Not completely hopeless. Not utterly bleak. Not fully shrouded in darkness.
Gray allows for the possibility of distant optimism.
This show assembles a group of artworks that evoke a particular feeling of lonely listlessness, embedded with the faint glimmer of hope that the idea of improvement might be possible. Laying in the gutter, but staring at the stars. Straining to see into the distance. The reaction to this arrested position of something potentially better just out of reach hovers between thoughtful reverie, heartbroken nostalgia, and helpless sloth. But with an increasingly gnawing discontent under the skin comes a more pressing and fevered need for an undefined change.
Robert Barry’s diptych simply states “Incomplete”, ambiguously a possible question or a declaration, but in either case prompts the inquiry of what then is missing, and can it ever be known or achieved. Jeffrey Gibson’s mostly black adorned punching bag has its title beaded on its surface: “I’m Not Perfect”. This brooding yet elegant work suggests a sadness, yet acceptance of limitations; it shows a determination, a confidence in itself against the odds. Zlatan Vehabović’s painting of a beached whale is a moment of utter loneliness and helplessness, the creature, the protagonist we connect to, clinging to its last moments. VALIE EXPORT’s collage of images mixing the faces of Salzburg nurses with the hospital buildings they work in is an examination of the limits of their identity, are they defined only by their profession? Marc Bijl’s corroded silver surfaced painting has a bronze plate affixed – “Gagosian”, the sign plate of the gallery which the artist filched. Is the painting good enough without the imprimatur of the vaunted gallery? In Diana Shpungin’s sculpture, “A Failure of Memory” crumpled pieces of paper, overly saturated with graphite, spill from a gauzed and bandaged trash can. Whatever thoughts or memories that might have been recorded are obliterated, only the fact that they once existed and the wounds they may have inflicted remain.
The exhibition includes work by: William Anastasi (US), Robert Barry (US), Thomas Bangsted (Denmark), Marc Bijl (Netherlands), Daniel Boyd (Australia), Dove Bradshaw (US), Grayson Cox (US), Jessica Dickinson (US), Matt Ducklo (US), Tim Eitel (Germany), VALIE EXPORT(Austria), Eric Freeman (US) Jeffrey Gibson (US), Kristján Gudmundsson (Iceland), Geoff Hippenstiel (US), Ridley Howard (US), Jasper Johns (US), Jim Lee (US), Sol LeWitt (US), Ralph Eugene Meatyard (US), Jong Oh (Korea), Paul P. (Canada), Joyce Pensato (US), Rona Pondick (US), J. Ariadhitya Pramuhendra(Indonesia), Andrew Sendor (US), Diana Shpungin (Latvia/US), Sam Trioli (US), Zlatan Vehabović (Croatia)