Mine Ayn, 2006

Mine Ayn, 2006

CHICAGO, IL — rowlandcontemporary is excited to present Mine Ayn, a transformative, room-size installation by Sheila Pepe in her first solo exhibition in Chicago. Pepe uses sculpture and drawings to traverse a bleak but hopeful landscape as distilled to us through Ayn Rand’s writings.

Known for her large scale site-specific and temporary installations, Sheila Pepe takes this opportunity to apply her ways upon gallery and create an architectural object. Normally comprised of materials such as shoelaces, yarn or nautical toe-line — Pepe’s hand crafted and labor intensive process here uses large rubber strips interlaced together to form a singular object that at once contains and stabilizes the gallery’s floating wall. The title “We” connotes the contingency of physics and undermining Rand’s heroics of the individual. “We” is a term Ayn Rand despised.

This momentary object anchors the installation of drawings that distill the surprisingly prescient words of Ayn Rand. Riffing on Rand’s writings, this timely discussion of 20th century modernist forms of industrial America, provincial utopian constructions that we continue to live with and by, plays itself out through Pepe’s mixed-media drawings that read like characters from Rand’s novels. Made in a way that confuses the mark of the original with the mark of the handmade copy, they are completely obsolete yet still functional.

Formally coalescing from industrial and handcrafted works into a play of graphical forms, light and shadows, Sheila Pepe’s timely Mine Ayn asks where does one find the good parts of that American dream?

  • “We,” 2006, Industrial and office rubber bands, crate handles and D-rings
  • “oh, Roark!,” 2006, Objects, lights, shadows, and wall drawings with “Oh, Roark!-No.4”