Four years ago White Columns director Matthew Higgs’s proposal for the 6th Berlin Biennale considered the relationship between non-representational art and everyday life, but his submission was rejected in favor of Kathrin Rhomberg’s “what is waiting out there.” Higgs has finally dusted off the original proposal and used it as the basis for “Everyday Abstract–Abstract Everyday” an eclectic and amusing exhibition at James Cohen Gallery through July 27. Higgs writes in his statement that
This exhibition seeks to develop these earlier ideas around what I termed “vernacular” or “everyday” abstraction: that is artistic practices that actively privilege and operate in the grey area between an essentially non-representational image/object and the use of quotidian materials and processes.
Collectively the works in “Everyday Abstract – Abstract Everyday” seem most interested in the point at which the self-contained rationality of earlier modernist abstraction is ruptured. This sense of “rupture” – both physically and psychologically – is perhaps the prevailing aesthetic attitude that unites the otherwise highly idiosyncratic artists – and art works – brought together in “Everyday Abstract – Abstract Everyday.” In the work of all these artists traces of our material culture are transformed, or perhaps more accurately, re-purposed into something that is simultaneously familiar and strange.
Higgs has selected a wide range of engaging work, but the concept for the show is so obvious, it saps the best work of the strange, leaving primarily the familiar.
JOE FYFE, Comme le pays, 2012, found vinyl objects and canvas, gauze, and cord, 67 x 26 x 10 inches.
TONY FEHER, Painting, 2007, oil stain on plywood, 17 3/8 X 11 5/8 inches.
MICHEL FRANÇOIS, Untitled
, 2012, paper, approx. 8 x 12 feet.From afar, doesn’t this piece look like a big Tauba Auerbach
DAVID HAMMONS, KOOLAID DRAWING, 2004, Koolaid and pencil on paper, 43 29 inches.
ANN CATHRIN NOVEMBER HØIBO, Untitled #06, 2012, bronze cast of instant noodles, 4 x 3 ¾ x 1 ¼ inches. LOL, right?
JOSH SMITH, Untitled, 2009, oil on canvas, 30 x 24 inches. Why is this painting included? Is it because Smith paints everyday?
AGNES LUX, #91-L, 2012, graphite on postcards, 82 5/8 X 52 1/2 inches.
JUDITH SCOTT, Untitled
, 2004, mixed media, 23 x 19 x 16 inches. Does this ball of mixed media include any rubber bands
NANCY SHAVER, Fanny, 2011, Scrap metal, found upholstery board, upholstery fabric, canvas, glue, paper, house paint, acrylic paint, 66 x 27 x 20 inches. LOVE this.
GEDI SIBONY, The Two Simple Green Threes, 2012, dropcloth, 137 X 95 inches. This was one of my favorite pieces in the show.
ANDY WARHOL, Oxidation Painting, 1978, copper metallic pigment mixed with mixed media on canvas – twelve panels, 48 X 49 1/2 inches. Or, you know, piss.
B. WURTZ, Untitled
, 2010, collage and acrylic on paper, thread, string, plastic lid, 48 x 30 ¼ inches.
Everyday,” curated by Matthew Higgs. James Cohen Gallery, Chelsea, New York, NY. Through July 27, 2012. Artists include Walead Beshty, Alexandra Bircken, Sarah Braman, Wolfgang Breuer, Tom Burr, Ernst Caramelle, Andy Coolquitt, Paul Cowan, N. Dash, Tony Feher, Michel François, Joe Fyfe, Kim Gordon, David Hammons, Richard Hawkins, Ann Cathrin November Høibo, Bill Jenkins, Sergej Jensen, Udomsak Krisanamis, Jason Loebs, Agnes Lux, David Moreno, Virginia Overton, Manfred Pernice, Judith Scott, Nancy Shaver, Gedi Sibony, Michael E. Smith, Josh Smith, Shinique Smith, Al Taylor, Bill Walton, Andy Warhol, Hannah Wilke, Philadelphia Wireman, B. Wurtz, Amy Yao
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