Anemic Compass introduces a new body of work in which Steve Reber considers the high-performance vehicle as a multi-layered point of departure for examining American culture. The exhibition will feature the large sculpture Auto Mending; a full-scale model of an automobile that is stripped down and modified. The girth of the vehicle is absent, while the open structure of the work carries the footprint of factory standardization. The sculpture’s dimensions and cast tires give the viewer clues as to its origins, yet Reber deviates and injects elements such as printed fabric, window screening, and denim, which weaves domestic concepts.
In this work, youth, optimism and vulnerability are examined through the lens of family and personal histories. In his wall works Reber appropriates Muscle car images from calendar pin-ups and attaches sculptural elements onto the image. Reminiscent of mechanical parts, architectural forms or diagrams, these abstract additions modify the automobile’s relationship to desire, appearance, and autonomy. Reber’s free-standing sculptures incorporate a bricolage of familiar shapes where a functional potential or use is suggested. Cast and fabricated forms share a machine-like quality and allude to a location and ideology of a former era. These works also examine the American identity of production, progress, and innovation. As Reber explains, “the title ‘Anemic Compass’ implies a break in navigation, getting lost, and using the vaguely familiar for guidance.”
Steve Reber was selected to participate in the 2019 exhibition program through the Art Center’s submission process. Submissions are periodically reviewed by the Exhibitions Committee, which consists of artists, curators, critics, and Art Center staff. The Art Center welcomes submissions of artists’ work and curatorial proposals for group exhibitions on a rolling basis through our website.