New YorkDaiga Grantina: What Eats Around Itself
The New Museum presents the first institutional solo exhibition in the US by Daiga Grantina (b. 1985, Saldus, Latvia).
Daiga Grantina makes large-scale sculptural assemblages that emulate the natural world, often resembling terrariums and vegetation. Employing industrial and synthetic materials, her configurations incorporate conflicting physical qualities: soft and hard, transparent and opaque, mobile and static.
The exhibition’s title references the dynamic growth of lichen, a composite organism that results from the symbiotic relationship between fungi and algae. Grantina draws inspiration from lichen’s many adaptive qualities, like coexistence and self-replication, in developing her material processes. She also references the lyricism of poet Rainer Maria Rilke, particularly his abstract comparisons of rose petals to eyelids; Rilke imagines the opening of a rose as a swirl of self-generating eyes, one bringing the next to life.
For her New Museum presentation, Grantina will premiere a new, site-specific sculptural installation that interweaves cast silicone with paint and fabric. Suspended from industrial fixtures in the ceiling and clinging to the gallery walls and floor, this work mimics the growth of lichen, which typically develops into a crusty, leaflike, or branching formation on rocks, trees, and other surfaces. The work’s flexible, amorphous structures appear to be undergoing either construction or decomposition, much as lichen reproduces and consumes its own biological matter.
all images © the gallery and the artist(s)