By Nina Bozicnik
Martha Friedman: Castoffs

Martha Friedman: Castoffs is published on the occasion of the artist’s solo museum exhibition of the same name. This exhibition of new work by Friedman (U.S., born 1975) reflects her ongoing interest in the human body as a subject of sculptural inquiry, and the anxieties and pleasures of having a body. Long invested in processes and materials that evoke and reference the corporeal, Friedman, in Castoffs, represents the figure directly, exploring the complexity of the body as material, object, and subject.

Working with choreographer and dancer Silas Riener, Friedman created concrete casts of her collaborator’s idealized male form and then assembled the resulting distorted parts with studio scraps of silicon rubber and metal. These sculptures riff on classical statuary and surrealistic assemblage and query matters of gender, and bodily control and containment. Three pairs of mold-blown glass fingers punctuate the presentation in a provocative gesture of probing.

The publication features new essays by theorist of visual culture and contemporary art, Tina M. Campt; and scholar and critic Brooke Holmes; and an introduction by Henry Associate Curator Nina Bozicnik. Campt’s contribution is an experimental essay that lyrically animates an encounter with Friedman’s work and addresses the intimacy and labor of its making, while Holmes draws from her studies as a scholar of Classics to explore how Friedman’s work opens a conversation about the body as a subject of history as well as a material vulnerable to the passage of time. Multiple images of all thirty-two sculptures in the exhibition, along with a selection of installation images detail the dynamic forms and their rich material qualities.


Soft Cover, 116 pp

14 x 11 inches (portrait)

Publisher: Henry Art Gallery, 2019

Design: Sarah Bergmann

ISBN: 9780935558029

Have questions? Contact Henry Art Gallery