Sophie Friedman-Pappas
Transfer Station
June 12 – August 15, 2021

hosted by
Alyssa Davis Gallery
2 Cornelia St, № 1102,
New York, NY, 10014

1. Heat Island, 2020. Urine-tanned cod leather, artificial sinew, saprophytic fungi, penicillium mold, aloe fibers, charcoal, watercolor, Apoxie Sculpt, found objects, thread, grade stake, and aluminum foil. 22 x 10 x 8 inches.

Like much of Lower Manhattan, the Twin Towers were built on a landfill, and during One World Trade’s construction in 2010 an 18th century sailboat was unearthed. Friedman-Pappas made a version of this found boat and gave it sails made of urine-tanned cod leather, hemmed with artificial sinew.

2. Pitch Coating, 2021. Cast iron, pine rosin, watercolor, NeverWet™, and WD40. Dimensions variable.

3. Into the Wind, 2020. Graphite, colored pencil, and watercolor on paper. 10 x 14 inches.

4. They Spoke of this Fruit with Grimaces of Disgust, 2020. Graphite, colored pencil, and watercolor on paper. 10 x 14 inches.

An imagined sewer system where urine is collected and utilized in the processing of animal hides. The title of this drawing is lifted from the first chapter of Émile Zola’s ‘The Fortune of the Rougons’ (1871): ‘... the old abandoned cemetery had been gradually purified by the dark thick-set vegetation which had sprouted over it every spring. The rich soil, in which the gravediggers could no longer delve without turning up some human remains, was possessed of wondrous fertility ... Among the curiosities of the place at that time were some large pear-trees, with twisted and knotty boughs; but none of the housewives of Plassans cared to pluck the large fruit which grew upon them. Indeed, the townspeople spoke of this fruit with grimaces of disgust.’

5. Perfect Circles Organized from the Top, 2020. Graphite, colored pencil, and watercolor on paper. 9 x 12 inches.

An interpretation of One Chase Manhattan Plaza’s courtyard, recently rebranded as 28 Liberty Street.

6. Untitled, 2021. Graphite, pomegranate juice, and watercolor on paper. 8 x 6 inches.

An interpretation of sterilized tilapia skins being repurposed as effective bandages for burn wounds.

7. Big Fish Eat Little Fish (After Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s engraving of the same name, 1557), 2020. Graphite, colored pencil, and watercolor on paper. 10 x 14 inches.

Though drawing, Friedman-Pappas was able to articulate her most ludicrous ideas of site intervention, ultimately producing a group of surreal architectural proposals. In this drawing, she imagined one of Manhattan’s many buried ships swelling with leachate and absorbing the bank building that it’s pinned under. The structure is sinking into a pool of flames, while Bruegel’s burghers have camouflaged themselves as architectural gargoyles.

8. City Full of Sticks, 2020. Graphite and colored pencil on paper.  12 x 9 inches.

9. Scale Model Figure #1, 2020. Dog bone, found plastic toy, hide glue, sand, and praying mantises. 5 x 4 x 3 inches.

10. Tree in Perfect Circles Organized from the Top, 2020. Phragmites, dried masking tape, hide glue, sand, soil from One Chase Manhattan Plaza’s planter, LEDs, hair tie, hair, fingernails, and a hand carved toy broom. 12 x 4 x 4 inches.

A model tree mimics a landscaped office courtyard, bearing its mangled Christmas lights – long after winter –  along with other unsavory materials.

11. City Full of Soil (One Chase Manhattan Plaza), 2020. Hide glue, sand, phragmites, saprophytic fungi, penicillium mold, dried rawhide, hand-dug clay, new urban soil, broken diorama, wood from Noah’s Ark toy, pine rosin, and artificial caviar. 22 x 6 x 10 inches.

Each brick is made of topsoil and sand from Freshkills Park (the materials that mask the landfill itself), bound together with a collagen-based adhesive (hide glue). Friedman-Pappas constructed a scale model of One Chase Manhattan Plaza, incorporating a translucent dome made of hide glue bubbles as its skylight. The sculpture’s inside, encrusted with hand-dug clay and architectural toys, is illuminated by dangling LED lights and sits on the backside of a broken diorama.

12. Scale Model Figure #2, 2019. Carved and burnt found wood, hide glue, found plastic bottle, and sand. 5 x 4 x 4 inches.

13. Hide Pile, 2021. Urine-tanned sheepskin, and dollhouse furniture. 3.5 x 2 x 2 inches.

14. City Full of Sticks (Sculpture), 2020. Brick, found object, and plastic sequin. 8 x 3.5 x 12 inches.

15. Spotted Cake Topper, 2019. Toy stroller, bee, rawhide, electric candle, and tape. 7 x 10 x 5 inches.