March 6, 2013

The donut muffin: Uniting two worlds


For Tamara Gonzales and Jessica Duffett, curators of "Donut Muffin," a lively group show on view at Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Projects through March 10, a donut muffin is
a highly addictive muffin-shaped donut. Made from donut batter and dusted with sugar, it looks like a muffin and tastes like a donut. It is both a donut and a muffin, and it revels in its shameless sugary seduction. Eating these delights in a local coffee shop, we (the curators) came to realize that our conversations about art and these hybrid pastries were related. Planning Donut Muffin, we had conversations with artists approaching painting from a sculptural perspective. We discussed sculpture as drawing, and light as painting. We came to realize that in contrast to the orthodoxy of Modernist and subsequent postmodern practices, these artists embrace porous and iterative approaches to artmaking, and in so doing, acknowledge the ever-shifting experience of the viewer. We saw the studio and talismans of everyday life folded into formal practices of painting and sculpture.
Including work by Mike Amrhein, Sarah Braman, Ariel Dill, Joe Fyfe, EJ Hauser, Clinton King, Pam Lins, Lauren Luloff, Chris Martin, Nathlie Provosty, Robert Rhee, Christian Sampson, and Stephen Truax, the curators propose that the artists challenge the hierarchies of art objecthood and materiality. Above all, they suggest, 
the role of memory and perception, the subjective and emotional aspects of artmaking and experiencing art, [are] at the forefront of discussions about their bodies of work. This last alchemic piece encompasses the attitude and position of Donut Muffin: transcending two worlds through unification of seemingly contradictory camps— painting and sculpture, conceptual and intuitive, the space between intention and perception.
I strongly recommend a visit to look at how painters are combining this AND that. There's plenty of quirky, interesting work to warrant a trip to Long Island City before it closes on Sunday--if you can pry yourself away from Armory Week Art Fairs, that is.

Installation view with work by Pamela Lins, Ariel Dill + Christian Sampson, Michael Amrhein, and Stephen Truax. Truax's painting installation is "conceptual and rigorous while simultaneously deeply emotional and personal."

Joe Fyfe, TALAT SAO, 2011, cotton, 76 ½ x 39 ¾ inches. "...repurposing of common fabrics from his travels form artworks that are at once paintings, sculptures, and appropriations."

Ariel Dill, Club Scene, 2012, acrylic and oil on canvas, 20 x 16 inches. "...conflating high art with motifs of common culture including weaving and textiles, Dill undermines the weight denoted to the American patriarchy of signature gestural painting."

EJ Hauser, forgetmenot, 2012, superpages, marker, oil paint on canvas, 14 x 11 inches.  "..challenging singular readings of painting, canonical notions of 'signature' practices, and gender identity as it relates to painting and art-making"

Clinton King, Confetti you make me cry, 2012, oil on canvas, 47 ½ x 32 inches. "The intuitive sensibility that defines King’s work is at once rigorously conceptual through its commitment to parameters and specific processes, yet leaves room for intuition and improvisation."


Installation by Ariel Dill and Christian Sampson
Pam Lins, Lincoln Bookend Obstruction, 2010, acrylic on panel, acrylic paint, plaster, ACX plywood
60 x 23 ½ x 23 ½ inches. "Iconic motifs from sculpture, architecture, painting and design combine to disrupt conventional approaches to reading an art object."

Ariel Dill and Christian Sampson, Black and White Orgone Accumulator Blanket, 2009, mixed media, 48 x 30 x 5 inches.

Sarah Braman, In the Woods, 2012, table top, wood and paint, 44 3/4 by 46 by 2 1/2 inches. "Driving by her home in rural Massachusetts, Braman will often find such abandoned fragments by the side of the road, and later imbue them with the same significance as the pure forms of major postmodern sculpture."


Mike Amrhein, V, 2012, steel, 108 ¾ x 17 ½ x 7/8 inches. "...imbues utilitarian materials with the cerebral flourish of minimalism, while maintaining irresistible humor and verve"

Robert Rhee, Wind Eggs. "...evocative of ancient ritual and common use."

"Donut Muffin," curated by Jessica Duffett and Tamara Gonzales. Dorsky curatorial Projects, Long Island City, Queens, NY. Through March 10, 2013. Note: all quoted text is from the curators' catalog essay.

Image at top: nstallation view with Joe Fyfe, Sarah Braman, and Lauren Luloff. Luloff "brings personal associations of fabric, light and three-dimensional forms into the lexicon of painting, collapsing public and personal memory and iconography."

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