Kelly Akashi is a Los Angeles-based artist working in sculpture and photography, often using materials like wax, glass, bronze, light, and air to emphasize time and ephemerality. Akashi’s exhibition at SculptureCenter marks her first solo institutional presentation and includes new works commissioned for the lower level galleries incorporating large and mid-scale glass forms.
Throughout Akashi’s work, glass forms are often placed in combination with other objects, such as candles and lost-wax bronze casts. Akashi displays these diverse elements within specifically designed structures, creating elaborate tableaus. Her arrangements suggest abstracted narratives of use and explore relationships between different forms and materials. For her exhibition at SculptureCenter, Akashi continues her exploration into specific connections between air and fire — two elements necessary to produce her glass works — by periodically lighting wax candles within her installations, altering the appearance of the works over time. Energetic and alchemical transformations of material are central to her work: the objects comprising Akashi’s sculptures are physical manifestations of the intangibility of a breath of air or a burst of flame.
Kelly Akashi (born 1983 in Los Angeles; lives and works in Los Angeles) has recently presented solo exhibitions at Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles (2016); Tomorrow Gallery, New York (2015); Between Arrival & Departure, Düsseldorf (2015); Michael Jon Gallery, Miami (2015); and Chin’s Push, Highland Park, CA (2013). Recent group exhibitions include Lyric on a Battlefield, Gladstone Gallery, New York (2017); Dreamers Awake, White Cube, London (2017); Vertical Gardens, Antenna Space, Shanghai (2017); Los Angeles – A Fiction, Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon, France (2017) and Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo (2016); Made in L.A. 2016: a, the, though, only, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2016); Fear of a Blank Pancake, White Flag Projects, Saint Louis (2016); and Can’t Reach Me There, Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis (2015). Akashi holds an MFA from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles and has studied at the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste – Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main.
Kelly Akashi: Long Exposure is curated by SculptureCenter Curator Ruba Katrib and is accompanied by a fully-illustrated publication.all images © the gallery and the artist(s)