Using the vernacular techniques of crocheting, knitting, and knotting, the 12th Rappaport Prize winner, Orly Genger, creates monumental sculptures with rope – transforming the workaday material into powerful yet pliable installations. Genger's work typically takes the form of abstract cubes, columns, and colossal piles of monochromatic colors that reference the sculptural legacy of Donald Judd, Tony Smith, and Richard Serra. But in true post-minimalist fashion, Genger transforms those static shapes into soft, undulating masses that spill over into the spaces of the gallery like a tsunami of tangled webs.
Her labor intensive, physically demanding practice requires her to wrestle with enormous amounts of industrial fishing or climbing rope–a painstaking process that hints at and departs from mid-century Minimalist mantras and connects her work to the obsessive, persistent creations of fellow contemporary artist Tara Donovan. Genger's hand-crocheted abstractions blanket, consume, surround, fill, swirl, and inspire—prompting viewers to contemplate the limits of their own endurance and daring them to reconsider all they once deemed impossible.
"I am extremely grateful to the Rappaports and to the Museum for honoring me with this prize. I feel fortunate to have my name be in the company of previous winners. My work demands a limitless and unrelenting dedication to hard work. This is made possible by your support—not only financially, but emotionally. It is at moments like these where I am fueled to keep going on a journey that sometimes seems impossible. For this, I am so grateful."
Born in New York City in 1979, Orly Genger lives in New York City and works in Brooklyn, NY. She received her BA from Brown University in 2001 and attended The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2002. She has had solo exhibitions at the The Aldrich Contemporary Arts Museum, the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College and the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and her work also has been included in exhibitions at MASS MoCA and MCA Denver. Genger has been featured in Sculpture Magazine, Art in America, Modern Painters, ArtNews, The Village Voice, and The New York Times, among others.
Photo by Ruth Fremson/ Courtesy of The New York Times