Simone Subal Gallery

Larry Bamburg

TalctoTile, PL’d to MDO

February 14 – March 20, 2016
Opening Sunday, February 14, 6-8PM

  • Installation View of Larry Bamburg "TalctoTile, PL’d to MDO"
  • Larry Bamburg, "Color Study: Mulberry Rounds #1& #2, Book-Matched in Anoxia," 2016, Mulberry wood, plywood, Marvelseal, solid surface acrylic, acrylic sheeting, lighting gels, silica gel, oxygen scrubbers, brass valves, aluminum, argon gas, hardware, 26 1/8 x 26 1/8 x 5 9/16 inches (66 x 66 x 14)
  • Larry Bamburg, "TalctoTileoverTile PL'd to MDO, shown in Mint Ice," 2016, Talc, ceramic and plaster tiles, plywood, polyurethane construction adhesive, aluminum, hardware, 63 x 28 x 61.5 inches (160.1 x 71.1 x 156.2 cm)
  • Larry Bamburg, "TalctoTileoverTile PL'd to MDO, shown in Mint Ice," 2016, Talc, ceramic and plaster tiles, plywood, polyurethane construction adhesive, aluminum, hardware, 63 x 28 x 61.5 inches (160.1 x 71.1 x 156.2 cm)
  • Installation View of Larry Bamburg "TalctoTile, PL’d to MDO"
  • Larry Bamburg, "Color Study: Mulberry Rounds #3 & #4, Book-Matched, as a photograph," 2016, C-Print on Aluminum, Edition of 3, 23 x 31 ½ inches (58.4 x 80 cm)
  • Installation View of Larry Bamburg "TalctoTile, PL’d to MDO"
  • Larry Bamburg, "TalctoTileTower, from a unstable foundation," 2016, Talc, ceramic tiles, cold-processed beef tallow soap, FD&C colorants, bees, plywood, polyurethane construction adhesive, hardware, 31 x 30 x 73 inches (78.7 x 76.2 x 185.4 cm)
  • Installation View of Larry Bamburg "TalctoTile, PL’d to MDO"
  • Larry Bamburg, "Talc Rock Photo on plywood, warped, with a transitional scribe panel and a walnut frame," 2016
, C-print over fused LDPE shopping bags over found plywood, acrylic sheeting, adhesive, hardware, Fast Caps, 112 4/5 x 88 ½ x 4 inches (286.5 x 224.8 x 10.1 cm)
  • Installation View of Larry Bamburg "TalctoTile, PL’d to MDO"
  • Installation View of Larry Bamburg "TalctoTile, PL’d to MDO"
  • Larry Bamburg, "TalctoTile PL'd to MDO, shown in Pink," 2016
, Talc, ceramic tiles, cold-processed beef tallow soap, FD&C colorants, plywood, polyurethane construction adhesive, hardware 70 3/10 x 43 ½ x 54 ½ inches (178.6 x 110.5 x 138.4 cm), Originally commissioned and produced by Artpace San Antonio.
  • Larry Bamburg, "TalctoTile PL'd to MDO, shown in Pink," 2016
, Talc, ceramic tiles, cold-processed beef tallow soap, FD&C colorants, plywood, polyurethane construction adhesive, hardware, 70 3/10 x 43 ½ x 54 ½ inches (178.6 x 110.5 x 138.4 cm), Originally commissioned and produced by Artpace San Antonio.
  • Larry Bamburg, "SeaShellSoap, shown in Peppermint," 2016, Cold-processed soap with: lard, beef and lamb tallow, duck and chicken fat, salmon, mink, horse, ostrich, emu, civet musk and peppermint oils, FD&C and D&C colorants, butylated hydroxytoluene, sodium citrate, optiphen ND, 31 x 24 x 11 ¾ inches (78.7 x 61 x 29.9 cm)
  • Installation View of Larry Bamburg "TalctoTile, PL’d to MDO"
  • Larry Bamburg, "Color Study: Mulberry Rounds #1& #2, Book-Matched, as a photograph," 2016, C-Print on Aluminum, Edition of 3, 23 x 30 ½ inches (58.4 x 77.5 cm)
  • Larry Bamburg, "TalctoTire, shown in Black," 2016, Talc, tires, fused LDPE trash bags, acrylic sheeting, hardware, 33 4/5 x 31 4/5 x 22 ½ inches (85.7 x 80.6 x 57.2 cm), Originally commissioned and produced by Artpace San Antonio.
  • Installation View of Larry Bamburg "TalctoTile, PL’d to MDO"
  • Larry Bamburg, "Color Study: Mulberry Rounds #3 & #4, Book-Matched in Anoxia," 2016, Mulberry wood, plywood, Marvelseal, solid surface acrylic, acrylic sheeting, lighting gels, silica gel, oxygen scrubbers, brass valves, aluminum, argon gas, hardware, 31 x 26 1/4 x 4 ¼ inches (66 x 66 x 14 cm)
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TalctoTile, PL’d to MDO brings together a body of new work that plays with the never resolved relationship between an original and its copy. Each piece begins with a specific problem that Bamburg responds to based upon the demands of the material. The TalctoTile sculptures originate from large pieces of talc, a stone common in household products but rarely encountered in its non-pulverized state. The delicate rock’s surface and color led Bamburg to make a series of decisions to find a visual equivalent that continues the talc’s formal sentiment while still being distinguishable from the stone. Bamburg settled on homemade, large-scale slabs of cold process soap, which he layered one atop of the other. These works culminate with tile bases that come ever so close to the color of the soap. Bamburg does not make exact replicas or systems that continue in perpetuity, but creates instead synecdochal approximations that always come to an end.

There is a melancholic humor in Bamburg’s labor-intensive activities. His pieces undermine learned skill and technical facility, choosing to make manifest the process of problem solving: knowledge gained through action, the specter of failure always lurking. This is apparent in the unconventional diptych pairing a splayed cut from the trunk of a mulberry tree with its photograph. The organic Rorschach test has a haunted, anthropomorphic quality to it. Bamburg tried to capture the wood’s likeness exactly in the photograph by doing everything he can to make the colors correspond one-to-one. In order to maintain consistency, however, he needed to encase and preserve the wood, suspending the natural process of decay in the name of fidelity to an image.

Each piece in TalctoTile, PL’d to MDO has an internal fate, a set of conditions Bamburg follows, as the possibilities left to him narrow. He bases every work upon a simple principle of form-to-function, the form always extending to the absolute limits of its functionality. Within this system Bamburg always makes a choice, and always assumes the consequences. He never turns back or alters the object’s internal logic in order for a more desired outcome. In accepting his work’s form-function destiny, Bamburg hopes his concatenations of material transcend their limitations into something beautiful, something utterly unexpected.