Skip to main content

Pending Flowers

Reynolds Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Pending Flowers, a solo exhibition of sculptures by Raul De Lara. The exhibition opens on Friday, May 3, 2024 at our Main Street location with a public reception from 5 – 7 pm. There will be an artist talk on Saturday, May 4 at 11 am. The show runs through June 28.

For his second solo exhibition at Reynolds Gallery, De Lara presents Pending Flowers, an exhibition of wooden sculptures that investigate his relationship with the loss and love of family members, and history as an immigrant to the United States. His incredible craftsmanship breathes life into these everyday objects including chairs and hand tools and carved plants, and begs the question of what life events are tied to these “growing” pieces. The exhibition as a whole is designed to invoke the feeling of a living room and promote a sense of comfortability and perhaps familiarity for the viewer. The overall experience of the show invites us to reflect on not only the complexity of his work, but the triumphs and trials of his story as well.

A word from the Artist

2024 marks my 20th year in America. My family brought my siblings and me here in search of a better life, a longer life, a prettier one maybe? This exhibition is dedicated to my father Raul Humberto De Lara Novella (October 15th 1961 – December 20th, 2021). He never got a chance to rest, or to take a seat and smell the roses. He worked. And as I am now in my 30’s, still a DACA recipient unable to freely travel the world, I wonder about my own life. When will I get to smell the roses? When will I become a citizen? When will I get deported? Being here for 20 years has shaped me.

This exhibition is an act of liberation, self-empowerment, and a conscious effort to be present in the current time, despite all the turbulence around the world. It is a celebration of the life that has been given to me in the United States. The show makes tangible the shared sentiment between us immigrants to have nostalgia for a life that never happened. It is also a shared sentiment between us immigrants to want to set roots where we stand.

The sculptures in this exhibition resemble everyday objects that invoke moments of growth, decay, labor, and rest. These works are a combination of my learned skills, love stories, tragedies, and overall, my sense of humor as I navigate being undocumented for two-thirds of my life. The world is in a very dark place right now, and I think it is important to remember to celebrate victories, even the small ones 

For this show, I imagined myself free – free from limitations, free to travel, to see friends and family near and far, across borders, oceans, and across these invisible walls that make this place my golden cage.

This exhibition explores plants as bearers of news and witnesses of changes in our lives. They are our temporary and silent companions who get to witness our shared human experiences – funerals, graduations, marriages, divorces, sickness, health, farewells, homecomings. I won’t be able to attend my grandmother’s funeral in Mexico or give her flowers in person. This exhibition made me wonder about the type she would like.

About the Artist

Raul De Lara is a sculptor who practices storytelling via woodworking. Arriving from Mexico to the United States at the age of 12, and a DACA recipient since 2012, his sculptures explore Mexican/American iconography, queer identity and the immigrant experience. De Lara’s research preserves, honors and propels forward traditional uses of wood while combining them with new developments in the global industry of woodworking. (b. 1991 – based in New York City)

De Lara received his MFA in Sculpture + Extended Media from Virginia Commonwealth University (2019), and a BFA in Studio Art from the University of Texas at Austin (2015). His selected awards include the NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship in Craft/Sculpture, Art in America Magazine’s Top 20 Global New Talent to Watch, Hermès Paris Inaugural Aspen Installation, Penland Distinguished Artist Winter Fellowship, Silver Art Projects Residency, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Residency, Haystack Mountain School of Craft Open Studio Residency, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown Fellowship, The National Park Services OCARC Residency, Ox-Bow School of Art Fellowship, a Chicago Artists Coalition HATCH Residency, a Queens New Arts Grant, a New York City Arts Corps Grant, and the International Sculpture Center Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award.

Familia, 2024, Walnut, Poly-wax, Polyurethane, 40 x 26 x 41 inches
previous arrow
next arrow