Michael Queenland explores the relationship between culture, history, and human artifacts through sculpture, photography, and installation. His work engages with themes of identity, memory, dislocation, and the politics of the mundane. In Rudy’s Ramp of Remainders 2012/2022, Queenland revisits his 2012 site-specific exhibition of the same name, considering a combination of global events that have transpired over the last decade and our relationship to human suffering, which is often mediated and experienced at a distance. Inspired by the German general store named “Rudi’s Resterampe” (roughly translated to “Rudy’s pile of leftovers”)—a surplus store that Queenland frequented while living in Berlin—the work uses the structure of a warehouse, emporium, or swap-meet to create an environment for the examination of objects.
In Rudy’s Ramp of Remainders 2012/2022, sculptures and collages composed of newspapers, trash bags, recycled fabric, Afghan rugs, plasticized balloons, hospital sheets, and other found objects are assembled and configured in groupings, juxtaposed to construct new pathways for meaning and interpretation. The objects function as a kind of cultural inventory; however, here they assume new significance when placed in dialogue with other elements in the installation. The constellation of objects in Rudy’s address war and violence, illness and death, poverty and inequality. In this iteration, produced a decade after the first installation, Queenland also refers to the apprehension and isolation we are experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the necessary process of rehabilitation that has transpired during this global struggle. In this new presentation, Queenland focuses on long-standing traumas of war, violence, and inequity alongside objects that express our desire to mend and heal in the wake of a collective trauma.
Michael Queenland: Rudy’s Ramp of Remainders 2012/2022 is organized by MacKenzie Stevens, director, with Devon Gerstenhaber, curatorial fellow, 2021-2022.
Michael Queenland (b. 1970, Pasadena, California) lives and works in Los Angeles, California. He earned his BA in English literature (1998), and MFA at University of California, Los Angeles (2002). He has had solo exhibitions at Maureen Paley, London (2019); Kristina Kite Galley, Los Angeles (2017); Santa Monica Museum of Art, Los Angeles (2012), LAXART, Los Angeles (2007); and Harris Lieberman Gallery, New York (2007). His work has been included in group exhibitions at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, Los Angeles (2020); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2019); Public Art Triennial, Los Angeles (2019); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2019); SculptureCenter, New York (2019); Ben Maltz Gallery, Los Angeles (2018); Gordon Robichau, New York (2018); Whitney Biennial, New York (2008), among others. He is a recipient of numerous awards, including the Rome Prize (2016-2017); American Academy in Berlin Fellowship (2009); Art Matters Grant (2008); and the United States Artists Fellowship (2006). He was in residence at The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York 2004-2005. He was assistant professor of sculpture at the Yale School of Art 2010-2016. A monographic publication on Queenland's work is due to be published by New York Consolidated Press in fall 2022.