Amorphous. Sinuous. Surreal expressions of capitalism’s encroachment into the increasingly fleeting moments of sleep. The noise. The city. 24/7 energy. Jesse Wine’s latest sculptures capture the contemporary moment: one that is uncertain, politically fraught, and ultimately precarious.
Jesse Wine’s six sculptures on view, some of which also are part of his current solo exhibition at SculptureCenter in New York, take on the nefarious manner in which capitalism has seeped into every aspect of existence. In many ways, New York, Wine’s home, is his subject: the din of urban life—idling trucks, ambulance sirens, air conditioning units, and helicopters hovering above—are the permanent soundtrack and texture of the individual's existence. Much of this is for the simple reason that money never sleeps and subsequently nor do we. The restorative powers of rest, the nocturnal liberation provided by dreams, Wine contends, have been compromised and eroded.
The world is always on, which means we are never fully off, always anticipating the next email, and wondering what will be the next disaster on the horizon. Wine’s ceramic sculptures address these issues with forms haunted by the presence of past Modernist works. They are playful, formally complex, at once familiar and welcoming, while still utterly unique. Hands and feet are elongated and distorted. They emerge from geometric shapes that anthropomorphize abstract structures. A recreation of a United States Postal Service delivery truck is reminiscent of a child’s toy but has also become a sign of political resistance. A rectilinear high-rise balances atop a hollow head. It is a contemporaneous and sly ode to Brancusi, but in Wine’s visual world, also a moving reflection on the imbrication of urban life with the life of the conscious and unconscious mind.