(left) Soft Tape Measure, 2021, Vinyl and polyfil, 36 × 44 × 17 in. (91.4 × 111.7 × 43.1 cm); (centre) Soft Box Cutter, 2021, Vinyl and polyfil, 72 × 24 × 10 in. (182.8 × 61 × 25.4 cm); (right) Soft Back of Painting (Landscape), 2021, Vinyl and polyfil, 48 × 60 × 4 in. (121.9 × 152.5 × 10.1 cm)
Soft Back of Painting (Landscape), 2021, Vinyl and polyfil, 48 × 60 × 4 in. (121.9 × 152.5 × 10.1 cm)
Soft Back of Painting (Landscape), 2021, Vinyl and polyfil, 48 × 60 × 4 in. (121.9 × 152.5 × 10.1 cm)
(detail) Soft Back of Painting (Landscape), 2021
(left) Soft Tape Measure, 2021, Vinyl and polyfil, 36 × 44 × 17 in. (91.4 × 111.7 × 43.1 cm); (right) Soft Box Cutter, 2021, Vinyl and polyfil, 72 × 24 × 10 in. (182.8 × 61 × 25.4 cm)
Soft Box Cutter, 2021, Vinyl and polyfil, 72 × 24 × 10 in. (182.8 × 61 × 25.4 cm)
Soft Box Cutter, 2021 (detail)
Soft Box Cutter, 2021, Vinyl and polyfil, 72 × 24 × 10 in. (182.8 × 61 × 25.4 cm)
Soft Tape Measure, 2021, Vinyl and polyfil, 36 × 44 × 17 in. (91.4 × 111.7 × 43.1 cm)
Soft Tape Measure, 2021 (detail)
(left) Soft Back of Painting (Landscape), 2021, Vinyl and polyfil, 48 × 60 × 4 in. (121.9 × 152.5 × 10.1 cm); (right) Soft Tape Measure, 2021, Vinyl and polyfil, 36 × 44 × 17 in. (91.4 × 111.7 × 43.1 cm)
(left) Soft Spirit level, 2021, Vinyl and polyfil, 29 × 80 × 7 in. (73.6 × 203.2 × 17.7 cm); (right) Soft Back of Painting (Portrait), 2021, Vinyl and polyfil, 73.8 × 52 × 4 in. (187.5 × 132 × 10.1 cm)
Soft Spirit level, 2021, Vinyl and polyfil, 29 × 80 × 7 in. (73.6 × 203.2 × 17.7 cm)
Soft Spirit level, 2021, Vinyl and polyfil, 29 × 80 × 7 in. (73.6 × 203.2 × 17.7 cm)
Soft Spirit level, 2021 (detail)
Soft Tube of Paint, 2021, Vinyl and polyfil, 27.6 × 30 × 17 in. (70 × 76.2 × 43.2 cm)
Soft Tube of Paint, 2021, Vinyl and polyfil, 27.6 × 30 × 17 in. (70 × 76.2 × 43.2 cm)
Soft Tube of Paint, 2021 (detail)
Soft Tube of Paint, 2021 (detail)
(left) Soft Back of Painting (Portrait), 2021, Vinyl and polyfil, 73.8 × 52 × 4 in. (187.5 × 132 × 10.1 cm); (right) Soft Tube of Paint, 2021, Vinyl and polyfil, 27.6 × 30 × 17 in. (70 × 76.2 × 43.2 cm)
Soft Back of Painting (Portrait), 2021, Vinyl and polyfil, 73.8 × 52 × 4 in. (187.5 × 132 × 10.1 cm)
Soft Back of Painting (Portrait), 2021 (detail)
(left) Soft Pizza Box, 2021, Vinyl and polyfil, 72 × 47 × 5 in. (182.8 × 119.3 × 12.7 cm); (right) Soft Tube of Toothpaste, 2021, Vinyl and polyfil, 22 × 90 × 10 in (55.8 × 228.6 × 25.4 cm)
Soft Tube of Toothpaste, 2021, Vinyl and polyfil, 22 × 90 × 10 in (55.8 × 228.6 × 25.4 cm)
Soft Tube of Toothpaste, 2021 (detail)
Soft Pizza Box, 2021, Vinyl and polyfil, 72 × 47 × 5 in. (182.8 × 119.3 × 12.7 cm)
Soft Pizza Box, 2021 (detail)

“Ms. Freeman creates a kind of Russian nesting doll of satire. One that takes in, beyond masculinity, the empty cutesiness of a nascently post-literate culture, the simulated coziness of runaway consumerism and the fun-house democracy of language itself.  Here objects of incommensurate scale and importance are reduced to an artificial formal equality”.
Will Heinrich, The New York Times, 2017 

Freeman makes large-scale replicas in loosely-stuffed pleather of banal, everyday objects that have been robbed of their branding but remain instantly recognisable commodities: the cracked iPhone, a jar of vaseline, a highlighter pen, a light bulb, among others. In her hands, such objects are ironically deflated and transformed into sagging objects that sink into themselves, weary of form.  

For her first solo exhibition with Carl Kostyál in the London gallery, Freeman has chosen the essential tools of the business of installing and documenting art as the objects of her wickedly clever and wry scrutiny.  A spirit level, a tape measure, a Stanley knife, a paint tube, a tube of toothpaste (just to keep us on our toes), a pizza box (for those late night installs) and majestically, the reverse of landscape format painting complete with gallery labels – Freeman takes each of these humble or unseen aspects of the mechanics of hanging paintings in an exhibition out of the toolbox and thrusts them boldly centre stage, transforming them into the objects they usually serve to mount, monumentalised, immortalised in vinyl and polyfil. 

Al Freeman (b. 1981, Toronto, Canada) lives and works in New York. She received her B.F.A. from Concordia University in 2005, and her M.F.A. from the Yale University School of Art in 2010.  

Her work has been the subject of numerous solo presentations, including recent exhibitions at Grice Bench, Los Angeles; Carl Kostyál, Stockholm; 56 HENRY, New York; Sorry We’re Closed, Brussels and Bortolami, New York.  

She has been featured in various group exhibitions at Harper’s Book, New York; 56 HENRY, New York; Carl Kostyál, London; Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, New York; Chateau du Feÿ, Bourgogne; CUE Foundation, New York; Almine Rech, New York; Marlborough Contemporary, New York; Reyes Projects, Detroit; Galeria Alegria, Madrid; and Stems, Brussels. In 2017, Freeman published Comparisons with Flat Fix, Brooklyn.  

 

Photography © Carl Kostyál (Yuki Shima)

Exhibition Press