14 February–6 April, 2024
Soft Opening at Paul Soto,
2271 West Washington Blvd,
Los Angeles

Soft Opening presents Stucco, a group of new and existing works from Carlos Reyes. In this exhibition, Reyes continues an interest in the residue that signifies the expiration of an object. By cataloging the accumulations of experience onto our surroundings, Reyes’ interventions in everyday material demonstrate how broad social shifts are enacted individually, incrementally and quietly.

Across the floor of the gallery space, 7129619 (1), a green salvaged awning from the now-defunct Melrose Spa in Los Angeles, accompanies a single expired treadmill belt re-formed to explore new contours. Collapsed flat, this thirty foot length of fabric has lost the architectural volume that enabled its original function – the protection of its patrons from inclement weather—while the re-worked treadmill belt similarly demonstrates an alternative, distorted pliability.

Alongside these works, Reyes introduces a new suite of watercolors, Stucco, that consider how information can be mediated and transferred via acts of pressure, pull, drag and grip. These motions are often temporal in nature: fleeting and familiar. Finally, a single discarded red velvet jewelry display panel closes the exhibition, with its former luxury wares impermanently imprinted from years of sun exposure.

In titling the exhibition using a word connected with architecture, the artist builds an associative relationship with spatial constructs and attention to surface detail. For Reyes, concerned with tracing ephemeral phenomena—breath, wind, heat, light, time, movement—the phonology of this word generates a self-aware rhythm within the holds and releases of air produced in the throat. This tension between an internalized force and externalized self at the core of Reyes’ practice remains similarly evident in each of these works. While removed from circulation, these objects still offer a record of the kinetics of human and environmental energy.

Carlos Reyes lives and works in New York and Puerto Rico. His first institutional solo exhibition is now open at MIT List Center for Visual Art, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Past solo and two-person exhibitions include Laps (with Gabriele Beveridge) at Bradley Ertaskiran, Montreal (2022); PROMESA at Soft Opening, London (2021); saltwaterfarm at Waldo, Maine (2020); Sarah at Galerie Joseph Tang, Paris (2019); West Side Club at Bodega, New York (2018) and Wst Sd Clb at Vie d’Ange, Montreal (2018). Selected group exhibitions include Downbeat at Marian Goodman Gallery, New York (2023); Distribuidx at Lisson Gallery, New York (2023); Fields of View at Winter Street Gallery, Martha’s Vineyard (2022); Possession Obsession at Aspen Art Museum, Aspen (2022); You’re Finally Awake! at Theta, New York (2022); Dust: Plates of the Present at Centre Pompidou d’Art Contemporain, Paris (2021); RECOVERY at PPOW, New York (2021); Darren Bader: I don’t know at Société, Berlin (2018) and Cruising Pavilion at 16th Venice Architecture Biennale, Spazio Punch, Venice (2018).


Exhibition pamphlet