Five-Minute Tours: Ester Partegàs at Pure Joy, Marfa

by Glasstire August 26, 2020

artist Ester Partegàs, No Retention at Pure Joy Marfa

Note: the following is part of Glasstire’s series of short videos, Five-Minute Tours, for which commercial galleries, museums, nonprofits and artist-run spaces across the state of Texas send us video walk-throughs of their current exhibitions. This will continue while the coronavirus situation hinders public access to exhibitions. Let’s get your show in front of an audience.

See other Five-Minute Tours here.

Ester Partegàs: No Retention at Pure Joy, Marfa. Dates: June 19 – August 31, 2020.

From the gallery: “The three sculptures presented here are part of Partegàs’ Baskets. No Retention series that plays with scale and unexpected materials to make a ubiquitous and familiar object both alluring and strange. The works channel the history of Modernist sculpture, from early abstraction to Pop and onwards.

Starting with the reproduction of a complete plastic laundry hamper, the three pieces emerge as fragments of a reality that is in a constant state of collapse and subsequent repair. The largest work, Room, suggests a homemade animal trap ready to catch its victim, while its white interior presents a cozy nook complete with children’s doodles scrawled on its walls – drawings made by the artist’s 5-year-old daughter – suggesting an intimate place for freedom and play. Handle, a gaping mouth displaying its teeth, consists of the half-broken handle of the basket, precariously balanced atop a column of sponges reminiscent of the repetitive and tedious labor implied in daily life. Corner is a corner section of the basket that in order to remain upright has to tenaciously wrap around a heavy piece of lumber by a rope made out of t-shirts’ collars. Ostentatiously flaunting what’s normally hidden, the care instruction and brand labels take the spotlight in an effort to bring together privacy and care with politics and consumerism, a prevailing issue underlaying most of Partegàs’s works. Turning the anonymity and powerlessness of ordinary objects on their heads, these works combine aggressiveness and destruction with a sense of sensuality and care, inviting us to interrogate our established convictions of safety and progress.”

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Rainey Knudson August 27, 2020 - 09:50

Partegàs’ 2002 installation “Samesation” at Rice Gallery was weird and wonderful, with its Big Brother ATM machine:

The human urge to create order out of chaos, seen through the lens of the dark underbelly of consumer culture. Fun!


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