ICAExhibitions: 2024

Cole Lu: Stoicheion

an image

Cole Lu, detail.


About the Exhibition

The Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art & Design (ICA at MECA&D) is pleased to announce Stoicheion by Cole Lu. Stoicheion will be on view from July 12 – September 15, 2024, opening with a public reception on Friday, July 12, from 5:00–7:00 pm.

In Stoicheion, New York-based artist Cole Lu examines established social hierarchies and their myth-making origins. "Stoicheion," the Greek title of Euclid's Elements and Aristoxenus's Elements of Harmonics, has held various meanings, including “the length of the shadow of a sundial,” “the stars or astral bodies as elements of fire,” or more commonly “the smallest parts of anything which stand in relation to one another.” Like a makeshift nursery from Ridley Scott's Raised by Wolves, Cole Lu's dodecahedron shelter presents the viewer with an otherworldly space to consider the fundaments of "humanity."

Cole Lu’s Stoicheion suggests the site of an archeological dig featuring cast concrete reliefs and an excavation sheltering system covered by linen. Imagery is burnt into the fabric, incised into concrete, and charred into the wood to recompose the beginning of beginnings through these fragments and "relics." Moving through material, language, and various mark-making gestures, Stoicheion tells the story of a new possible foundation.

About Cole Lu

Cole Lu (b. Taipei, Taiwan) is an artist and writer based in New York. By fusing historical and literary references with lived experiences, Lu's work tells stories of dissonance and longing through winding odysseys. His sculptures and paintings are made of burnt wood panels, linen, engraved metal, and concrete, with elaborate scenes of mythological retelling. Through pyrography (writing with fire) and extensive titles, Lu yields to the poetic origins of storytelling that liberate his work from established hierarchies of form. The meditative and laborious act of his burning spans greatly in scale, from intimate to immersive, and allows Lu to build worlds where mythology and autobiography come together and are thus reborn.

Lu's work has been exhibited at Herald St (London, UK), Chapter NY (US), Nir Altman (Berlin, GER), The Drawing Center (NY, US), the Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia (US), the Contemporary Art Museum (St. Louis, US), La Casa Encendida, (SP), and the Pulitzer Arts Foundation (St. Louis, US), among others. His publication Smells Like Content (2015) by Endless Editions is in the artists' book collection of the Museum of Modern Art Library. His latest book, First Pylon by Inpatient Press, launched in October 2023.


Cole Lu, Stoichion, 2024, installation view. Photography by Joel Tsui '16, Salt '17, MFA '19