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Gisela Colón: Existential Time

GAVLAK Palm Beach

December 3 - January 3, 2021

Press Release

GAVLAK Palm Beach is pleased to present EXISTENTIAL TIME, a solo exhibition of new sculpture by Gisela Colón. This is the artist’s third solo exhibition with GAVLAK. In Existential Time, Colón will debut an entirely new series of large-scale wall works titled “Rectanguloids”–created during the quarantine–that embody how time expands, retracts and collapses.

Gisela Colón is an American contemporary artist who has developed a unique sculptural language of “organic minimalism,” simultaneously challenging, deconstructing, and expanding upon the predominantly male-dominated Western canon of minimalism. Colón’s pristine light-activated sculptures are created with innovative materials of the 21st century, such as optical acrylics and aerospace carbon fiber. Oscillating between masculine and feminine, primitive and futuristic, liquid and solid, fecund and phallic, inert and biological, Colón’s sculptures take the minimal object to a new frontier where the man-made becomes alive in a post-human reality.

The brand new “Rectanguloids” present a panoramic surface plane, allowing an enveloping experience of energy transfer and heightened awareness of the passage of time. These sculptures actively pervade the surrounding environment with the physical energies of gravity, relativity, light, space, and time. Colón’s work generates an encounter with fluid time travel, complicating distinctions between past, present and future. Her inquiries into the laws of physics address non-linear time flows, providing the viewer with a sensory and intellectual experience in the grand cosmic sense of time and space.

Existential Time includes two short films–also produced during quarantine–that investigate the anxieties and existential angst resulting from recent mass isolation and inertness. Paradoxically, the frustration of experiencing complete physical time paralysis was cathartically explored through the time-based medium of film. Exploring the human condition through the lens of deep time, Colón presents a broader collective narrative questioning the meaning and significance of human existence on Earth.

Additionally on view will be one of Colón’s signature large-scale aerospace “Monoliths” sculpted in iridescent carbon fiber, reigning 12 feet tall, “Untitled (Projectile Monolith Titanium),” 2017. The “Monoliths” are meant to convey evidence of equality, power, beauty, and strength. They come from a place of female power, from a desire to usurp masculine energy and convert it to female strength. By appropriating classic masculine forms and symbols (the phallus, bullets, missiles, projectiles, rockets) and rendering them into aesthetically ambiguous, desirable objects, the “Monolith” sculptures subvert the traditionally aggressive and destructive references of these objects. Their negative meanings are transmuted into positive energies that address the universal concern of human relationships with the Earth.

The singular monolithic form is reminiscent of the mystery conveyed by ancient cultural artifacts (totems), archeological treasures (Stonehenge), and early civilization architectures (pyramids), from past eras when humans seemed to possess a deeper connection to the intangible world around them. By imbuing the “Monoliths” with space-age qualities such as refractive surfaces, parabolic curvatures, and high-tech optical construction, Colón activates a sense of mystery, and awe and wonder is heightened. Through the harmonious merger of ancient and futuristic qualities, the “Monoliths” reference human origins and desire to reach the stars again.


Gisela Colón (American b. 1966, raised 1967, San Juan, Puerto Rico) has exhibited internationally throughout the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. Most recently, Colón presented a monumental site-specific installation in the Land Art Biennial, Desert X AlUla 2020 in Saudi Arabia. Her work was recently included in the exhibition Crystals in Art: Ancient to Today, at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, and is currently on view in institutional exhibitions In Vivid Color: Pushing the Boundaries of Perception in Contemporary Art at the Mint Museum, North Carolina, and in A Very Anxious Feeling: Voices of Unrest in the American Experience; 20 Years of the Beth Rudin DeWoody Collection at the Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, Virginia. In 2021, Colón’s sculpture will be on view in the traveling exhibition Light, Space, Surface: Southern California Art From LACMA’s Collection at the Frist Art Museum, Nashville, TN (2021), Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Massachusetts (2021-2022), and The Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida (2022). Colón’s work resides in the permanent collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD), San Diego, CA; Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), Miami, FL; Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CA; Grand Rapids Museum of Art (GRAM), Grand Rapids, MI; and the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, Sedalia, MO, amongst others. Originally from Puerto Rico, Colón lives and works in Los Angeles.

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