Cammie Staros: Horizon Lines
Shulamit Nazarian is pleased to present Horizon Lines, a series of new neon sculptures by Cammie Staros. Continuing research from her 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship, Staros focuses on exploring classical art historical tropes by upending the visual language of Greco-Roman architecture and artifacts.
In this series, Staros explores stone as a geological and human relic of marking time. Soft pink neon is embedded into textural travertine, appearing to melt away from the compacted rock as if pulled by the weight of gravity. The sculptures undeniably appear as landscapes. The contrast of the natural stone edge and man-made elements of the neon simultaneously references an ancient past and possibly unknown forces on a structure left to ruin.
“I wanted to work in stone because they are records of a geologic moment as well as architectural ruins of civilizations.”
The human body is also present throughout Staros’ practice. In both Sleight of Hand and Thin Air, wall-mounted walnut sculptures cradle a delicate knot of neon, the coils reminiscent of classical Greco-Roman iconography of snakes, ropes, and lassoes. Elsewhere, marble hands gesture from the wall, bathed in blue light. These fragmented figurative sculptures, modeled after the artist’s body, are rooted in history yet disarmingly present.
"I enjoy how the marble hands feel ghostly. They are reminiscent of Greek statuary—by virtue of being marble and figurative—and the sky, which are connected to the Gods."
While addressing the historical narrative associated with these sculptures, Staros focuses on the prescience of ancient artifacts — how their treatment foretells a possible future of today’s objects. Relics and ruins, which outlast the societies that made them, emphasize both the achievements and the hubris of humanity.
Cammie Staros (b. 1983, Nashville, TN) has had solo exhibitions at Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles; Lefebvre & Fils, Paris; and Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles. Her work was presented in the 2020 Clay Biennial at the Craft Contemporary Museum in Los Angeles and is featured in 100 Sculptors of Tomorrow, a Thames & Hudson survey of contemporary sculpture. Staros was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship award in 2020. Staros received her BA in Art and Semiotics from Brown University (2006) and her MFA in Art from the California Institute of the Arts (2011). She lives and works in Los Angeles.
Cammie Starostime passes, and I sleep alone, 2021Pink travertine and cold cathode12 x 47 3/4 x 2 3/4 in
Cammie Starosmore naked than flesh, stronger than bone, 2021Pink travertine and cold cathode9 3/4 x 47 3/4 x 4 1/2 in
Cammie Starosthe dark earth offers, 2021Pink travertine and cold cathode10 x 47 3/4 x 2 3/4 in
Cammie StarosSleight of Hand, 2021Walnut and neon25 x 15 1/2 x 17 in
Cammie StarosThin Air, 2021Walnut and neon25 x 15 1/2 x 17 in
Cammie Starosthe leaves drip slumber, 2021White marble and cold cathode7 x 47 x 9 in
Cammie Starosflitting among the insubstantial shades, 2021White marble and cold cathode4 x 47 x 9 in