Catalogue to gallery exhibition of the same name, May 5–June 16, 2023.
In the summer of 2020, as COVID tightened its grip on what felt like a world coming apart, María Elena González, tenured Chair of the Sculpture Department at the San Francisco Art Institute, sat alone in the school’s deserted studios trying to process an announcement that the venerable institution would soon close its doors forever. Sur- rounded by abandoned workspaces filled with objects discarded by students forced to vacate the premises as the pandemic hit, González did what any true maker would do to assuage her mounting fear. With scant few materials at hand, she began making. Grab- bing a tube of black epoxy, she sifted through the remnants of scrap wood, unfinished ceramic projects and shards of everyday objects—thrown out in haste and anger—and slowly began to repair them. At an anxious time, and her future in doubt, the simple act of gluing broken things back together made sense. The pieces born in that uncertainty, a tumultuous period now seared in our collective memory, form the basis of Riven, the artist’s second solo exhibition at Hirschl & Adler Modern.