The exhibition includes a special viewing platform, allowing visitors to look down on the exhibition centerpiece, Untitled #1379 (The Doctor’s Wife) (1997–2018). Inspired by renowned writer Sawako Ariyoshi’s novel, The Doctor’s Wife, this expansive sculptural landscape, created with hand sewn Venetian velvet, silk flowers dipped in wax, humanistic forms cloaked with fabric, and hanging sculpture, resembling both chandeliers and large pomanders, evokes a fantastical world of tension and magic. Another piece, Untitled #1388 (The Unconsoled) (2013–14), features a simple white panelled gate, its interior adorned with climbing roses and white birds. The macabre beauty of the suspended flowers and fowls conveys the mysterious, dreamlike uncertainty shared by Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Unconsoled, Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, and Kōbō Abe’s The Woman in the Dunes. This poignant exhibition combines the luscious with the grotesque, provoking thoughtful contemplation.
Petah Coyne’s first New York solo exhibition in nearly a decade, Having Gone I Will Return is now at Galerie Lelong & Co, showcasing new and recent work: the gorgeous baroque installations she is known for. Coyne’s sumptuous, multilayered sculptures, meticulously constructed of fabric, cast statuary, wax, scrap metal, taxidermy and other unorthodox materials, have a deep emotional resonance. Her pieces reference literature, film and art history, with a particular emphasis on Japanese authors. The exhibition title, Having Gone I Will Return, refers to two Japanese terms for saying goodbye, taken from Richard Lloyd Parry’s Ghosts of the Tsunami.
Born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in 1953, Coyne lives and works in New Jersey and New York City. She has had over 30 solo museum exhibitions, and has work in numerous permanent museum collections.
Petah Coyne's Having Gone I Will Return runs through October 27 at Galerie Lelong & Co, New York.