Armory week here in NYC takes place every March, and as always, this year’s festivities brought forth many exiting projects all across the city. Participating in the action was Montreal-based artist Laurence Vallières who was featured in a special exhibition curated by 6sqft’s resident expert in the New York art scene, Lori Zimmer (founder of Art Nerd New York) and Lynzy Blair for Joseph Gross Gallery. Vallières’ work was featured at the Art on Paper Fair at Pier 36 where she constructed, from scratch, a grandiose chimpanzee made from scrap cardboard found on site.
Starting with nothing but a stack of flattened cardboard boxes sourced directly from the venue’s recycling bin, an X-acto knife and a hot glue gun, Vallières was ready to begin building. As the week progressed onlookers were privileged with the opportunity of watching the artist in action has her life-sized chimp evolved from the ground up.
In addition to chimps, Vallières is also know for making a variety of other animals including elephants, orangoutangs and many more. The massive animal structures are usually constructed using just a quick sketch as their blueprint, and the dense forms carry both symbolic and literal weight.
The eco-friendly and cultural aspect to her work is carried through her use of cardboard as a sculptural medium. The massively popular material holds a strong presence in our everyday lives as it is used for everything throughout industry and consumer commerce.
In a recent interview with curator Lori Zimmer, Vallières describes the difficulty she has working with the material, as well as the metaphorical vehicle it provides her to present her work. Recognizing that cardboard is a “democratic” material, as it’s widely available to everyone, Vallières uses the medium to explore socio-political issues by challenging newspaper headlines through the voice of her giant cardboard animals.
Read more about Vallières and here work in this interview.
- Studio Visits: Artist Nancy Pantirer Shows Us Around Her Imaginative Tribeca Loft
- Escobedo Solíz Studio’s Wild ‘Woven’ Design Will Fill MoMA PS1’s Summer Courtyard
- My 1,400sqft: Painter Stephen Hall Brings Us Into His Greenwich Village Loft and Studio