Adam Parker Smith
Standing on the Moon

Image courtesy of The Watermill Center and Maria Jimena Mateo

The Watermill Center

June 27, 2022 – March 1, 2023

39 Water Mill Towd Road
Water Mill, NY 11976

Standing upright on marble plinths, Adam Parker Smith’s “Sarcophagi” are pointedly recognizable in their resemblance to sub-zero sleeping bags. In resin, steel, and urethane, Smith fashions familiar objects, made to appear both inflated and dispensable. His sculptures, in the manner of Readymades, are instantly accessible and quietly satiric, at first glance even seeming to celebrate modern mass production as its own monolithic, deracinated culture. As with Duchamp, the deception of Smith’s unruly objects becomes more apparent the longer one contemplates them.

Crafted over the past year in response to tremendous global loss, Smith’s “Sarcophagi” are symbolic gestures of lamentation at a time when public commemorations of death are conspicuously absent. In name, shape, and tonality, they harken back to a time of elaborate burial rites, where embalming and entombing a body in stone could preserve it for millennia. As a pointed contrast, Adam considers the synthetic materials of today’s objects—such as mylar balloons, pool floats, and the polyester down of sleeping bags—which will inevitably outlast any individual experience, and even societal lifetimes, as these objects scatter indiscriminately through landfills across the globe.

Freighted with temporal dimensions, the shapes and tones of Smith’s sculptures also evoke an otherworldly sense of being, appearing as if they might contain alien life-forms or function as gestation pods. Resonating with historic burial rites as well as sci-fi aesthetics, the works ruminate upon the timescales and global pathways along which these synthetic materials move.

Bedecked with “chameleon” automotive paint jobs reminiscent of sunsets, and crafted, like much of his sculptural work, with an eye for replication and the false pretense of flimsiness and ephemerality, Smith’s “Sarcophagi” stand as liminal, withholding monuments to mourning. By anonymizing the human form, unseen yet implicit within the contours of the work, the artist obfuscates and intimates a crisis of loss, and the loss of our means of honoring the dead.

STANDING ON THE MOON is presented in partnership with The Watermill Center. On view through March 1, 2023.

Email raymond@theholenyc.com for more information.

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AP 218 frontSarcophagus (Copper to Ice), 2022
Resin, catalyzed urethane, steel, fiberglass, marble
Sculpture: 77 x 19.5 x 18 inches, 196 x 50 x 46 cm; base: 8 x 24 x 24 inches, 20 x 61 x 61 cm

AP 218 detail 2

AP 218 side 2

AP 218 detail

 

APS 173 side 2Sarcophagus (Lapis Sunlight to Rainbow Holographic), 2021
Resin, catalyzed urethane, steel, fiberglass, marble
Sculpture: 76 x 20 x 11 inches, 193 x 51 x 28 cm; base: 8 x 24 x 24 inches, 20 x 61 x 61 cm
APS 173 detail 2 APS 173 detail 3

 

AP 202 frontSarcophagus (Arctic Fire to Dark Royal), 2021
Resin, catalyzed urethane, steel, fiberglass, marble
Sculpture: 79.5 x 22.5 x 12 inches, 202 x 57 x 31 cm; base: 8 x 24 x 24 inches, 20 x 61 x 61 cm

AP 202 detail 2AP 202 side 2 AP 202 detail

 

AP 204 front

Sarcophagus (Viola Fantasy and Indigo), 2021
Resin, catalyzed urethane, steel, fiberglass, marble
Sculpture: 76 x 20.5 x 14 inches, 193 x 52 x 36 cm; base: 8 x 24 x 24 inches, 20 x 61 x 61 cm

AP 204 detail 4 AP 204 detail

 

APS 176Sarcophagus (Gold Chameleon), 2021
Resin, catalyzed urethane, steel, fiberglass, marble
Sculpture: 77 x 19.5 x 18 inches, 196 x 50 x 46 cm; base: 8 x 24 x 24 inches, 20 x 61 x 61 cm

APS 176_detail APS 176_detail2

AP 219 side 2Sarcophagus (Arctic Fire to Copper Red Chameleon), 2022
Resin, catalyzed urethane, steel, fiberglass, marble
Sculpture: 76 x 20 x 11 inches, 193 x 51 x 28 cm; base: 8 x 24 x 24 inches, 20 x 61 x 61 cm
AP 219 detail 3AP 219 detail

 

AP 203 frontSarcophagus (Dark Ice and Magenta), 2021
Resin, catalyzed urethane, steel, fiberglass, marble
Sculpture: 76 x 20.5 x 14 inches, 193 x 52 x 36 cm; base: 8 x 24 x 24 inches, 20 x 61 x 61 cm

AP 203 detail 4AP 203 detail 2AP 203 detail 3