“What a Difference a Day Makes” takes the idea of a rupture in a seemingly continuous flow of history as an armature for an exhibition of works by emerging artists from diverse backgrounds. The notion refers as much to recent global events as events of a more individual or subjective nature. Many of the artists included in the exhibition take up historical practices directly or indirectly suggesting both a break from, and a link to, a perceived continuity. These artists look to the past for inspiration, not as quotation or an ironic play of signifiers, nor as pastiche or as an effect of post-modernity. Past methods become a fruitful territory for these pluralistic artists whose work resists instrumentalization for a particular aesthetic or theoretical cause.
Erin Shirreff’s “Signature” series, for example, takes the sculpture of American Tony Smith as inspiration for her sculpted forms that are photographically reproduced and presented as image plates as though from a book. She fragments their crystalline shapes by presenting them as ‘signatures’ used in book making. When unbound they appear randomly sliced and fragmented. Megan Francis Sullivan’s large-format paintings of volcanic eruptions painted in response to the events Sept. 11, 2001 invoke violent natural disturbances. While the image quality of these works suggests that they may have been derived from newspaper images, their scale and physical presence contradicts any reference to the domestic. Similarly the conceptual lineage from which the work of Anna Ostoya derives—think of On Kawara’s date paintings—is complicated by the intentionally unschooled look of her collages, which tears the work away from a conventionally modernist, collage aesthetic. Each one is created from images of a single issue of an Italian newspaper. The series is complemented by a painted rendering of a front-page newspaper photograph of the aftermath of a 1980 train station bombing called the Bologna Massacre. Stylistically, the painting is an amalgam of metaphysical painting and futurist cubism, creating an uneasy tension between aesthetics and the politics of the conventional “real.” Harold Ancart’s in situ monofilament installations, employing pigment and epoxy, animate space as one might expect from Fred Sandback, but the pigment and dripping black epoxy suggests a more of Dystopian feeling than an analysis of form. His collaboration with Olivier Babin invokes a dialogue with minimalism, but only just, as their very material sculptures appear to both support the walls to which they are attached, and, are in turn supported by them, provoking perpetual uncertainty. Johannes Vogl’s playful works, created variously from found and jerry-rigged parts, are subtended at times by more solemn themes. His photo-text piece, Father and Son, speaks of violent reactions to painful personal experiences, while his slide piece Night eerily ticks away at the unrelenting passage of time.
During open art weekend, the gallery will be open Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 6 pm.