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James Casebere - Seeds of Time - Exhibitions - Sean Kelly Gallery

Press Release

James Casebere

Seeds of Time

Sean Kelly, New York

June 27 – August 2, 2024

Opening reception: Wednesday, June 26, 5-7pm

Sean Kelly is delighted to announce Seeds of Time, James Casebere’s ninth solo exhibition with the gallery. Continuing Casebere’s ever-evolving exploration of form at the intersection of architecture, sculpture, and photography, this new body of work celebrates three fundamental principles: biomorphic design, social responsibility, and environmental sustainability. Through a meticulous process of artistic reinterpretation, Casebere transforms architectural designs into striking two-dimensional images. There will be an opening reception on Wednesday, June 26, 5-7 pm. The artist will be present.

The exhibition delves into contemporary architectural trends, using water as a central theme to evoke an awareness of climate change. Each structure in Seeds of Time is surrounded by water, often a symbol in Casebere’s work for the unconscious, the passage of time, and memory. These new works internalize the urgency and emotional context of the climate crisis and celebrate human ingenuity.

Drawing inspiration from Indian-born Pritzker Prize-winning architect Balkrishna Doshi, the photographs Balconies and Stairs, are based on Doshi’s vibrant color drawings of his low-cost housing development, The Aranya, in Indore, India. Unlike many public or low-income housing projects in India, which were often bleak, Doshi’s designs were lively and intended for modification by their inhabitants. Casebere intensified the colors in his works to echo the transformations made by residents.

Both Cavern with Skylights images reference Amdavad ni Gufa, an underground art gallery designed by Doshi. The concept was to create an open building that blurs the boundaries between formal and informal spaces while increasing interaction with nature. These images emphasize the natural geological forms to highlight the biomorphic qualities of the architecture.

Casebere further explores biomorphic forms in Patio with Blue Sky and School to create works that focus on the integration of natural and synthetic elements in an interpretation of Burkinabé-German architect Francis Kéré’s “Startup Lions Campus” in Kenya. Greenhouse extends the bio-morphic design language by merging sculptural forms with natural foliage, creating a living sculpture set within a pond. Beach Huts (Day) and Beach Huts (Night), draw on Kéré’s innovative complex in Burkina Faso. These photographs depict colorful huts that explore themes of community and the needs of marginalized populations, a testament to the dynamic relationship between individual creativity and social group dynamics. Likewise, Chulah Cookstove is inspired by Pakistani architect Yasmeen Lari’s innovative design, which highlights the need for elevated outdoor stoves designed to mitigate flooding and improve health in impoverished areas.

The exhibition showcases James Casebere's unique ability to intertwine artistic vision with pressing contemporary issues. In Seeds of Time, Casebere reflects on the potential of architecture to foster sustainable and socially responsible solutions. His use of water, both as a symbol and a material, underscores the delicate balance between human innovation and environmental stewardship. This body of work not only celebrates architectural ingenuity but also challenges us to consider our role in shaping a sustainable future.

James Casebere was the winner of the American Academy in Rome Abigail Cohen Rome Prize Fellowship for 2019-20 and has been the recipient of numerous fellowships, including three from the National Endowment for the Arts, three from the New York Foundation for the Arts and one from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. His work is in permanent collections of institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England, among many others. In 2016, Casebere was a New York Foundation for the Arts Hall of Fame Honoree and the subject of important survey exhibitions: Fugitive at the Haus der Kunst in Munich, curated by Okwui Enwezor; Immersion at Espace Images Vevey in Switzerland; and After Scale Model: Dwelling in the Work of James Casebere, at the BOZAR/Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels, Belgium. James Casebere lives and works in New York. 

For press, please contact Adair Lentini at Adair@skny.com

For all other inquiries, please contact Cecile Panzieri at Cecile@skny.com

Image caption: James Casebere, Patio with Blue Sky, 2024, framed archival pigment print mounted to Dibond, paper: 57 3/4 x 46 3/4 inches, framed: 60 9/16 x 49 9/16 x 2 1/4 inches, edition of 5 with 2 APs © James Casebere Courtesy: the artist and Sean Kelly, New York/Los Angeles