March 19, 2017 - April 11, 2018
Timothy Stanley (b. 1984) is a visual artist from New York, NY. He graduated with a B.A. in English Literature and Creative Writing from Columbia University. The primary focus of Stanley's artistic practice is the long-term sculpture project Ursula. He is also currently at work on his second novel, Maiastra: A History of Romanian Sculpture in Twenty-Four Parts by Dr. Igor Gyalakuthy, the chapters of which are published serially by The Miami Rail. Stanley is also a professional sculpture fabricator and art handler, and lives and works in Paris, France.
Ursula: a network of aesthetic experiences elicited through formal analysis of an evolving series of abstract, sculptural studies; a three-dimensional narrative, one that is simultaneously a story about and a representation of a biological organism in space.
A few years ago I began working on a series of sculptural sketches of a physically and mentally disabled young woman. At the time, I was interested in how the biological construction of a human body colors its experience in the world, and if a specific construction could produce a truly modern person/experience. As my studies for this young woman grew in number, they became more and more abstract, and began to develop into their own aesthetic language. Artistic studies hold value differently than finished works of art do. They share a purpose (the theoretical final work for which they are studies), and so are connected to one another through their similarities to this work, and through their differences from one another. The rhythmic communion of these similarities and differences is linguistic, and, over time, creates in the minds of viewers of these studies a kind of synaptic network of sensory experiences. I call this network Ursula.
My hope is that the gradual strengthening of this network through the production of increasingly ambitious works of sculpture will make it impossible to define Ursula as anything other than a Narrative. This Narrative will be abstract. It will be non-linear. It will demand sensory and emotional responses rather than simply intellectual ones. And it will allow for structures far more sophisticated than traditional, time-based linear arcs. Using this system, a Narrative can be built as an object, an action, a thought process or, as in the case of Ursula, a human body.
Research and development of the elements of Ursula make up the majority of my single-work practice, and have for the last five years. In addition to a series of guest lectures on the theory of Ursula, the first of which premiered at the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami in 2016, I hope to begin exhibiting combinations of the works in order to invite critical discussion to explore the potential of these sculptures and their structuring idea.
Artist's Website: https://www.ursula.art/