Catharine Czudej, Fat Man with Flowers 2, 2022; Man Kneeling with Flowers, 2022

Presented by Josh Liley


About the work

Catharine Czudej is a multi-disciplinary artist interested in formations and malformations of perception. Her work plays with material intervention as a disruptive methodology, drawing from aspects of DIY and hack culture to create objects which deliberately unsettle expectations. 


Oversized silhouetted figures cast in sandblasted aluminium stand and kneel in the space. Their arms outstretched, bouquets of flowers are offered or weigh them to the floor. Their billowing forms – recalling the balloon models at children’s birthday parties – assume an exaggerated anatomical frame: a distorted metric by which the viewer can reinterpret those objects in view.  

Reflecting on the form-work of Alberto Giacometti or Alexander Calder, who aligned their figurations to nature, Czudej transposes this into the contemporary context of a post-digital age. Derived from latex balloon moulds, the individually crafted limbs are manipulated into human form, reconciling an industrial practice with an organic incarnation. Through this immortalization, Czudej considers the psychological push and pull of a consumer-driven society and its tie to the human condition.   


Most recently, Czudej has turned to the phenomenon of the uncanny valley revealed through gaming, producing a cinematic take on first-person video games. This follows Czudej’s most recent body of work shown at Josh Lilley, where the artist explored alchemy as an artistic process, creating paintings using bismuth, aluminium and highly specialized tools which extend on the notion of the canvas as spatial environment. Engaging with the historical language of conceptual art including Lucio Fontana’s ‘slashed canvas’ and Allan McCollum’s surrogate paintings, these works debunk formalist techniques and in doing so question assigned conditions of creative production. 

Audio guide


About the artist

Catharine Czudej (b. 1985) graduated from UCLA, Los Angeles and NYU, New York. Czudej has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions and a participant in several critically acclaimed group shows. Previous solo exhibitions include ‘Happy Birthday’, Josh Lilley, London (2023), ‘Hippie Puke’, Egan and Rosen, New York (2021), ‘Homeowner’, Todd von Ammonn, Washington DC (2020), ‘Imagine All the People’, Michael Benevento, Los Angeles (2019), ‘SHHHHHH’, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne (2016), ‘Look Who’s Coming to Dinner’, Office Baroque, Brussels (2016), ‘Belly-Up Dead’, CHEWDAY’S, London (2015) and ‘Bite into that soft ass’, Ramiken Crucible, New York (2013). Recent group exhibitions include Ramiken at the Averard Hotel, London (2022), MoCA, Westport (2020), Frieze Projects (curated by Ali Subotnick), Los Angeles (2019), Anton Kern (curated by Ali Subotnick), New York (2018), Kammel Menour, Paris (2017), Eva Presenhuber Gallery, Zurich (2016), Künstlerhaus, Graz (2014) and Pace Gallery, London (2014).

For more information, please visit the gallery website: Josh Lilley

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