Kristen Wentrcek & Andrew Zebulon, No Life
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Kristen Wentreck & Andrew Zebulon
No Life
September 14 – November 11 2023

‘What do we need to live?’

Marta is pleased to host No Life, a presentation of new sculptural furniture and light works by New York-based artists Kristen Wentrcek & Andrew Zebulon. The duo’s second solo exhibition with the gallery following the seminal HOG TRAP (2021), No Life emerges from the artists’ highly instinctual exploration of material, form, and the inference of function. Drawing on varied references—from Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker (1979), to Metabolist architecture and erstwhile sanatoriums—Wentrcek & Zebulon ask with both rigor and humor: ‘What do we need to live?’

A darkly comedic reference to the toil of artistic production, the exhibition’s title directly addresses the nature of trying [and at times failing] to maintain balance in one’s pursuit of art in relation to livelihood. The reality of managing the traditional spheres of a well-rounded life—one where we are socially, creatively, intellectually, and financially fulfilled—often results in the echoing refrain of having “no life” outside the demands begged by the arenas that have triumphed over our time(s). As artists-with-day-jobs, both Wentrcek & Zebulon are intimately familiar with both the blunt and fine points of this dynamic, which they have fearlessly interrogated from within its boundaries. But the title also hints at that larger initial question; one that has been raised in every iteration of the science fiction imagination; that nuns and monks, architects and astronauts, have all posed in their—sometimes quite literal—contemplation of the body in space ... what do we need to live?

In works of foam, Starboard, and two-way glass, Wentrcek & Zebulon have created the set pieces for a self-enclosed universe. We can imagine a lone traveler as they move through the celestial plane while the rest of the known world lies dormant in cryosleep. Their transport is spartan, with the forms of necessities—bed, table, chair, desk—reduced to their most elemental functions and nested together with a clinical precision. Without prescription, however, the artists have fabricated a world that dispenses, monastically, with earthly pleasure while celebrating their faith in sensation—in the body as an indicator; a marker for inhabitance. They have reframed the psychology of materials such as foam—which we frequently associate with institutional, often medical, fittings—and encouraged its sense of pleasure and play as the body sinks, supported, into its soft structure. A series of free-standing, wall-mounted, and table-top light works hint at the vision of an orbital sunrise cresting Earth’s horizon, extending its rays to illuminate our faces as we watch, encapsulated, while the universe renews itself before, within, and around us.

Kristen Wentrcek (b. 1984, El Paso) & Andrew Zebulon (b. 1984, San Diego) are multidisciplinary artists based in New York City. Their work is wrought from an embrace of unlikely materials and reimagined craft and manufacturing processes. Recent work has been shown at International Objects’ Local Objects and Marta & Catalog Sale’s Make–Do.

Works

Kristen Wentrcek & Andrew Zebulon
Meeting Sofa, 2023
Foam, Tinting Concentrate, Coating
18.5 × 60.5 × 30.5 in.
Seat Height, 12.5 in.

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Kristen Wentrcek & Andrew Zebulon
Meeting Table, 2023
Marine-Grade High-Density Polyethylene
12.5 × 38.0 × 22.0 in.

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Kristen Wentrcek & Andrew Zebulon
Platform Bed, 2023
Foam, Tinting Concentrate, Coating, Marine-Grade High-Density Polyethylene, Aluminum Channel
20.0 × 85.0 × 40.0 in.

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Kristen Wentrcek & Andrew Zebulon
Platform Table, 2023
Marine-Grade High-Density Polyethylene
11.0 × 11.0 × 6.0 in.

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Kristen Wentrcek & Andrew Zebulon
Crew Table, 2023
Marine-Grade High-Density Polyethylene
11.0 × 40.0 × 6.0 in.

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Kristen Wentrcek & Andrew Zebulon
Crew Lounge, 2023
Foam, Tinting Concentrate, Coating
Chair, 24.0 × 36.0 × 30.75 in.
Ottoman, 14.0 × 36.0 × 17.0 in.

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Kristen Wentrcek & Andrew Zebulon
Storage Unit, 2023
Marine-Grade High-Density Polyethylene, Foam, Tinting Concentrate, Coating
21.0 × 60.0 × 14.0 in.

Kristen Wentrcek & Andrew Zebulon
Kitchen Table, 2023
Marine-Grade High-Density Polyethylene
31.5 × 48.0 × 28.0 in.

Kristen Wentrcek & Andrew Zebulon
Kitchen Chair, 2023
Foam, Tinting Concentrate, Coating
30.0 × 22.5 × 24.0 in.
Seat Height, 18.25 in.

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Kristen Wentrcek & Andrew Zebulon
Wardrobe, 2023
Marine-Grade High-Density Polyethylene, Steel
68.0 × 37.0 × 12.5 in.

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Kristen Wentrcek & Andrew Zebulon
Corner Unit w/ Stool, 2023
Marine-Grade High-Density Polyethylene; Foam, Tinting Concentrate, Coating
Corner Unit, 60.0 × 22.0 × 16.0
Stool, 16.0 × 21.0 × 15.0 in.

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Kristen Wentrcek & Andrew Zebulon
Work Station & Work Chair, 2023
Marine-Grade High-Density Polyethylene; Foam, Tinting Concentrate, Coating
Station, 30.0 × 30.0 × 22.5 in.
Chair, 24.0 × 21.5 × 24.0 in.

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Kristen Wentrcek & Andrew Zebulon
Bunk Light, 2023
Marine-Grade High-Density Polyethylene, Two-Way Mirror Glass, Lighting Components
7.0 × 27.5 × 7.0 in.

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Kristen Wentrcek & Andrew Zebulon
Mirror Light, 2023
Marine-Grade High-Density Polyethylene, Two-Way Mirror Glass, Lighting Components
51.0 × 12.0 × 5.5 in.

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Kristen Wentrcek & Andrew Zebulon
Surface Light (Square), 2023
Marine-Grade High-Density Polyethylene, Two-Way Mirror Glass, Lighting Components
4.0 × 4.0 × 4.0 in.

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Kristen Wentrcek & Andrew Zebulon
Surface Light (Rectangle), 2023
Marine-Grade High-Density Polyethylene, Two-Way Mirror Glass, Lighting Components
7.0 × 4.0 × 4.0 in.

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Kristen Wentrcek & Andrew Zebulon
Beacon Light (Short), 2023
Marine-Grade High-Density Polyethylene, Two-Way Mirror Glass, Lighting Components
28.0 × 10.0 × 10.75 in.

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Kristen Wentrcek & Andrew Zebulon
Beacon Light (Tall), 2023
Marine-Grade High-Density Polyethylene, Two-Way Mirror Glass, Lighting Components
51.25 × 10.0 × 10.75 in.

Marta

Marta is a gallery that hosts works at the meeting points of art and design. Founded in Los Angeles in 2019, the gallery makes space for artists to experiment with the utility of design, and for designers to explore the occasional abandonment of function. Marta’s curatorial and publication programs take interest in both the process of an object’s creation as well the narrative of its creator(s). Marta embraces the intersection of disciplines, advocates for diversity in design, and promotes access to the arts.