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Poverty/Porn

Steve Hash
Father Figure no. I, 2019
Concrete, cotton toweling
72 x 49 x 32"

Chase Contemporary is pleased to announce, Poverty/Porn, a two-person exhibition of concrete sculptures by Steve Hash and late black-and-white paintings and works on paper by Andy Warhol.

This marks the gallery’s first exhibition with Los Angeles-based artist Steve Hash and his first exhibition in New York.

The exhibition engenders a dialogue between Steve Hash and the late Andy Warhol. Both Hash and Warhol grew up in poverty, heavily immersed in religious ideologies. Warhol (b.1928-87) was a Ruthenian Catholic and son of a coal miner in depression-era Pittsburgh, PA. Hash (b. 1982) was raised in a radicalized Christian community in rural Mississippi, the son of a construction worker. Warhol was able to elevate the quotidian commodities of American life into the realm of fine art. Similarly, Hash transforms everyday, accessible materials into elegant forms. Poverty / Porn features sculptures from three of Hash’s ongoing bodies of work; Voids, Nurture vs Nature and Clotheslines. The hollow, self-supporting figures from Hash’s Voids are formed from concrete-infused cotton toweling. They employ the use of drapery as a means to dissolve innate perceptions of the individual, dissolving social identifiers that would otherwise indicate gender, race, or socioeconomic class. This use of common materials is a constant theme in Hash’s work. In The Pity I (Plank), a concrete-draped figure is supported by a simple wooden plank, recalling both classical renaissance works in marble and the 1973 post-minimal work by artist Charles Ray.  

Alongside Hash’s figurative sculptures, one is confronted with the artist’s Clothesline works consisting of socks, briefs and undershirts, hung from steel wire and frozen in concrete. His Nurture Versus Nature series  includes tall, precariously balanced totems, erected from casting the interior space of used milk jugs, canned food, beer cans or cigarette packs. All are the contents in which Hash himself has consumed over a specific course of time. Warhol’s late black and white works appear to be a deliberate departure from the polished, celebrity-obsessed Pop Art he became famous for. Warhol’s works chosen for this exhibition pull from source material indicative of his early days in advertising. Warhol depicted adverts of everyday commodities with hand-hewn sensibilities, while concurrently exploring themes of spirituality and religion as seen in the artist’s screen print on silk scarf titled The Only Way Out is In! from 1984. A direct reference to Osho, The Only Way Out is In! depicts a figure seated in the lotus position under the image of the All-seeing eye.

Poverty/Porn Installation View

Poverty/Porn Installation View

Poverty/Porn Installation View

Poverty/Porn Installation View

Poverty/Porn Installation View

Poverty/Porn Installation View

Poverty/Porn Installation View

Poverty/Porn Installation View