ferndale-mi

Ivin Ballen

Susanne Hilberry Gallery

Ivin Ballen is an artist who confronts questions pertaining to the deteriorating political situation in the United States, but does so in largely formal terms. “50/50,” the title of Ballen’s recent exhibition, alludes to the dual nature of a practice that incorporates both painting and sculpture. Yet in spite of this apparent split, Ballen’s processes here remained roughly consistent. He constructs three-dimensional models using an improvised mixture of cardboard, masking tape, plastic, and found objects. Ballen then makes molds from these ad hoc compositions, which he fills with Aqua-Resin and fiberglass to yield a precise negative imprint, a procedure that homogenizes the often incongruous, unruly constructions, which are destroyed in his “lost model” casting process.

In works like the outlandish Province, 2007, which incorporates the imprint of a soft toilet seat, the untamed character

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