Jyl Bonaguro’s solo exhibition, Lifted, opened on Saturday, April 14 with a VIP preview and cocktail hour, followed by a public reception in the Gallery at Workshop 4200. With the unveiling of her latest works, Bonaguro took us on a weightless journey through her hand carved marble wing sculptures, paper and fabric installations, multimedia video mapping, and live screen printings.
Lifted, Bonaguro's first solo exhibition following the success of her 2017 debuts at Scope, Asia Contemporary, and Aqua, is perhaps her most fully realized exhibition to date. This exhibition presents a clarity of mind and evolution of vision we had not yet seen from Bonaguro, and is a clear display of her continued growth and development as a fine artist. In Lifted, Bonaguro continues her study of wings across different media, using marble, charcoal rubbings, and video mapping to fully explore the dimensionality, form, and texture of her subject.
The evening also served as the world premiere of Lifted: A Sculpture Documentary, a breathtaking short film produced by indie filmmakers Dorian & Maggie Iribarren of Motion Filmworks. The film follows Bonaguro around the ancient hills of Pietrasanta, Italy, where the finest quarries of sculptural quality marble exist, making clear where Bonaguro draws her inspiration—from the renaissance greats that carved marble from these very same quarries.
Against the backdrop of this documentary, with the images of expansive mountains and valleys of marble, winding roads and street side cafes in the Italian countryside, it is impossible to ignore how Bonaguro’s decidedly modern aesthetic contrasts the ancient nature of marble - both as a material formed through the aligned forces of metamorphism and time, and as the historic material of choice for renaissance sculptors. It is clear that Bonaguro is aware of this dialectic, using it alongside other dynamic harmonies and contradictions. The bulk of her sculptural work, no pun intended, juxtaposes the physical heft of the material — marble — against the weightlessness of wings.
Throughout all the pieces in the exhibition, Bonaguro explores themes of transforming energies, demonstrating her exceptional ability to manipulate ambient space which flows both in and around her work. With pieces placed at varying heights from floor to pedestal to wall to ceiling, Bonaguro recalls our inherent desire to lift touch the stars, wherein each of us tries to lift off from within while remaining earthbound by design.
Surprising installations in projection mapping, hanging feathers, an interactive screen printing station, and a paper wing photo booth add elements of wonder, discovery, and delight, while encouraging attendees to further explore the themes and meaning behind Bonaguro’s work.
Lifted will be on display in the gallery through Friday, May 4th. The documentary film by Motion Filmworks will be released sometime this month, so follow us here and on social media to see the film in its entirety.