Charles Worthen (25.02. -21.04.2005): New Things

In his fourth solo exhibition at Galerie Gabriele Rivet, Charles Worthen assembles new sculptures that radiate both a formal elegance and a bizarre allure. Though the sculptures are abstract one makes associations, not only through the idea-rich titles they´ve been given. When creating his pieces, Worthen fully explores the possibilities of each material he uses and is able to easily mold these synthetic materials into unusual variations of form. Behind the fluidity of sculptural experimentation and the poetically bizarre, are feelings of naturalness, material decay, diversity of change, and narrative potential, all accentuated by the enhanced use of the artificial.

Born in Boston in 1958, Charles Worthen lived for many years in Japan and has been in Cologne since 1991. The play-fulness of his objects, the joy in color usage, and his fascination with synthetic materials, derive from Japanese and American culture. For his Cologne exhibition, Worthen will arrange a sculptural group which looks like a collection of biological curiousities, containing whimsical forms inspired by the diversity of deep-sea forms, invertebrates, and the microscopic world. He has developed organic structures with a highly surreal character: amoeba-like bodies, which seem to take on a life of their own. Previously, the surface nature and color of Worthen´s sculptures had been determined by the materials of the sculptures themselves, however, he now provides his zoomorphic, tentacled forms with a covering of black and bright red pompons to create a furry shell. The tactile and optical stimuli compete with one another.

Aside from these furry sculptures are two larger works that recall giant molecular structures. Only through close inspection can it be seen that one is actually formed out of countless colorful plastic buoys and the other from gymnastic balls.

Charles Worthen, born 1958 in Boston, MA, lives since 1991 in Cologne.