The Soft Serve
May 16 – June 7, 2008
Opening reception: Friday, May 16, 6-9pm
“Copeland’s visual and musical collages are unavoidable analogues; both deploy, then disrupt, structural patterns with psychotropic precision…building complexity from the carefully orchestrated collision of simple parts.” –Michael Ned Holte, Artforum
The Jack Hanley Gallery, New York, is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Brooklyn-based artist Björn Copeland, entitled The Soft Serve, including collage, drawing and sculpture.
Co-founder of the experimental rock band Black Dice, Björn Copeland creates a visual universe that resonates of his abstract musical compositions. His hypnotic collages of kaleidoscopic patterns, clearly influenced by psychedelia and Pop art, comment on the malleability of perception. Using everyday consumer culture imagery as starting point, Copeland perverts brand-making semiotics to morph them into conceptual works that underscore the uncanny.
In dynamic animations of found visuals, Copeland also uses patterns and colors to break down physical organic change, from solid to liquid, to air. Soft Serve—the name given to the method of doubling the amount of air in ice cream—references the commercial snack in jest, while illustrating a serious artistic process, both metaphorically and literally. Fluorescent liquid plastic fills the gaps in the grid of a department store shopping cart in one of his most recent sculptures; another features retail products emptied out and reworked into blurry abstract shapes. Copeland recasts objects in order to alienate them from their commercial purpose.
Björn Copeland was born in 1975, and graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1998. His work has been included in exhibitions around the world, including at PS1 Contemporary Art Center, D’amelio Terras and the Gagosian Gallery in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Galerie Frank Elbaz in Paris, France, Flaca in London, England, the Deste Foundation Centre for Contemporary Art in Athens, Greece, among other places. Solo shows of his work have been held at the Daniel Reich Gallery in New York, and China Art Objects Galleries in Los Angeles.
He and his band Black Dice have toured extensively since they started playing together in the late nineteen-nineties. They have performed internationally in several notable cultural institutions such as the Fine Arts Museum in Boston, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and the Cartier Foundation in Paris, France.