Artist: Paul Kopkau
Exhibition title: Palm Crest & Suites
Venue: Company, New York, US
Date: January 8 – February 12, 2017
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Company, New York
Company Gallery is pleased to present Palm Crest & Suites, a solo exhibition by Paul Kopkau. Referring, in its title, to the name of a fictional, aspirational housing complex, Kopkau’s new body of sculptural wall pieces, which are structured serially around several decorative motifs, including the Four Seasons hotel logo and a Clipart cityscape, are concerned with transient and temporary urban spaces created in dialogue with personal interpretations of luxury.
Kopkau’s new work—presented here in a carpeted installation—deconstructs and scatters these motifs across a range of serialized wall pieces that collapse the relaxed interiority of a hotel and the sobering thriftiness of a motel with the contemporary domesticity of a modernist apartment, an operation that refers, in part, to the new capitalist measure of temporary domestic space and rentability, pioneered by Airbnb and other peer-to-peer lodging networks, where the visual and economic notion of the hotel becomes mixed up with the decorative permanence of ownership. In Kopkau’s work, this collapse scrambles the normal signifiers of domestic urban space—views of the city, in particular—into a darkly Gotham abstraction.
Throughout the show, Kopkau has included several miniature mop figures, which are arranged variously in lightly theatrical tableau, in a reference to Corbusier’s modulor—an anthropometric scale of proportions that the legendary modernist architect used to design his buildings. Kopkau’s mops re-present this idea as a ridiculous reversal of Corbusier’s modulor figures, which were meant to measure and contribute to his notion of the “radiant new city,” and instead absorb—and even distract from—that radiance. Kopkau’s useless mop-modulors have freed themselves from a past of manual labor and now stand-in for the contemporary, wealthy, and fabulously lazy urbanite whose labor has become merely a decorative component of his or her lifestyle. In their reveries, these mops do not, and will not, become dirty; instead, they fan themselves, dress up to stay warm, and, naturally, to stay dry. In Kopkau’s work, these modulors trapeze across posh, luxurious surroundings that stunt them, and which they, in turn, stunt.
PAUL KOPKAU (b. 1982 Monroe, Michigan) is an artist living and working in Brooklyn, New York. He is co-founder of the group “Yemenwed,” a multi-disciplinary collective. His work has been included in exhibitions at The Swiss Institute, 321 Gallery, The Perez Art Museum Miami, Rutgers University, and elsewhere. Palm Crest & Suites is his first solo exhibition.
Paul Kopkau, Barcelona, 2016, Folding table parts, wood, epoxy, thread, polyester velvet, foam, staples, 25.5 x 79 x 39 in, (64.77 x 200.66 x 99.06 cm)
Paul Kopkau, The Fourth Season, 2017, Wood, wood stain, wire, MDF, spray paint, mop yarn, paper, automotive paint, wall texture, polyester velvet, polyester knit, modified plastic bags, steel, carpeting, string, brass nails, polyorganza, thread, 78 x 64 in, (198.12 x 162.56 cm)
Paul Kopkau, Valet, 2016, Lucite, plastic sheeting, pleather, elastic, thread, 74 x 23 x 24 in, (187.96 x 58.42 x 60.96 cm)
Paul Kopkau, Palm Crest (full bloom), 2016, Polyorganza, thread, pine, plexiglass, glaze coat, silkscreen ink, spray paint, wall texture, vinyl, mop yarn, polyester knit, paper, automotive paint, enamel paint, 72 x 24 in, (182.88 x 60.96 cm)
Paul Kopkau, City Suite #3 (red light source), 2015, Silkscreen ink, spray paint, pine, plexigalss, glaze coat, wall texture, 17.5 x 21 in, (44.45 x 53.34 cm)
Paul Kopkau, Untitled, 2014, Pine, plexiglass, polester velvet, laser etched plexiglass, wall texture, automotive paint, enamel paint, 19 x 15 in, (48.26 x 38.1 cm)
Paul Kopkau, Untitled, 2014, Pine, plexiglass, polyester velvet, wall texture, automotive paint, enamel paint, 19 x 15 in, (48.26 x 38.1 cm)
Paul Kopkau, Maroon Valance #2, 2016, Wood, staples, screws, caulking, wood-stain, 29 x 29.5 in, (73.66 x 74.93 cm)
Paul Kopkau, Mop-modular, 2016, Wicker caning, spray paint, enamel paint, automotive paint, mop yarn, lucite, thread, polyester, 18 x 10 x 9 in, (45.72 x 25.4 x 22.86 cm)
Paul Kopkau, Maroon Valance #1, 2016, Wood, wood stain, staples, screws, plexigalss, polyorganza, thread, caulking, wicker caning, 26.5 x 37 in, (67.31 x 93.98 cm)
Paul Kopkau, Anthropometric Absorption #2, 2016, Plastic sheeting, lucite, mop yarn, hardware, molded plastic, 55 x 8 in, (139.7 x 20.32 cm)
Paul Kopkau, Palm Crest #2 (full bloom), 2016, Polyester velvet, spray paint, enamel paint, plexiglass, machine embroidery, denim, vinyl, silkscreen ink, glaze coat, pine, wall texture, automotive paint, steel, 37 x 23 in, (93.98 x 58.42 cm)
Paul Kopkau, City Suite #2, 2017, Pine, glaze coat, chip board, spray paint, plexiglass, wall texture, silkscreen ink, staples, enamel paint, 31.25 x 41.25 in, (79.38 x 104.78 cm)
Paul Kopkau, City Suite #3 (Crest), 2015, Silkscreen ink, spray paint, pine, plexigalss, glaze coat, 12.5 x 10.5 in, (31.75 x 26.67 cm)