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March 7, 2015 at 5:00 pm

It’s gonna take a lotta love

ARCHIVE: INSTALLATION PHOTOGRAPHS // PRESS RELEASE // GALLERY PROGRAM

“It’s gonna take a lotta love” is a group exhibition that explores ideas about inclusivity, authenticity, and commonality in an age of anxiety, isolated individualism, and virtually lived experience. The show is on view from March 7 – May 24, 2015, and is curated by Liza Statton and Terri C Smith.

The exhibiting artists avoid the detachment and slick seduction of the screen-based technologies that characterize our attention economy. Yet, rather than critiquing the sensationalist strategies embedded in the ever-expanding social media and advertising industries, they pursue modes of art-making that focus on the aesthetic and conceptual potential of society’s offcuts.

These artists also share a type of tragic-comic vision of contemporary culture. Humor, joy, and melancholy, among others, mix easily in their work. Yet, such emotional credibility creates a kind of slippage between empathy and alienation.

Wayne White, “See Do,” 2013, paint on offset lithograph, courtesy of Western Projects

Some artists create this slippage by making and re-making objects using seemingly inconsequential materials. Wayne White paints witty and sometimes biting phrases on found thrift store lithographs of scenes such as pastoral landscapes or rustic barns. Andy Coolquitt resituates familiar materials such as vinyl records, lightbulbs, synthetic shag fabric, and books-on-tape into installations that are inspired by functions and spaces outside of the gallery. His works articulate a tension between the familiarity of our real lives and the exclusive domain of the white cube gallery. Whiting Tennis creates drawings, paintings and sculptures that pit Modernist art’s fascination with pure form against an intentionally personal mode of a hobbiest aesthetic that wrestles with ideas of concealment and containment.

A.L. Steiner + Robbinschilds, C.L.U.E. (color location ultimate experience), Part 1, 2007, Courtesy of Video Data Bank

Other artists such as Jon Campbell, Stephen Vitiello, and Jeremy Deller create subtle interventions using everyday language and music. Deller’s poster “Attention all DJs” takes on the form of a handwritten sign with tongue-in-cheek instructions for DJs. Jon Campbell’s “four letter word flags” brightly declare words like “Yeah,” “Home,” and “Want.” By inserting his word flags between country, state, or corporate flags in a city, Campbell prompts passerby’s to ask if the words we all use are worthy of a public format usually saved for pagentry or branding.  Stephen Vitiello’s sound works in “It’s gonna take a lotta love” appropriate commercial music from well known singers. With “Dolly Ascending” Vitiello slows down Dolly Parton singing “Stairway to Heaven” to the point where it sounds like choral music. In A.L. Steiner + Robbinschild’s “C.L.U.E. Part I” video two women perform dance infused movements in backdrops of natural and built environments, connecting color, action, attitude, and environment in a straightforward way that includes the audience in their choreographed antics.

Two of the exhibiting artists, Andy Coolquitt and Jon Campbell, have been commissioned to make new works for “It’s gonna take a lotta love.” In the gallery, Coolquitt, whose assemblages reconsider the materials we unconsciously engage with, will be creating a new mixed media installation entitled oo oo. Australian artist Jon Campbell has been commissioned to make new works for the exhibition. His gallery contributions include a “four letter word” mural and a set list painting, which is based on a Melbourne band’s 1984 performance. Campbell extends his painting practice into the public sphere with an ambitious installation in Downtown Stamford, his first in the United States. Campbell, who is interested in representing “the overlooked and undervalued,” will design and exhibit flags and banners with the words: Hold, Home, Look, Play, Want, and Yeah. The works will be mounted on existing flagpoles in public parks, at office buildings, and on construction fences throughout Downtown.

Yeah Flag, 2009, Sydney/Courtesy of the artist and Darren Knight, Sydne

Artists include: Jon Campbell (Melbourne), Andy Coolquitt (Austin/NYC), Jeremy Deller (London), Stephen Vitiello (Richmond, VA), Jessica Mein (NYC), A.L. Steiner + Robbinschilds (NYC), Whiting Tennis (Seattle), and Wayne White (LA).

March 19, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Ribbon Cutting for Jon Campbell Public Art Project

Australian Artist, Jon Campbell, creates his first public art project in the United States for Stamford, Connecticut, as part of the group exhibition “It’s gonna take a lotta love,” which is on view through May 24, 2015. The public is invited to a celebratory ribbon-cutting ceremony for the project’s flags and banners! The ribbon cutting will take place at Franklin Street Works on Thursday, March 19 at 3:00pm and will be followed by a reception in the Franklin Street Works cafe and galleries from 4:00-5:30pm. Campbell’s flags will be on view through June 16, which is also Flag Day.

More than 50 flags and banners will be mounted at Stamford’s public parks, schools and in front of select office buildings, including the Government Center. Jon Campbell’s “four-letter word flags” brightly declare the words Hold, Home, Look, Play, and Yeah. Their presence in the public sphere creates a visual dialogue with residents and visitors going about their daily routines.  Campbell’s works transform everyday words into pictorial objects, prompting viewers to understand the expansive nature of language and how context, scale, and color can change a word’s resonance. By inserting his word flags between country, state, or corporate flags in a city, Campbell prompts passersby to ask which words are worthy of a public format usually saved for pageantry or branding.

Franklin Street Works is also partnering with local public and private Stamford schools to develop educational programs that engage students, including a flag design competition for 7th-12th grade students. The competition will result in the printing and hanging of two winning flag designs in a public ceremony scheduled for late May.

“It’s gonna take a lotta love” is a group exhibition that explores ideas about inclusivity, authenticity, and commonality in an age of anxiety, isolated individualism, and virtually lived experience. Artists include: Jon Campbell (Melbourne, Australia), Andy Coolquitt (Austin/NYC), Jeremy Deller (London), Jessica Mein (NYC), A.L. Steiner + Robbinschilds (NYC), Whiting Tennis (Seattle), Stephen Vitiello (Richmond, VA), and Wayne White (LA).

About the Artist: Jon Campbell is a painter who lives and works in Melbourne, Australia. Marrying the design principles of modernist abstraction with Pop vernacular, Campbell creates text-based paintings, banners, and flags that aestheticize common experiences.  In 2013, was Campbell was commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) to create new public works for the comprehensive group exhibition, Melbourne Now. In 2012, Campbell was awarded the Basil Sellers Art Prize for his multi-panel painting Dream team. Recent solo exhibitions include Spring 1883, Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney (2014); DUNNO, Kalimanrawlins, Melbourne (2012); Pure Bewdy, Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney (2011); and Stacks On, Melbourne Art Foundation Commission (2010). Campbell is an Associate Professor at the VCA at Melbourne University.

About our Sponsors: This exhibition is sponsored, in part, by The Bacon Family, First County Bank, The Levenson-Bailey-Lupinacci Family, PlowShare Group, Purdue Pharma, SL Green Realty Corp., and Video Data Bank. Jon Campbell’s participation has been assisted by The University of Melbourne, Victorian College of the Arts, and the Australia Council for the Arts.


March 28, 2015 at 4:00 pm

Artist Talk by Jon Campbell, Exhibiting Artist in “It’s gonna take a lotta love”

On March 28, Franklin Street Works will host a lively talk by Australian artist, Jon Campbell, as part of the current exhibition “It’s gonna take a lotta love,” curated by Terri C. Smith and Liza Statton. For his Franklin Street Works talk, Campbell will discuss his art practice, including the formal strategies in the works he made for the Franklin Street Works’ exhibition. The talk will give insights into Campbell’s word paintings and flags, which are part of his public art installation in Stamford, CT. The event is free and open to the public and will take place at Franklin Street Works on Saturday, March 28th from 4:00-6:00pm, with the talk from 4:00 – 5:00pm followed by a Q & A and casual conversation with the artist in the café from 5:00-6:00pm.

Jon Campbell is a painter who lives and works in Melbourne, Australia. Marrying the design principles of modernist abstraction with Pop vernacular, he creates text-based paintings, banners, and flags that aestheticize common experiences.  For his Franklin Street Works commission, Campbell has created an ambitious public art project, his first in the United States, in addition to his gallery contributions, a “four letter word” mural, and a set list painting based on a Melbourne band’s 1984 performance.  Campbell’s flags and banners, including one at Stamford’s Government Center, will be mounted in public parks, schools and in front of downtown businesses, creating a visual dialogue with residents, visitors and passersby. These “four-letter word flags” brightly declare words like Hold, Home, Look, Play, and Yeah. Elevating everyday words into pictorial objects, Campbell’s flags ask viewers to consider which words are worthy of a public format usually saved for pageantry or branding and ask us to explore the potential of each word’s meaning.

Campbell adds, “Words are in everybody’s life but not necessarily as painted word. Once the word or phrase is isolated as a painting it suddenly resonates in a different way. So I think there is a lot of power in the word as an artwork. It also allows for a sense of humor and allows a lot of freedom in terms of design.”

“It’s gonna take a lotta love” is a group exhibition that explores ideas about inclusivity, authenticity, and commonality in an age of anxiety, isolated individualism, and virtually lived experience.

Artists include: Jon Campbell (Melbourne, Australia), Andy Coolquitt (Austin/NYC), Jeremy Deller (London), Jessica Mein (NYC), A.L. Steiner + Robbinschilds (NYC), Whiting Tennis (Seattle), Stephen Vitiello (Richmond, VA), and Wayne White (LA).

About the Artist: Jon Campbell lives and works in Melbourne, Australia. In 2013, Campbell was commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) to create new public works for the comprehensive group exhibition, Melbourne Now. In 2012, Campbell was awarded the Basil Sellers Art Prize for his multi-panel painting Dream team. Recent solo exhibitions include Spring 1883, Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney (2014); DUNNO, Kalimanrawlins, Melbourne (2012); Pure Bewdy, Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney (2011); and Stacks On, Melbourne Art Foundation Commission (2010). Campbell is an Associate Professor at the VCA at Melbourne University.

About our Sponsors: This exhibition is sponsored, in part, by The Bacon Family, First County Bank, The Levenson-Bailey-Lupinacci Family, PlowShare Group, Purdue Pharma, SL Green Realty Corp., and Video Data Bank. Jon Campbell’s participation has been assisted by The University of Melbourne, Victorian College of the Arts, and the Australia Council for the Arts.