I think about why I’m making these artworks in the midst of making them, often in the rain and in the night, in a way untouchable by the everyday world—it’s almost a different earth where I am when I’m working and the world that holds everything else is indoors, asleep. Alone in a forest, I’m a different person, someone more immediate and less interrupted by expectations, even from myself.
Falls made this body of work during the Covid-19 pandemic, a black angel of death upon us. The Plague, Spanish Flu, HIV/AIDS, we have been here before. He found comfort in Renaissance masters, in Botticelli, in Veronese, in how they balanced the limits of the mortal world with the promise of eternity.
By bringing devotional iconography into his en plein air practice, he asks viewers to contemplate parallels between figures and ferns, between his actions and the environment, between heaven and the leaves of grass. The pieces are not translations. They merge bodies and nature to present beginnings and ends as one.
Hans Baldung - Death and the Maiden
Sam Falls was born in 1984 in San Diego, CA, US. He lives and works in Los Angeles, CA, US, and New York, NY, US. He received his BA from Reed College, Portland, OR, US (2007) and his MFA from ICP-Bard, New York, NY, US (2010). In 2022, Falls will be the subject of a solo exhibition at MOCA Cleveland, Cleveland, OH, US. Falls has had solo exhibitions at Laumeier Sculpture Park, Saint Louis, MO, US (2019); Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt (a.M.), DE (2018); Museo d’Arte Moderna e Contemporaneo di Trento e Rovereto, Trento, IT (2018); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA, US (2017); Zabludowicz Collection, London, UK, and Sarvisalo, FI (2016); The Kitchen, New York, NY, US (2015); Ballroom Marfa, Texas, TX, US (2015); Pomona College Museum of Art, California, CA, US (2014); Public Art Fund, New York, NY, US (2014); LAXART, Los Angeles, CA, US (2013); and Printed Matter, New York, NY, US (2012).