White Room: Sophie Stone

November 10–December 17, 2022 White Room

Press Release

White Columns is pleased to present the first New York solo exhibition by Sophie Stone. The exhibition consists of a series of textile-based wall and floor works that incorporate found materials drawn from the artist’s personal archives. Constructing uncanny assemblages of domestic materiality, Stone’s work revivifies our consideration of the sentimental and the decorative.

The found materials that serve as a foundation of Stone’s practice are variously gleaned from family members, friends, estate sales, flea markets, and mass market stores. Woven together, embellished, or partially deconstructed, these objects find new life balancing on a precipice between art and decor. Several works in the exhibition are presented as pairs, perhaps as a meditation on the tension between the handmade and the manufactured as pertains to reproducibility.

In Extended Bath Mat, large silver and wooden beads interrupt the worn pinkish lines of the titular bath mat, inviting the viewer to imagine how these protrusions might feel underfoot. In fact, they may do more than just imagine: Stone displays a refreshing ambivalence to the quasi-interactive quality of her work, and notes that she has no preference as to whether viewers should step around or on the floor works. The beads, Stone notes, were attached as a means of fixing a hole that had begun to form in the center of the bath mat, which lay for years in Stone’s childhood home. Like patching a sweater, these various embellishments serve to both extend and alter the life of the object. This attention paid to the lifespan of objects displays an innate understanding that for an object to wear over time does not diminish, and may even heighten, its status as an heirloom.

Vine-like appendages hang off of Pieces in Green and Pieces in Pink. These recurring floral motifs go beyond decorative associations to heighten Stone’s examination of the visual expression of our interior lives. In addition to her artistic practice, Stone is a florist. She notes that both aspects of her work concern the adornment of the home, with flowers serving as a more fleeting adornment than rugs, several of which included in the exhibition have been passed down through the years from Stone’s mother and grandmother.

Amidst the coziness lurks a disjunctive quality that forces our reconsideration of this domestic bliss. Floor pieces feature rugs of concentric circles that are cut off in the middle, so that their edges threaten to become undone. The thicker woven sisal at the edges of Infinity Rug calls to mind a welcome mat: an object that marks both the entrance to and exit from an interior space. Likewise, the inclusion of woven newspaper interlinks information from the outside world. Themes of reorientation continue in Gemini in Reverse and Gemini in Reverse (Blue), which, hung disconcertedly low, seem to threaten to slide off the wall. We are left to consider the expectations we place upon objects, to protect, to enshrine, and to even outlast our own lives.

Sophie Stone (b. 1987, Massachusetts) is a New York-based artist. She received a BFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2009. Recent group exhibitions include Saragossa at Halsey McKay Gallery, East Hampton, NY; Looking Back: The 12th White Columns Annual, at White Columns, New York, NY; Family Show at Safe Gallery in Brooklyn, NY; By Our Own Hands at Camayuhs, Atlanta, GA; NADA House with Safe Gallery, Governor’s Island, NY, and Tissue at Company Gallery, New York, NY. Her work has been written about in Artforum, Frieze Magazine, Artsy, and Hyperallergic.

For further information, please contact info@whitecolumns.org

 

Gallery view captured at an angle. Two textile works are hanging on the wall to the left. Similar in design, they are constructed of found materials such as worn fabrics and rope, and decorated with quilted pattern squares covered in silver metallic paint. On the adjacent back wall, one sizable woven mat piece is hung. Finally, two pieces are displayed on the floor constructed of concentric circles in woven patterns with thicker woven sisal at the edges.
Two pieces displayed on a white wall. To the left, a slightly larger assemblage is a rectangular piece constructed of a two-color metallic piece of fabric. Various vine-like red, pink, and tinsel threads hang from the work, and multiple beads and smaller found objects are attached to these threads. To the right is a slightly smaller piece made of the same material, with various green, blue, and gold threads hanging and different found objects.
Gallery view captured at an angle. Two assemblage pieces are affixed to the left wall. They are full of hanging threads with various sparkling shiny objects hanging off them. Two rug-like works are installed on the floor to the right of the wall, constructed of multiple woven concentric circles made of sisal, scrap fabric, plastic, and beads.
Gallery view captured at an angle. Two textile pieces hang on the right wall. There are two floor works to the lower right of the image, assembled with various found fabric scraps woven into circular patterns.
Two textile pieces are displayed on the floor constructed of varicolored concentric circles with thicker woven sisal intertwined with pinks and blue string at the edges. Both works are punctuated with large wooden beads at their edges.  In the work at the far edge of the frame, the circular bath mats are cut in half at the edges.
A textile piece is hung on the wall, made of a vertically hung rectangular pink bath mat sewn above a horizontal greenish-brown bath mat. Lines of deep blue and lilac purple raffia run through the entirety of the lower bath mat, and the bottom half of the upper bath mat, partially obscuring a terry cloth towel printed with blue figures in various poses. A large gash in the center of the pink bath mat is patched with beads and raffia.  The piece has a vibrant blue woven border.
Interwoven varied patterned cotton fabrics are surrounded by thicker sisal borders. The outer chain of sisal is decorated with large wooden beads, and other scrap fabrics are intertwined.  Four plastic magenta flowers stud the woven sisal.

Sophie Stone, installation view, 2022 (Gallery view captured at an angle. Two textile works are hanging on the wall to the left. Similar in design, they are constructed of found materials such as worn fabrics and rope, and decorated with quilted pattern squares covered in silver metallic paint. On the adjacent back wall, one sizable woven mat piece is hung. Finally, two pieces are displayed on the floor constructed of concentric circles in woven patterns with thicker woven sisal at the edges.)

Sophie Stone, installation view, 2022 (Two pieces displayed on a white wall. To the left, a slightly larger assemblage is a rectangular piece constructed of a two-color metallic piece of fabric. Various vine-like red, pink, and tinsel threads hang from the work, and multiple beads and smaller found objects are attached to these threads. To the right is a slightly smaller piece made of the same material, with various green, blue, and gold threads hanging and different found objects.)

Sophie Stone, installation view, 2022 (Gallery view captured at an angle. Two assemblage pieces are affixed to the left wall. They are full of hanging threads with various sparkling shiny objects hanging off them. Two rug-like works are installed on the floor to the right of the wall, constructed of multiple woven concentric circles made of sisal, scrap fabric, plastic, and beads.)

Sophie Stone, installation view, 2022 (Gallery view captured at an angle. Two textile pieces hang on the right wall. There are two floor works to the lower right of the image, assembled with various found fabric scraps woven into circular patterns.)

Sophie Stone, installation view, 2022 (Two textile pieces are displayed on the floor constructed of varicolored concentric circles with thicker woven sisal intertwined with pinks and blue string at the edges. Both works are punctuated with large wooden beads at their edges.  In the work at the far edge of the frame, the circular bath mats are cut in half at the edges.)

Sophie Stone, Extended Bath Mat, 2022. Raffia, cotton, wool, terry cloth, plastic, beads. (A textile piece is hung on the wall, made of a vertically hung rectangular pink bath mat sewn above a horizontal greenish-brown bath mat. Lines of deep blue and lilac purple raffia run through the entirety of the lower bath mat, and the bottom half of the upper bath mat, partially obscuring a terry cloth towel printed with blue figures in various poses. A large gash in the center of the pink bath mat is patched with beads and raffia.  The piece has a vibrant blue woven border.)

Sophie Stone, Infinity Rug (with broken hair clip) (Detail), 2022. Sisal, cotton, wool, plastic, wooden beads. (Interwoven varied patterned cotton fabrics are surrounded by thicker sisal borders. The outer chain of sisal is decorated with large wooden beads, and other scrap fabrics are intertwined.  Four plastic magenta flowers stud the woven sisal.)