Lee Materazzi – Nipples Pulled Through
Jan 7 — Feb 18, 2023
Check gallery website for hours and additional info
Eleanor Harwood Gallery presents:
Nipples Pulled Through
January 7th, 2023, 5-7pm
January 7th, 2023 – February 18th, 2023
Lee Materazzi, Sea Green Tongue, 2022, c-print, edition of 5 (1AP), 30 x 21 1/2 in
Eleanor Harwood Gallery is delighted to present Lee Materazzi’s second solo exhibition with the gallery.
When interviewed by her ten-year-old daughter, Mia, as a part of an artist talk, Lee Materazzi was asked, “You make quite a mess; from experience, I know you don’t like this kind of messiness inside the house. Can you tell us about that?”
When visiting her studio it wasn’t the mess that struck me as extraordinary, but the size of the chairs. Materazzi shares her studio with her two young daughters. In conversation, she consistently refers to the studio as “ours.” The tone with which she says this is important. It’s not said as generous platitude. It’s a matter of fact. Their drawings, sculptures, and experiments migrate in and out of Materazzi’s camera frame. Other times, their discarded or in-progress experiments inform the sculptures and sets Materazzi builds for her documented performances. Their uninhibited presence fills the otherwise silent space of tedium that takes place between the inception of a good idea and its execution. Where one’s work ends and the other’s begins isn’t obvious. Mess, play, success, and failure commingle throughout their inadvertent collaborations.
Materazzi’s work refutes any hierarchy between the labor of art and the labor of domestic care, and alludes to a sense of self-contained desire— complete without the need to be reciprocated. In her portraits, Materazzi objectifies not just her body, but the precarity of its context. Nipples, fingers, and other ambiguous parts are creased, pulled out, pushed through, held close, and seen grasping through cardboard orifices. These physical circumstances, while tenuous, pronounce a marked sense of autonomy; the artist got herself into this predicament, red paint and all. She will get herself out, too.
Historically, a critical distinction has been made between nudity and nakedness. John Berger infamously wrote, “Nakedness reveals itself. Nudity is placed on display,” suggesting that the role held by images of [namely, women’s] bodies was defined by the viewer, not the subject. The works in Nipples Pulled Through, reject this dichotomy— revealing and concealing; inviting and refusing sexualization like the precise drapery of a roman figure— at once, erotic and avoidant.
This duality pervades self-made nude photographs. Nudes act in tandem, both as confirmation to the self, here I am, still, a slowly ossifying sack; and as declaration to the proverbial other— I am a body to be acted upon. A body that pleasures, that pains, that fucks and can be fucked. With the simultaneity of self-edification and self-deprecation, Materazzi’s work dissects the body into a sum of its parts. It’s made into material, and yet, it still asks to be seen.
Lee Materazzi is a contemporary artist from Miami, FL now living in San Francisco, CA.
Materazzi uses her body as a medium alongside color and texture, at times responding to remnants of material or work left by her children in the studio. Her compositions are off-kilter and investigate autonomy- rejecting acceptable social norms that regulate the human body. Materazzi’s works are considered sculpturally, but exist only temporarily. She documents what she creates with medium format photography to preserve it.
Her work has been shown internationally and is a part of numerous public art collections including The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse, The Sagamore Collection, the Scholl Collection at World Class Boxing and The Perez Art Museum where she was recently included in “My Body My Rules.”
About Eleanor Harwood Gallery
Eleanor Harwood Gallery opened September 2006 in the Mission District and is now located in San Francisco’s premier gallery complex, the Minnesota Street Project. The gallery specializes in work with complex craft and concept, focused on painting, drawing, sculpture, textiles and photography by emerging to mid-career artists. The roster includes artists that are represented in major American and European collections. The gallery actively promotes and encourages career growth for represented artists.
1275 Minnesota Street, Suite 206, San Francisco, CA 94107
Thursday-Saturday 11am-5:00pm and by appointment