As selected by Daniel Arsham, Pippy Houldsworth Gallery is delighted to present a new commission for The Box by US artist Emile Gossiaux. After losing her sight in 2010, Gossiaux went on to win the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Award of Excellence in 2013, and earlier this year, graduated from Cooper Union in New York. Working predominantly with clay and plaster, Gossiaux’s sculptures demonstrate a profound sensitivity towards materials and texture.
Discussing her work in The Box, Gossiaux explains that ‘since losing my vision 4 years ago, my practice as an artist has changed in that I no longer create or study using visual references. I rely on the memories I have of colors, shapes, and dimensions of objects and spaces. I also use physical memories: the way an object fits in the palm of my hand, the weight and texture of it, or how tall and wide it is in relation to my body. For Fruit Bowls in Orange and Yellow, of which one bowl is shown in The Box, I thought about the illusionistic qualities of trompe-l'œil paintings and how they remind me of the uncanniness of dreams. The bowls and fruits are painted the same color to blur the edges, making the objects indistinguishable from one another. With this idea, I wanted to create an uncanny feeling of familiarity, triggering the memories and experiences of smell, taste, or touch in those who come into contact with these objects.’
As result of winning the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Award of Excellence, Gossiaux’s work was subsequently exhibited at The Smithsonian Institute in 2013. Over the past few years, Gossiaux has won numerous other accolades, including The Elliot Lash Memorial Prize for Excellence in Sculpture (The Cooper Union) in 2014. Her work has been exhibited at various venues, including Recess Art and Spectrum NYC in New York. This will be the first time her work has been shown in the UK.