Emil Lukas: in, on, un


Emil Lukas’ fourth solo exhibition with Hosfelt Gallery continues to explore the primacy of process in his practice.


Lukas’ work is labor-intensive and experimental. It is playful and poetic. The pieces derive from the artist’s investigations of material, action, re-action, residue and re-purpose. His techniques are organic — a series of exercises — one informing the next. By-products of his discovery become source materials for and subjects of new works.


Beautifully strange objects result from these methodologies. Sensuous wall sculptures of plaster and plastic bags; complex “cat’s cradle” works that are “paintings” made without paint; calligraphic works resulting from tiny creatures dragging pigment across a plane; stacking sculptures that open to reveal two-sided archeological strata; traditional paintings on canvas, slashed, folded and turned inside out.


In some works in the show, criss-crossed thread stretches over box-like forms to create large-scale “thread paintings.” As thousands of delicate fiber lines accumulate, complex color fields form, shimmering and shifting in the changing ambient light. Their undertaking brings to mind looms and weaving, stringed musical instruments, netting and spiders’ webs. Their final form — minimal and serene — is more about a sophisticated approach to color theory.


Emil Lukas was born in Pittsburgh, PA in 1964 and resides in Stockerton, PA. He has exhibited extensively internationally and has been collected by, among others, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Henry Art Gallery (University of Washington, Seattle), and the prestigious Panza di Biumo Collection. Recent solo museum exhibitions include The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum (CT), The Mattress Factory (PA), The Weatherspoon Museum (NC), Mass MOCA (MA), and The Hunterdon Museum of Art (NJ).

Installation Views