The arc of Eli Ping’s career—starting from realistic ceramic works and twisted, wraithlike forms, toward minimalist stacks and beams and a four-and-a-half-hour conceptual video—bends toward quietude. In “Bone,” Ping’s newest solo exhibition at Ramiken Crucible, slim and exquisite figures, nearly ceiling-height and formed of petals of stiff cotton, seem to pace the gallery floor among uneven-lipped aluminum bowls. Along the walls, similarly foliole figures hang alongside canvases pulled taut, seamed, and sewn, like wounds or shallow orifices.
Ping is invested in how objects function as phenomena, how their forms document their own becoming. The freestanding sculptures, called monocarps [one pictured] after a plant that seeds its singular progeny through its own death, are made by pouring resin through hung cotton, preserving the arc of gravity in its hardened form. The bowls, cast in woks, preserve the swish of then-molten aluminum. The paintings, made by manipulating and suturing the canvas, then covering them in a thick encaustic, are a record of their own creation.
Eli Ping, Monocarp, 2020. Canvas and resin, 140 x 16 x 13 inches.