) 858-0800 or info@56henry.nyc