About Like So: The Influence of Painting

Exhibition Materials: Installation photographs // Gallery Handout // Artcritical Review // Review in UConn, Stamford, Student Magazine.

“About Like So: The Influence of Painting” is a group exhibition that explores how the histories, forms, materials and other qualities associated with painting inform conceptual art practices today. The show is on view at Franklin Street Works from November 22, 2014, through February 22, 2015.

The exhibition, curated by Terri C Smith, aims, in part, to challenge expectations of painting, which are often attached to historic movements, decorative qualities or romantic notions of the artist in his or her studio. “About Like So” features works that use paint in unorthodox ways or bypass the medium all together to reveal how the “language of painting” can invade, obstruct and enhance other art forms. This exhibition asks, “In an era where painting no longer has the art historical primacy it once did, what can it contribute to the dominant art practices of today – art that is often not medium specific and is rooted in the theory-driven practices of conceptual art?”

The works include sculptures, videos, photographs, sound installations, and digital prints. Loose and disjointed narratives involving the histories and materiality of painting are found in several videos: Ragnheiour Gestsdottir’s video “As If We Existed,” portrays the fictitious

melodrama of a figurative painter working in Venice; Tameka Norris’s “Purple Painting” incorporates makeup and food in a provocative video that, with few words, touches on issues surrounding race, gender and the pressures of an art historical canon; in Alex Hubbard’s video “Hit Wave II,” a magician gives instructions for tricks, but the sounds and activities surrounding him allude to action painting with Hubbard in the background wearing a paint suit and creating gestural marks with spray paint.

Sculptures by Brad Tucker, Dave Hardy, and Taylor Davis also show painting’s influence. In one of Tucker’s box sculptures, “Potholder,” he incorporates a homemade-style woven potholder that mimics mid-century, shaped abstract painting while crossed bars in the box’s back reference hanging devices (hooks, wires, D-rings) usually hidden by the museum wall. In his sculptures, Dave Hardy uses pigment, cement-infused foam, glass, metal and other materials, combining them so it seems as though abstract wall works have sprung into three dimensions in the form of sophisticatedly constructed sculptures that intentionally appear unwieldy or precarious. Taylor Davis’s “TBOX No. 1” sculpture is a small double-stacked construction of birch plywood that sits directly on the floor and appears to have blue painters tape marking it with lines and arrows. In reality, the “tape” is painted on, creating an optical illusion that conjures trompe l’oeil painting.

Several works speak to painting through audio components. An installation by Australian artist Michael Graeve considers abstract painting via painted blocks of color and tonal audio overlays. Thinking about his sound work as an audio parallel to the painterly practice of translating information from the world onto a surface in the studio, Augustus Thompson’s installation combines sounds from the studio, outside noises and constructed harmonies into what the artist considers a “sound painting.” The collaborative sound and painting performance by K.R.H. Sonderborg, Wolfgang Hannen, Günter Christmann and Paul Lovens “in actu music & painting,” created in 1993 and produced by Institute for Music and Acoustics of the Center for Art and Media, ZKM Karlsruhe, Germany, is the earliest work in the exhibition. It melds action painting with performed experimental music, providing a foundation for thinking about the many ways painting combines with other media in “About Like So.”

A handful of artists in the exhibition reference particular art historical figures or classic painting genres. In Paul Branca’s “Untitled, for Rodchenko,” he combines monochrome paintings in the style of Alexander Rodchenko with tote bags and tags. Sophy Naess’s gestural soap pieces began with a prompt to respond to abstract expressionist Hans Hoffman’s work. Composed of body friendly materials, scents, and pigments, these pieces address the fraught painting subject known as the bather. In their version of TV painter Bob Ross’s show “The Joy of Painting,” Peter Nowogrodzki and Max Kotelchuck’ YouTube video follows Ross’s instructions to make a landscape painting using a computer program rather than paint and brush. Polly Apfelbaum’s abstract fabric sculpture, “Split Station Stop,” hangs from the ceiling and was inspired by her stay in Rome with its abundance of Catholic-themed artworks, specifically the Stations of the Cross. In Tim Davis’s “Permanent Collection” series he takes photographs of classic paintings ranging from still lifes to religious, using the light of the camera’s flash to obscure bits of the composition and/or bring surface qualities, such as brush strokes and crackling, of the physical object to light.

Computer generated works by Seth Price, Paul Theriault, and Siebren Versteeg incorporate canned digital effects, flat bed scanners, and Google image search respectively. With Seth Price’s “Digital Video Effects: Spills,” the artist layers digitally imposed black “spills” that ebb and flow over artist Joan Jonas’s video featuring a conversation on the commercialization of art between art dealer Joseph Helman and conceptual artists Robert Smithson and Richard Serra. Paul Theriault paints directly onto scanner beds and then scans the composition, allowing for the occasional burst of scanner light to peak through the “painting.” Siebren Versteeg enters his algorithm paintings (abstract paintings produced using code) into the computer and prompts a Google image search to find a “concrete” image, which is hung just to the right. Rather than taking a realistic image and abstracting it, the computer conjures representational images based on an abstract composition, turning the usual dynamic between the representational and the abstract upside down.

Paintings are also included in the exhibition, but the artists use strategies that challenge our expectations of painting’s forms or the artist’s role as author. In Leslie Wayne’s “Paint/Rag” series, the artist plays with perception and a linguistic idea that’s embedded in the title (paint – slash – rag) by removing the layered paint off of one support and draping it over another, making it appear as if it were hung on a hook like a piece of fabric or an ordinary rag. John Knuth’s abstract paintings resemble the splattered layers of a Jackson Pollock painting, but are the result of Knuth relinquishing authorship to a business of flies that excrete the paint he feeds them onto paper. Obscuring elements of a book with paint to reconfigure artist books, Marley Freeman inserts abstraction that, much like an analogue companion for Price’s video, obscures and highlights texts and images in these artist books, in part, as a commentary on painting’s decorative associations and the influence of modernism on the medium.

Exhibiting artists: Polly Apfelbaum, Paul Branca, Taylor Davis, Tim Davis, Marley
Freeman, Ragnheiour Gestsdottir, Michael Graeve, Dave Hardy, Alex Hubbard, John Knuth, Sophy Naess, Tameka Norris, Peter Nowogrodzki/Max Kotelchuck, Seth Price, Paul Theriault, Brad Tucker, Siebren Versteeg, Augustus Thompson, Leslie Wayne, and “in actu: music & painting” (K.R.H. Sonderborg, Wolfgang Hannen, Günter Christmann and Paul Lovens).

posted by Owner on November 22, 2014 at 5:00 pm

About Like So: The Influence of Painting

Exhibition Materials: Installation photographs // Gallery Handout // Artcritical Review // Review in UConn, Stamford, Student Magazine.

“About Like So: The Influence of Painting” is a group exhibition that explores how the histories, forms, materials and other qualities associated with painting inform conceptual art practices today. The show is on view at Franklin Street Works from November 22, 2014, through February 22, 2015.

The exhibition, curated by Terri C Smith, aims, in part, to challenge expectations of painting, which are often attached to historic movements, decorative qualities or romantic notions of the artist in his or her studio. “About Like So” features works that use paint in unorthodox ways or bypass the medium all together to reveal how the “language of painting” can invade, obstruct and enhance other art forms. This exhibition asks, “In an era where painting no longer has the art historical primacy it once did, what can it contribute to the dominant art practices of today – art that is often not medium specific and is rooted in the theory-driven practices of conceptual art?”

The works include sculptures, videos, photographs, sound installations, and digital prints. Loose and disjointed narratives involving the histories and materiality of painting are found in several videos: Ragnheiour Gestsdottir’s video “As If We Existed,” portrays the fictitious

melodrama of a figurative painter working in Venice; Tameka Norris’s “Purple Painting” incorporates makeup and food in a provocative video that, with few words, touches on issues surrounding race, gender and the pressures of an art historical canon; in Alex Hubbard’s video “Hit Wave II,” a magician gives instructions for tricks, but the sounds and activities surrounding him allude to action painting with Hubbard in the background wearing a paint suit and creating gestural marks with spray paint.

Sculptures by Brad Tucker, Dave Hardy, and Taylor Davis also show painting’s influence. In one of Tucker’s box sculptures, “Potholder,” he incorporates a homemade-style woven potholder that mimics mid-century, shaped abstract painting while crossed bars in the box’s back reference hanging devices (hooks, wires, D-rings) usually hidden by the museum wall. In his sculptures, Dave Hardy uses pigment, cement-infused foam, glass, metal and other materials, combining them so it seems as though abstract wall works have sprung into three dimensions in the form of sophisticatedly constructed sculptures that intentionally appear unwieldy or precarious. Taylor Davis’s “TBOX No. 1” sculpture is a small double-stacked construction of birch plywood that sits directly on the floor and appears to have blue painters tape marking it with lines and arrows. In reality, the “tape” is painted on, creating an optical illusion that conjures trompe l’oeil painting.

Several works speak to painting through audio components. An installation by Australian artist Michael Graeve considers abstract painting via painted blocks of color and tonal audio overlays. Thinking about his sound work as an audio parallel to the painterly practice of translating information from the world onto a surface in the studio, Augustus Thompson’s installation combines sounds from the studio, outside noises and constructed harmonies into what the artist considers a “sound painting.” The collaborative sound and painting performance by K.R.H. Sonderborg, Wolfgang Hannen, Günter Christmann and Paul Lovens “in actu music & painting,” created in 1993 and produced by Institute for Music and Acoustics of the Center for Art and Media, ZKM Karlsruhe, Germany, is the earliest work in the exhibition. It melds action painting with performed experimental music, providing a foundation for thinking about the many ways painting combines with other media in “About Like So.”

A handful of artists in the exhibition reference particular art historical figures or classic painting genres. In Paul Branca’s “Untitled, for Rodchenko,” he combines monochrome paintings in the style of Alexander Rodchenko with tote bags and tags. Sophy Naess’s gestural soap pieces began with a prompt to respond to abstract expressionist Hans Hoffman’s work. Composed of body friendly materials, scents, and pigments, these pieces address the fraught painting subject known as the bather. In their version of TV painter Bob Ross’s show “The Joy of Painting,” Peter Nowogrodzki and Max Kotelchuck’ YouTube video follows Ross’s instructions to make a landscape painting using a computer program rather than paint and brush. Polly Apfelbaum’s abstract fabric sculpture, “Split Station Stop,” hangs from the ceiling and was inspired by her stay in Rome with its abundance of Catholic-themed artworks, specifically the Stations of the Cross. In Tim Davis’s “Permanent Collection” series he takes photographs of classic paintings ranging from still lifes to religious, using the light of the camera’s flash to obscure bits of the composition and/or bring surface qualities, such as brush strokes and crackling, of the physical object to light.

Computer generated works by Seth Price, Paul Theriault, and Siebren Versteeg incorporate canned digital effects, flat bed scanners, and Google image search respectively. With Seth Price’s “Digital Video Effects: Spills,” the artist layers digitally imposed black “spills” that ebb and flow over artist Joan Jonas’s video featuring a conversation on the commercialization of art between art dealer Joseph Helman and conceptual artists Robert Smithson and Richard Serra. Paul Theriault paints directly onto scanner beds and then scans the composition, allowing for the occasional burst of scanner light to peak through the “painting.” Siebren Versteeg enters his algorithm paintings (abstract paintings produced using code) into the computer and prompts a Google image search to find a “concrete” image, which is hung just to the right. Rather than taking a realistic image and abstracting it, the computer conjures representational images based on an abstract composition, turning the usual dynamic between the representational and the abstract upside down.

Paintings are also included in the exhibition, but the artists use strategies that challenge our expectations of painting’s forms or the artist’s role as author. In Leslie Wayne’s “Paint/Rag” series, the artist plays with perception and a linguistic idea that’s embedded in the title (paint – slash – rag) by removing the layered paint off of one support and draping it over another, making it appear as if it were hung on a hook like a piece of fabric or an ordinary rag. John Knuth’s abstract paintings resemble the splattered layers of a Jackson Pollock painting, but are the result of Knuth relinquishing authorship to a business of flies that excrete the paint he feeds them onto paper. Obscuring elements of a book with paint to reconfigure artist books, Marley Freeman inserts abstraction that, much like an analogue companion for Price’s video, obscures and highlights texts and images in these artist books, in part, as a commentary on painting’s decorative associations and the influence of modernism on the medium.

Exhibiting artists: Polly Apfelbaum, Paul Branca, Taylor Davis, Tim Davis, Marley
Freeman, Ragnheiour Gestsdottir, Michael Graeve, Dave Hardy, Alex Hubbard, John Knuth, Sophy Naess, Tameka Norris, Peter Nowogrodzki/Max Kotelchuck, Seth Price, Paul Theriault, Brad Tucker, Siebren Versteeg, Augustus Thompson, Leslie Wayne, and “in actu: music & painting” (K.R.H. Sonderborg, Wolfgang Hannen, Günter Christmann and Paul Lovens).

It Narratives: Curator Tour and Mailbox Inauguration, Closing Weekend

For the closing weekend of “It Narratives: The Movement of Objects as Information” Franklin Street Works will host a curator led tour of the show with Brian Droitcour and Zanna Gilbert as well as a festive inauguration of the space’s new mailbox, which was created by artist Lukas Geronimas. The event is free and open to the public and takes place at Franklin Street Works Saturday, November 8th from 4:00 – 7:00pm

Curator and critic Brian Droitcour and curator and researcher Zanna Gilbert will share their thinking behind the show It Narratives: How Objects Move as Information, which considers how the Internet and traditional post intersect in contemporary art. They will also discuss works on view  during a casual walkthrough of the galleries. After the tour, the curators, Franklin Street Works staff and the exhibiting artists on hand will inaugurate Franklin Street Works’ new mailbox. A work of art commissioned for this exhibition, “The Custom Postboxis a functioning, glowing mailbox made by Brooklyn sculptor Lukas Geronimas. Artist David Horvitz will also be on site to inform visitors about his “It Narratives” project “Mail Art Call @ Franklin Street Works,” which is an open mail art call that received 580 responses from across the globe.

The artists in It Narratives find forms for everyday experiences of distance and time by reflecting on the way objects move through information networks. It Narratives is on view through November 9th at Franklin Street Works. Artists include: Greg Allen, Tyler

Coburn, Tim Devin, Yevgeniy Fiks, Lukas Geronimas, Frank Heath, David Horvitz, Jean Keller, Alexandra Lerman, Kristin Lucas, Cat Mazza, Kristina Lee Podesva and Alan McConchie, Paul Soulellis, Emily Spivack, The Thread, Ehren Tool, Print All Over Me, Forms of Melancholy, Lance Wakeling, Roberto Winter.

Brian Droitcour is a writer, translator, curator, critic, and a PhD candidate in comparative literature at New York University. Previous exhibition projects include “BFFA3AE – DTR” at 47 Canal in New York and “Big Reality” at 319 Scholes in Brooklyn. He has contributed reviews and essays to Artforum, Art in America, and Rhizome, among other publications. He has been yelping since January 2012 and his account was awarded Elite status last year. His web site fifteenstars.com, a collection of found Yelp reviews with commissioned illustrations and an accompanying essay, was featured as part of the New Museum’s First Look series of online exhibitions in October 2013. Among other projects, Brian is currently editing Klaus_ebooks, a series of artists’ ebooks published by Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery.

Zanna Gilbert is a postdoctoral fellow at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York and she holds a PhD from the University of Essex and Tate Research in the UK. Her research focuses on artists’ networks and the transnational circulation of art through the mail. She curated the exhibitions “Felipe Ehrenberg: Works from the Tate Archive” (2009), “Intimate Bureaucracies: Art and the Mail” (2011), “Contested Games: Mexico 68’s Design Revolution” (2012), “Daniel Santiago: Brazil is my Abyss” (MAMAM, Recife, 2012; MAC-Niteroi, Rio, 2014) and “Edgardo Antonio Vigo: The Unmaker of Objects” (MoMA, 2014). She has taught postgraduate courses at the University of Essex, UK and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

Lukas Geronimas was born in Toronto, Ontario. He received a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of British Columbia, and an MFA from the Milton Avery School at Bard College. His art is about manufacturing openings. It is also about value, in that an artwork should be created to live within the studio, the exhibition, and the collection; with each context comes a separate evaluation, and Lukas thinks an artwork is most meaningful when it is responsible for them all. Lukas currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

David Horvitz was born in California in 1982 and lives in Brooklyn, NY. Recent solo exhibitions include: concurrent shows at Jan Mot, Brussels, and Dawid Radziszewski Gallery, Warsaw; Peter Amby, Copenhagen; Statements, Art Basel; Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen; and Chert, Berlin. His work has been shown at EVA International 2014, Glasgow International 2014, LIAF 2013, MoMA, The Kitchen, and the New Museum. In New York, he has realized projects with Recess, Clocktower Gallery, post at MoMA, Printed Matter, Rhizome, and Triple Canopy.

posted by Owner on November 8, 2014 at 4:00 pm

It Narratives: Curator Tour and Mailbox Inauguration, Closing Weekend

For the closing weekend of “It Narratives: The Movement of Objects as Information” Franklin Street Works will host a curator led tour of the show with Brian Droitcour and Zanna Gilbert as well as a festive inauguration of the space’s new mailbox, which was created by artist Lukas Geronimas. The event is free and open to the public and takes place at Franklin Street Works Saturday, November 8th from 4:00 – 7:00pm

Curator and critic Brian Droitcour and curator and researcher Zanna Gilbert will share their thinking behind the show It Narratives: How Objects Move as Information, which considers how the Internet and traditional post intersect in contemporary art. They will also discuss works on view  during a casual walkthrough of the galleries. After the tour, the curators, Franklin Street Works staff and the exhibiting artists on hand will inaugurate Franklin Street Works’ new mailbox. A work of art commissioned for this exhibition, “The Custom Postboxis a functioning, glowing mailbox made by Brooklyn sculptor Lukas Geronimas. Artist David Horvitz will also be on site to inform visitors about his “It Narratives” project “Mail Art Call @ Franklin Street Works,” which is an open mail art call that received 580 responses from across the globe.

The artists in It Narratives find forms for everyday experiences of distance and time by reflecting on the way objects move through information networks. It Narratives is on view through November 9th at Franklin Street Works. Artists include: Greg Allen, Tyler

Coburn, Tim Devin, Yevgeniy Fiks, Lukas Geronimas, Frank Heath, David Horvitz, Jean Keller, Alexandra Lerman, Kristin Lucas, Cat Mazza, Kristina Lee Podesva and Alan McConchie, Paul Soulellis, Emily Spivack, The Thread, Ehren Tool, Print All Over Me, Forms of Melancholy, Lance Wakeling, Roberto Winter.

Brian Droitcour is a writer, translator, curator, critic, and a PhD candidate in comparative literature at New York University. Previous exhibition projects include “BFFA3AE – DTR” at 47 Canal in New York and “Big Reality” at 319 Scholes in Brooklyn. He has contributed reviews and essays to Artforum, Art in America, and Rhizome, among other publications. He has been yelping since January 2012 and his account was awarded Elite status last year. His web site fifteenstars.com, a collection of found Yelp reviews with commissioned illustrations and an accompanying essay, was featured as part of the New Museum’s First Look series of online exhibitions in October 2013. Among other projects, Brian is currently editing Klaus_ebooks, a series of artists’ ebooks published by Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery.

Zanna Gilbert is a postdoctoral fellow at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York and she holds a PhD from the University of Essex and Tate Research in the UK. Her research focuses on artists’ networks and the transnational circulation of art through the mail. She curated the exhibitions “Felipe Ehrenberg: Works from the Tate Archive” (2009), “Intimate Bureaucracies: Art and the Mail” (2011), “Contested Games: Mexico 68’s Design Revolution” (2012), “Daniel Santiago: Brazil is my Abyss” (MAMAM, Recife, 2012; MAC-Niteroi, Rio, 2014) and “Edgardo Antonio Vigo: The Unmaker of Objects” (MoMA, 2014). She has taught postgraduate courses at the University of Essex, UK and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

Lukas Geronimas was born in Toronto, Ontario. He received a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of British Columbia, and an MFA from the Milton Avery School at Bard College. His art is about manufacturing openings. It is also about value, in that an artwork should be created to live within the studio, the exhibition, and the collection; with each context comes a separate evaluation, and Lukas thinks an artwork is most meaningful when it is responsible for them all. Lukas currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

David Horvitz was born in California in 1982 and lives in Brooklyn, NY. Recent solo exhibitions include: concurrent shows at Jan Mot, Brussels, and Dawid Radziszewski Gallery, Warsaw; Peter Amby, Copenhagen; Statements, Art Basel; Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen; and Chert, Berlin. His work has been shown at EVA International 2014, Glasgow International 2014, LIAF 2013, MoMA, The Kitchen, and the New Museum. In New York, he has realized projects with Recess, Clocktower Gallery, post at MoMA, Printed Matter, Rhizome, and Triple Canopy.

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