Sculpture Space NYC-Projects is proud to present, Forming Identitiesas part of its Curatorial Program series, featuring work by Richard Bottwin, Lael Marshall, Joan Mellon and Kirk Stoller, curated by Patricia Zarate and in collaboration with Sculpture Space NYC-Projects and Key Projects.

Forming Identities

  • November 30 2018 - January  12th 2019

  • Opening Reception: Friday, November 30th, 6pm - 9pm

  • Hours: Saturday 12pm - 6pm & by appointment 

  • Location: 47-21 35th Street, Long Island City, NY 11101

The four artists in Forming Identities have developed a unique approach to process and materials, mixing traditional and non-traditional methods to create three dimensional objects. These are constructed from humble materials to highly refined ones, with the hands of a skilled carpenter or the novice hands, and range from seriousness to playfulness. 


Richard Bottwin continues to refine his wood sculptures by creating complex and at times disorienting geometric structures. Constructed of plywood and hardwood and laminated with wood veneers, the sculptures are sparingly painted with acrylic paint that play off the wood textures. Lael Marshall’s three-dimensional objects are made of wet pigmented abaca paper covering a wood or plasterboard armature. Once dry, the paper clings, like skin, creating a smooth, soft, taut elastic cover. 

Joan Mellon’s modest and playfully scaled three dimensional objects are made with various materials - found wood, metal, rope, clay -  and vary in size and color. Mellon translates her curiosity with materials, weight, balance and space into monumental works that belie their diminutive scale. Incorporating everyday detritus scavenged from the streets of New York and elsewhere, Kirk Stoller’s spirally, transformable free standing sculptures are shaped into quirky and at times elegant assemblages that read as drawings in space. 

About the artists:

Richard Bottwin has been making constructed wood sculptures and site-specific installations for 40 years and has had his studio in Brooklyn since 1990. Bottwin has exhibited his work in cities across the U.S. and in Europe and Australia and has received artists’ grants from the states of New York and Pennsylvania. In addition to his gallery shows, Richard Bottwin has created site-specific installations in The Sculpture Center and PS1 in Long Island City, NY and for the Pratt Institute outdoor sculpture collection in Brooklyn NY.

Joan Melona painter working abstractly, has recently been exploring a variety of materials to create three dimensional objects. Joan hails from Brooklyn and lives and works in Manhattan. Her paintings and works on paper are represented in private and public collections including Franklin Furnace Archives at the Museum of Modern Art, Johnson & Johnson, New York Public Library Print Collection and School of Visual Arts. Exhibition highlights include one person shows in NYC and numerous group exhibitions in the US and abroad. Joan has a BFA from School of Visual Arts and a MA in Liberal Studies from SUNY Empire State College where she has been an adjunct mentor.

Lael Marshall lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She received a BFA from The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and an MFA as ‘Meisterschülerin‘ from the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, Germany. Recent solo and 2-person shows include Gray Contemporary (Houston, TX), 57W57ARTS (NYC), Dieu Donné (NYC), and mitart gallery, Basel, Switzerland. Recent group exhibitions include MINUS SPACE (Brooklyn), Anita Rogers Gallery (NYC), Triennale Grenchen (Switzerland), BRIC (Brooklyn), Schema Projects (Brooklyn), Parallel Art Space (Brooklyn), ParisCONCRET (Paris), Sydney Non-Objective (Sydney), Beers Contemporary (London), A/B/Contemporary (Zurich), A3 Gallery (Moscow), The Riverside Art Museum, (Riverside, CA), Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, (Summit, NJ), Moulins de Villancourt (Pont de Claix, France).

Kirk Stoller was raised in Oregon. In 2004 he earned an MFA from UC Berkeley and has had solo shows in San Francisco, New York City and Berlin. In addition, Stoller has been awarded residencies at the MacDowell Colony, the Edward Albee Art Residency, the Marie Walsh Sharpe Studio Space Program (now Sharpe Walentas Studio Program) and Yaddo to name a few. He is the proprietor of c2c Project Space which installs shows in West Coast and East Coast locations. His work is represented by Romer Young Gallery in San Francisco and he maintains a studio practice in both San Francisco and New York City.

Patricia Zarate is co-founder of Key Projects, an artist-run gallery space based in Long Island City, New York. Through intimate exhibits of contemporary abstract and conceptual art, Key Projects explores and showcases an international community of artists.