Martha
Friedman

Born 1975, Detroit, MI
Works in Brooklyn, NY

Year created:
2009
Martha Friedman, Laid, ​2009

Martha Friedman, Laid, 2009

Courtesy of the Artist and Wallspace, New York, NY

 

Click images for larger view

10' x 3' x 3'

Cast rubber and concrete base
Courtesy of the Artist and Wallspace, New York, NY

No longer on view.

In her sculptures, Brooklyn-based artist Martha Friedman depicts tricks and balancing acts, while arguing for the possible sexual connotation in everything. Referencing the history of art, from high modernist abstraction to minimalism to the Duchampian ready-made, Friedman is interested in locating the point at which common objects slip into abstraction and, even more so, eroticism. As a result, food, which is so deeply connected to the body, emerges as one of her subjects, as do quotidian objects like rubber bands and eggs in conglomerations that are beautiful, witty, and often set up visual and verbal double-entendres.

With Laid, Friedman creates a twist on Brancusi’s Endless Column (1938), using exaggerated scale and unexpected materials to prompt new ways of looking at an everyday thing – in this case the “incredible, edible egg.” But Friedman’s blue totem is more than just an unlikely monument. In making her eggs larger than life, the artist calls attention to their form in novel ways – inviting viewers to consider the sculpture’s (and its subject’s) size, shape, and materiality in relation to the physicality of their own bodies, too. Her work speaks to the abstract, hidden processes of the body as a parallel to the same processes used to “digest” sculpture—the eating, chewing, and digesting a viewer must go through to understand a piece.