Nir Altman is thrilled to present Millennium Approaches, Cole Lu’s first solo exhibition with the gallery.
On view as 2022 turns into 2023, a survey of seven new works shifting in scale and effect continues Lu’s world-building, producing relics from a realm of myth and personal history. Incorporating classical approaches and often surprising usages of distinctive materials, Lu’s further use of poetry is visual as well as formal in that each title is almost an artwork on its own. There is a shape-shifting that happens here, in the figure and the medium. The work, like everything, is a continuation — of a belief system generating renderings of an inner trans-formation. Lu creates a lushly sculpted world weaving between media, constantly surprising while invoking mythologies that are both alien and familiar.
In Millennium Approaches, Lu creates portraiture with engraving and pyrography tech niques. He writes with fire, scorching the portrait into a mural of historical fiction (mythical retelling) and historical facts (USSR memorabilia). His writing/burning is also a portal of ma-terial and linguistic transition. Written on the occasion of the show, a letter to Lu from his dear friend and long-time colleague Rindon Johnson mentions how “sculpture and poetry are portals to elsewhere, and inside the work, the mark, the material is also a portal to an elsewhere as is the title too (of course). A portal is a projection, like the moon, a planet be-yond, a kind of impossibility.” Here, quite literally, we’re offered a portal into two contempo-raries’ friendship. It’s with this generosity that we get a new dimension to the simultaneity that Lu has already invited us to ponder.
The way one column can stand for a complete ruin, Lu’s work asks you to explore artifacts from an unknown future. This portal (friendship) allows you to travel there.
Johnson’s full letter to Lu is included below.
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