Lisson Gallery

The odds are good, the goods are odd

New York, 29 June – 5 August 2022

Featuring artists Leilah Babirye, Kristi Cavataro, Jes Fan, Doreen Lynette Garner, Hugh Hayden, Elizabeth Jaeger, Hannah Levy, Eli Ping, Jessi Reaves, Devon Turnbull (OJAS), Kristin Walsh

The odds are good, the goods are odd is a group exhibition that highlights a new generation of New York-based sculptors. Bringing together artworks across a range of mediums, the presentation showcases the divergent ethoses behind sculpture-making today. The featured artists favor the handmade, creating a spectrum of artworks that range from the polished and conceptual, to the raw and visceral.

United through the use of atypical materials, the eleven artists in the exhibition inhabit a field outside of the sculptural norm and resist a trend-driven system. They opt, instead, to confront formality. The artists share an interest in how the human body, its strength and its fragility, is challenged by innumerable contemporary forces — from disease and illness to a dislocation in a digital world. They employ laborious practices and through their respective methods, from collecting detritus during their travels to precise sharpening of their constructions, the presence of the artists’ hands on the work remains unmistakable. The exhibition aims to accentuate the atypical disciplines that inform the orientation of sculpture-making today.

A colossal equine by Hugh Hayden stands at the entrance of the gallery. In his practice, Hayden begins with objects which inherently carry significant associations with societal categorization: race, religion, ethnicity, education, sexuality and the like. After sourcing specific species of wood, in this case Cypress local to the southeastern United States, Hayden uses a rigorous process of sawing, sanding and sculpting to create recognizable yet twisted forms. The effect is a metaphorical disruption of traditional American social context. The work in the exhibition illustrates a number of recurring themes in Hayden’s iconography; the zebra as a realization of camouflage, and the skeleton for its lack of external identifiers and its suggestion of past, and perhaps impending, extinction.

Across the front gallery are stationed two large stained-glass sculptures, one mounted to the wall and the other situated on the floor, by Kristi Cavataro. The multifaceted structures, at once rounded and cubic, are the product of tedious mathematic calculations and hands-on construction. Cavataro’s practice includes an adaptation of the Louis Comfort Tiffany technique, used in the nineteenth century for Art Nouveau stained glass designs. Cavataro’s glass tiles are individually cut and then soldered into forms that resist the material’s rigid properties. The results are unexpected, architectural shapes. Contorted material continues in a new work from Eli Ping’s Mote series. Canvas becomes a sculptural medium in the pronged, diamond-shaped figure. Ping slits, stretches and pulls the canvas through itself before pouring resin onto the newly elongated and knotted forms, crystallizing them into bone-like matter. The wall-mounted work offers a new formal encounter and may hint at a metaphor under the artificial alabaster.

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More about the artists on view

Installation views

The odds are good, the goods are odd artwork
The odds are good, the goods are odd artwork
The odds are good, the goods are odd artwork
The odds are good, the goods are odd artwork
The odds are good, the goods are odd artwork

More information


504 West 24th Street
New York

Opening Times:
Tuesday – Saturday: 10:00am – 6:00pm

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