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Participation Builds Beauty at Derek Weisberg's Trotter & Sholer Show

Installation view, Derek Weisberg: A Form of Contemplation at Trotter & Sholer.

Derek Weisberg: A Form of Contemplation 

Trotter & Sholer

September 9 through October 15, 2022

By ELLEN FRANCES, September 2022

At a time when interactivity typically refers to virtual experiences or motion-sensored map projections, Brooklyn-based sculptor Derek Weisberg invites viewers to participate through touch and with intention. His new show at Trotter & Sholer, A Form of Contemplation, incorporates exchange and connection through small offerings in a quiet, intimate space.

Installation view, Derek Weisberg: A Form of Contemplation at Trotter & Sholer.

Hand sculpted in porcelain with finely detailed faces, the pieces carry an innate spirituality. They’re reminiscent of ancient altars adorned with coins, flowers, notes and other memento’s left by those who have come to reflect there. These modest tokens of care illustrate a deeper meaning behind the artist’s intent: “Previously I wanted to create a parallel with traditional Jewish concepts of grief in which ‘the voyage of the soul is dependent upon the actions of the ones who are living,’” Weisberg explains. “This new work no longer focuses on actions to aid the deceased, but instead to aid the living.”

When it comes to interacting with Weisberg’s creations there is a sense of peacefulness, which is in stark contrast to the screen-based overstimulation of most digital exhibitions. Even with slight contextual shifts generated by an accumulation of outside contributions, the presentation as a whole remains focused and elegant. Jenna Ferrey, Founder and President of Trotter & Sholer, notes that “being still and being present” is key to the experience, resulting in a meditation on what we each offer of ourselves. It's a sentiment Weisberg hopes will inspire conscious daily gestures, stating, “I believe that’s what the world needs.”

Installation view, Derek Weisberg: A Form of Contemplation at Trotter & Sholer.

For my part, the offering was a hair pin left resting in the delicate porcelain palm of a sculpture – alongside a folded dollar bill, a flower and a matchbook.

A Form of Contemplation is on view from September 9 - October 15, 2022 at Trotter & Sholer, 168 Suffolk St, New York, NY 10002. WM


Ellen Frances

Ellen Frances is a multidisciplinary artist and freelance contributor to The Art Newspaper.


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