1 July– 22 Occtober 2017
Jac Leirner (born 1961, São Paulo) sees, as she herself puts it, ‘almost nothing as an appropriate material for art’. Rising to prominence in the nineteen nineties, she has made an international career with works that use the same everyday materials obsessively over and over again, combining them into astonishingly beautiful works that reveal the material poetry of the mundane.
This exhibition will combine work borrowed from major collections with new work made especially for The Fruitmarket Gallery. Existing work includes Corpus Delicti (1992), a major piece made from ashtrays stolen from aeroplanes, Skin (Randy King Size Wired) (2014), an ethereal grid made from hundreds of cigarette papers licked and stuck directly to the wall, and The End (2016), an installation made from the roaches of all the joints the artist has ever smoked, works which together testify to the hold that smoking and its paraphernalia has over Leirner. In newer work, Sudoku has replaced smoking, while Little Light (2005), a single lightbulb supplied by several miles of copper wire, offers light at the end.
Meanwhile new sculptures made from coloured spirit levels, rulers and all the different kinds of rope that can be found in the ships’ chandleries of Edinburgh speak of Leirner’s fascination with the particular kinds of hardware and of her affinity with and understanding of colour. We are particularly delighted that the exhibition will include a selection of Leirner’s luminously beautiful watercolours, works which layer colour upon colour with the same additive aesthetic which informs her three dimensional work, and which – like them – make something rather wonderful out of nothing very much.