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Strata: New Works by Dan Lucal

Opening Reception: Thursday, November 10, 6 - 9pm Gallery Hours: Saturdays 12-5pm or by appointment

November 5, 2022 - December 3, 2022

Show Catalog

AUTOMAT is pleased to announce our latest exhibition, Strata, featuring new works by New York based sculptor and video artist Dan Lucal. Working with a limited palette consisting of tape, acrylic, wood and light, Lucal balances his intuitive creative impulses with the material's natural characteristics, allowing both to help drive the forms. These materials, many of which are discarded and show their past lives through dents, scratches and hazed surfaces, are transformed into other worldly objects through actions reminiscent of geological forces such as heat, time, splitting and compression. These aggressive forces are offset by Lucal’s playful and explorative practice, and softened further by the light that illuminates the translucent sculptures from within. When taken out of the studio and into the gallery the work evolves further and challenges us to consider what we deem valuable as an art consuming public. In his latest body of work, Lucal aims to subvert the exclusive and out of reach white cube and create a space that breaks down expectations and responsibilities for the viewer, artist, and the work itself.

Curated by Kate Testa


Dan Lucal is a sculptor and video artist currently working in New York City. He received formal training at both the Massachusetts College of Art and Design as well as Cooper Union. He was awarded the Eliot Lash Memorial Prize for Excellence in Sculpture in 2019 and his work has been exhibited throughout the east coast.

Body language and other non-verbal communications are central to Dan’s sculpture.  “Some cars look angry. There’s attitude-- personality-- in the way cars and sculptures and inanimate objects carry themselves. It relates to how a home can be inviting, and a government building can exude authority. Humans have a reflexive understanding of their physical environment.  I’m making sculptures to reach those receptors, to engage those reflexes”. This sentiment carries over into the past lives and personalities of the materials he uses and also into the structures created to display this current body of work.

Lucal says of his practice, “I make this stuff in a playful and exploratory way. Textures, weight, marks of time, the look and feel of a material draws me in, plus the material has to be free or a screaming hot deal.  Then I mess around and try not to cling too tightly to my own ideas, let the characteristics of the materials lead.  I do a lot of intuitive reasoning about how a THING ought to exist in space.  I remake them if they don’t hit the right tone/body language/presence.  I would describe that tone/bodylanguage/presence as a blend of beautiful and awkward and strange and silly.  I feel responsible for the presence of these THINGS,  the vibe they give off, the way they are welcoming or mysterious or plain or fun or peaceful or who knows.”

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