On view at Lubov, "Solace," presents two large-scale sculptures by Marsha Pels: Fallout Necklace (2018) [pictured] and Pieta (1998). Having risen to fame in the 1980s, Pels has since become celebrated for her massive, often politically charged and materially sophisticated installations.
Never before shown in public, Fallout Necklace takes the form of the jewelry item in its title—albeit far too large a version for practical use. The piece, rather, is suspended by wires a few feet above the floor of the gallery. The elaborate, tarnished silver-colored embellishment adorning the work endows it with a severe, Victorian-style appearance. Within the ornate curlicues, Pels has hidden locket-shaped portraits of eight contemporary world leaders: from the infamous—Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin—to the controversial—Theresa May and Xi Jinping—to those held in relative renown—Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel.
Made two decades prior, Pieta, meanwhile, recalls a moment of personal loss in Pels's life; she reportedly created it in the wake of a miscarriage. The sculpture depicts a larger-than-life figure, who—with a gas mask for a face, presents toward the viewer a human infant, carved from crystal—looks to be something between a matriarch and an angel of death.
Marsha Pels, Fallout Necklace, 2018 (installation view). From the series "Trophies of Abuse." Patined cast aluminum, patined steel, flame-worked glass, powder printed glass, 84 x 120 x 180 inches.