Rona Pondick Joins MARC STRAUS
NEW YORK – It is with the utmost pleasure we announce our representation of Rona Pondick, one of the seminal artists of her generation. Her inaugural solo exhibition at MARC STRAUS Gallery will be in October 2018.
Over 30 years of friendship has brought Rona and me to this point: a wonderful opportunity to now speak for her work as her gallery.
I first saw Rona’s work in 1986. Eccentric, hand-made, funny, challenging, and disruptive: naturally, I loved it immediately. Then came a memorable studio visit where on a table sat five 4-inch roundish pink blobs with yellow and brown rubber teeth in them. I recalled Rona said she had wanted to make 500 of these hilarious, menacing Pac-men creatures, meant to run across the floor in an assault action.
This work, eventually titled “Little Bathers”, was realized and entered Livia and my collection. The bathers poured down two steps into our living room, confronting a large steel Richard Serra, a 14-foot Anselm Kiefer, Richard Artschwager, and Bruce Nauman. The Little Bathers defied these commanding macho works, speaking viscerally in ways that often provoked strong emotional responses in visitors to our home.
Rona Pondick was among an important new generation of women artists including Kiki Smith, Sarah Lucas and Jeanne Silverthorne, whose works featured daring materials and references to the body. They were in the lineage of Eva Hesse and Louise Bourgeois, and we recognized their importance.
Pondick’s earlier works with beds, shoes, teeth, chairs, and baby bottles, were tender, humble, emotional and poetic, laying bare our frailties and ordinariness. Then came a series of handmade and highly refined animal/human hybrid sculptures in stainless steel, that merged bodies of foxes, cougars, and monkeys with Pondick’s head, hands, arms and legs. Her hands and heads show up again, seamlessly integrated in lovingly rendered trees, appearing to grow like fruit, or like sprouting buds.
In her new body of work, long in the making, Pondick explores the materials resin, acrylic, and modeling compound, finding ways to use their properties that are alchemical and mysterious. The sculptures combine translucency and opacity, in bright, vivid colors that feel deeply embodied in these materials.
In one, Pondick’s head sits atop an expressively modeled and distorted body made of a bevy of curlicues. In others her head, hands and modeled body are embedded or partially immersed in warped blocks of transparent acrylic. This new body of work comes partially full circle both in the attention to the hand-made and their psychological and metaphoric language and impact. Pondick’s newest work acknowledges a life longer lived with tribulations and joy. They are honest, beautiful, and heart-wrenching.
The importance of Rona Pondick’s original and inventive work led to her early and continued inclusion in scores of museum shows, and decades-long representation by leading international galleries including Thaddaeus Ropac and Sonnabend Gallery.
I couldn’t be prouder to welcome Rona Pondick, a gifted artist and dear friend, to our gallery.
Founder, MARC STRAUS LLC