No Gallery is happy to be participating in The Armory Off-Site at the US Open with Allen-Golder Carpenter’s most ambitious and monumental sculpture to date. The new Foundation 6 outdoor sculpture – made of stacked Nike Air Force 1 soles will be on view to the public at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center August 22nd – September 10th 2023 at Flushing Meadows – Corona Park Flushing, NY 11368. The sculptures is located right at the entryway so if you are visiting the US Open you will not miss it given its shear height at 108 in tall.
Foundation 6, 2023
concrete and steel
108 x 30 x 28 in.
274.32 x 76.20 x 71.12 cm
This sculpture is fully outdoor capable. Email [email protected] for questions.
“The Armory Show announces the public art installations of Armory Off-Site, the third edition of the art fair’s outdoor art program, which brings large-scale artworks to New York City’s parks and public spaces. In addition to partnering for the second time with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) to present three large-scale sculptures at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center during the US Open, The Armory Show is partnering with Times Square Arts on the organization’s Midnight Moment program.
Allen-Golder Carpenter’s sculpture includes stacked concrete casts of Nike “Air Force” soles, inspired by a passage in the essay collection The Black Aesthetic, describing how Nike intended to discontinue the shoe until Black individuals influenced the company, by writing letters, to bring it back. This revival allowed the shoe to become a foundation in modern street style, symbolizing the foundational role of Black people in shaping culture. Carpenter, as a Black individual, incorporates ancestor worship into his work, and Foundation 6 functions as an altar, honoring those who have passed and immortalizing cultural moments, without requiring them to be ancient. Each Off-Site work will be on view during The Armory Show, which takes place at the Javits Center this September 8–10, and many will remain in place for the rest of the year. Installations at the US Open will be on view for the duration of the tournament, from August 22 through September 10, 2023.”
Stacked concrete casts of Nike “Air Force” soles are presented as a piece inspired by a passage in a book called “The Black Aesthetic.” The passage describes how the shoe was initially regionally popular in New York, Baltimore, and DC, sometime in the 80s or 90s. Nike had intended to discontinue the shoe, but due to the efforts of black individuals in Baltimore, who wrote to the company, it was brought back. This revival allowed the shoe to become a foundation in modern street style, symbolizing the foundational role of black people in shaping culture. The artist, Carpenter, frequently employs concrete in his work to allude to the fundamental nature of the subjects he portrays.
Within the context of the exhibition’s theme of altars, this piece conveys its message in multiple ways. It explores the dual relationship that not only black people but all people have with commodities in relation to culture. On one hand, it represents the deification of material objects, particularly in the case of black people’s pride in this specific commodity, which holds a rich history within the black community. On the other hand, the artwork can be seen as a monument to Black people’s contributions to culture, history, and pride. Carpenter, as a black individual, incorporates ancestor worship into his work, paying homage to those who have passed away during our lifetimes. The statue functions as an altar, honoring both those we currently know and those we have known in the past. It immortalizes and canonizes our cultural moments, without requiring them to be ancient.
Born Allen-Golder Mullin Carpenter, 1999 in Washington DC, is a gender non-conforming interdisciplinary artist, designer, poet, author and activist. Their work as an artist serves to reconcile the various aspects of their identity as they relate themselves and the world around them.
Allen-Golder Carpenter CV: https://www.nononogallery.com/artists/allen-golder-carpenter/ cv/