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Rachel Mica Weiss, Net, 2022, cast urethane resin, pigment, epoxy, stainless steel chain and hardware, 88 x 57 x 3 1/2 in. (223.5 x 144.8 x 8.9 cm.)

Rachel Mica Weiss
November 19 – January 7, 2023

527 N. Taylor Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

here is pleased to present, GRAVITY, a solo exhibition by New York-based sculptor and installation artist Rachel Mica Weiss. The opening reception will take place Saturday, November 19th from 6 to 8pm.

Rachel Mica Weiss is best-known for her sculptural work and installations that ask the viewer to question the integrity of the materials at play. In GRAVITY, Weiss presents five sculptures that push the limits of their materials and test the force of gravity. Cast urethane foam, resin, and quarried obsidian are imbued with a sense of kinetic energy as Weiss examines the dichotomy between weight and weightlessness. Pulling from her early studies in psychology, Weiss examines how boundaries can inform our own lived and deeply psychological experiences. Thus, Weiss’s sculptures force the viewer to contend with a barrier or obstacle—a tension between occlusion and passage.

Chain has become a significant motif in Weiss’s newest body of work. Stripping her cast resin chain links of their capacity for capture and control, Weiss instead relegates them to the world of adornment—massive necklaces or chainmail—and elegant, perhaps passable, barriers. In Net, Weiss’s first wall-based chain work, a smoky-gradient of resin adorns the wall as if it were cloaking an absent body; in Passage, a luminous chain hangs at chest-height like a necklace that could never be worn or a stanchion bisecting the gallery space. In Portal, honey-colored links form an aperture just large enough for the viewer to pass through, yet a wall thwarts any attempt. Ultimately, each resin chain is held taught above and against the force of gravity as rich gradients of color deepen in saturation as they fall towards the floor.

While the chain works embrace gravity’s soft pull, in her two “folds,” Weiss both manipulates and obstructs it. Rayon-flocked, cast urethane foam is molded and bent as if to form a languishing body—a body, perhaps the artist’s own, both seemingly draped and rigidly held in air. The swooning of each cast form is obfuscated by the raw obsidian stones that are a common feature of Weiss’s work. In The Ruminator, the stone appears weightless as it uneasily teeters on a slight fold, while in Deep Element, the stone pierces the fold as if it has just fallen from a great height onto a single, sharp point. In both, the obsidian is a burden, a weight to be carried, but also an uplifting force, underscoring the tension or duality within the forces at play all around us.

Rachel Mica Weiss (b. 1986, Rockville, MD) received her M.F.A. in sculpture from the San Francisco Art Institute. Recent exhibitions include Slippery Yoke, Carvalho Park, New York, NY; Objects of Desire, Below Grand, New York, NY; Limits, LMAK Gallery, New York, NY and The Wild Within – PLATFORM 27, deCordova Sculpture Park & Museum, Lincoln, MA. Weiss has created permanent, public artworks for venues worldwide, including the US Embassy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan; University of Washington’s Hans Rosling Center for Population Health, Seattle, WA; Airbnb Headquarters, Seattle, WA, and the Pittsburgh International Airport, PA. The artist lives and works in the Hudson Valley, NY.

Rachel Mica Weiss, Passage, 2020, cast urethane resin, pigment, stainless steel, chain: 73 x 8 x 2 in. (185.4 x 20.3 x 5.1 cm.), overall dimensions variable. Install photo: Sean Eaton.Rachel Mica Weiss, The Ruminator, 2022, cast urethane foam, rayon flocking, epoxies, plywood, borosilicate glass disc, and quarried obsidian, 57 x 29 1/2 x 31 in. (144.8 x 74.9 x 78.7 cm.). Install Photo: Sean Eaton.Rachel Mica Weiss, Passage, 2020 & Portal, 2022. Install photo: Sean Eaton.Installation view: Sean Eaton.Rachel Mica Weiss, Portal, 2022, cast urethane resin, pigment, epoxy, stainless steel chain and hardware, resin chain: 71 x 46 x 28 in. (180.3 x 116.8 x 71.1 cm.), overall dimensions variable.