“Cryptid” is Sam Stewart’s first solo exhibition at Fort Gansevoort, in NYC. Exploring the perverse desires and sincere emotions that we project onto the things we own, Stewart’s work traffics in the vocabulary of high-production furniture design. His sculptures subvert the intended use and become symbolic totems.
The exhibition is taking place on the second floor of a townhouse located at 3 Ninth Avenue, next door to Fort Gansevoort, and is by appointment only. Zoned for residential use, the space is required by the Department of Buildings to include a shower in the bathroom, a sleeping surface, and a working kitchen among other prerequisites for daily living. Reflecting on these codes and their distinctions from commercial space, Stewart has created a series of objects that imagine the personal affects of a mythical occupant, modeled on fabled humanoid characters like Bigfoot or the Yeti. Stewart’s cryptid belongs to folklore and science fiction as well as everyday forms of self-generated mythology, such as data-driven consumer branding.
From burled maple veneer and carbonized wood to white leather and chrome, his materials are imbued with mixed visual references: Appalachian folk craft of his childhood home, rustic luxury vacation lodges of Telluride, exotic cars, meat manufacturing facilities, and gym culture or the body industry, among others. The sculptures suggest real things that serve regular patterns of domestic life, such as sleeping, eating, and exercising. Through his synthesis of disparate aesthetic tropes, accidental uses of household objects, and their psychological associations, Stewart considers how, through successive rationalizations, mythologies gain momentum and permanence.
Sam Stewart was born in North Carolina in 1988. He lives and works in New York. He earned a B.A. in Mathematics and Philosophy at St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Fort Gansevoort is also presenting a solo booth of Sam Stewart’s work at Collective Design fair in Brussels.
- Fort Gansevoort
- Sam Stewart
- Opening dates:
- until 24 March 2018
- 5 Ninth Avenue, NYC