PARADISE SALÉ / THE EVERYDAY SOLUTION FOR SHAKY HANDS
NOVEMBER 2011-JUNE 2012
It is an established tradition of the Rockefeller Apartments to display the work of artists
in the courtyard garden. In the spirit of that tradition, this winter we are delighted to
present an exhibition of two sculptures by Martin Basher (b. 1979), an artist who comes
enthusiastically recommended to us by the Public Art Fund.
For the courtyard, Basher presents two new works titled Paradise Salé and The
Everyday Solution For Shaky Hands, both of 2011. Built of architectural aluminum and
impact-resistant acrylic sheeting, the work brings together the terms of minimalism and
architecture with a dark pop sensibility, capturing a strain of personal desire and crisis
hidden behind a shiny public façade.
The sculptures work with the properties of surveillance mirror to dramatically shift in
appearance and meaning from day to night. Reflective and translucent by day, the
cubes give a wry nod to the austere forms and materials of Bashers minimalist sculptor
forbears, also pointing to the anodized aluminum and mirrored windows beloved by
cost-conscious corporate architects and their developer clients.
At dusk however, the work transforms dramatically when fluorescent lights switch on
inside the cubes, revealing them as infinitely-reflecting display-vitrines housing a
distilled selection of the artists paintings among patent leather high heels and midpriced
Arranged on gridded steel mesh, and set on black and white tile echoing apartmentlobby
flooring, the contents evoke a threshold beyond which longing and desire emerge
after a long day at the office. In Paradise Salé a beautiful beach sunset frames slick
black stilettos, in size 14. In The Everyday Solution For Shaky Hands, a painting of
clasped hands is propped up on a dirty side-table by bottles of bourbon, one half drunk.
Exuding the inadequate sentiment of liquor and holiday advertizing, the work points to
the gulf between social mores and private vice and the switch from the façade of daytime
propriety to an rather darker existence in the after-hours.
Literally and metaphorically, the work reflects Bashers ongoing examination of mass
imagery, consumerism, belief, and desire.
New Zealand-born Basher divides his time between New York and Auckland, New
Zealand. He received his BA in Fine Art and MFA, in 2003 and 2008 respectively, from
Columbia University in New York.
Recent exhibitions include Total Recall (2010-2011), for The Public Art Fund, in which
Basher was awarded a major commission for outdoor sculpture through the PAFs Art in
the Public Realm program, Chinese Takeout, Art In General, New York (2011), States
of Peace and Calm w. Easy Ordering and Personal Touch, at Starkwhite, Auckland New
Zealand (2010), High Class Boner Meds, Lopdell Gallery, Auckland New Zealand
(2010), Unspecific Objects at Thierry Goldberg Projects in New York (2010), Dancing
Feet, 179 Canal, New York (2010), and Reality Sandwiches, Artnews Project, Berlin
Basher currently teaches art at Columbia University. He is represented by Starkwhite, in
Auckland, New Zealand.