Sunday, January 30, 2011
Friday, October 1, 2010
JONATHAN VanDYKE: The Irrigated Husband
September 24 – October 31, 2010
Opening: Friday, September 24, 6–9 pm
with a durational performance for 2 women from 7–9 pm
Fivesevendelle is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new work by New York-based artist Jonathan VanDyke. For his first exhibition in Boston, VanDyke has re-oriented the gallery space, both adding and extracting elements from the gallery’s historic Mission Hill interiors. The space takes on the feel of a stage, where both object and viewer perform.
A key element of the show is an article from Architectural Digest highlighting the Miami apartment of baseball player Mike Piazza and his wife, Alicia. The article shows Piazza, who in 2002 famously held a press conference to announce that he is “not gay,” kneeling behind his wife, her bare feet propped on a beige couch; they both sport loose white shirts. Behind the couple hangs a giant, horizontal Kenneth Noland stripe painting (Noland’s wife was the editor of Architectural Digest). Using a method that has become widely popular for reproducing family snapshots as “paintings,” VanDyke has printed this article onto canvas. He then placed the canvases inside of thick wood frames and behind glass. Each piece, moreover, is pierced by a tube. Liquid paint drips from these tubes, so that the interiors of the frames slowly fill up with colored liquid. The continued staining of the image belies the presentation of a happy couple, thereby revealing, according to VanDyke, “how strangely clean and colorless their habitat is, and how their guise is curiously overperformed.”
A second group of works appears inside of fivesevendelle’s front gallery, in which VanDyke has built a “white cube.” New walls cover up the extant decorative molding, while sealing off the regular entrance into the gallery. The artist has opened up a small corridor underneath the stairs – normally used for storage – as the only point of access for this gallery. Seven vertically-oriented paintings are hung in this brightly lit cube. VanDyke salvaged the canvas for these paintings from a performance piece he mounted last year, where it had hung as a curtain backdrop. For that performance – loosely based upon a photograph of Kenneth Noland’s assistants kneeling on the studio floor, at work on staining a canvas –VanDyke hired two men to sit in front of the curtain for several hours, with paint dripping onto their torsos. The canvas curtain was irrigated by tubing that stained it with paint for the duration of the HQ show. VanDyke ripped apart and re-worked sections of this curtain, rebuilding in his studio the irrigation system that he employed in the gallery. The canvases have accumulated the grime and dirt of the studio and of the former installation; accidental marks live side by side with areas drenched in color, while the holes from the irrigation system (since removed, making the works “dry”) are now open to the walls behind them. The works are framed in austere constructions made from ubiquitous, Ikea-grade materials – white formica and MDF. It is difficult to know what is considered and what is accidental in these paintings, or if they are even paintings at all. Marked by the action of both stage and studio, the works recall those Yves Klein canvases that are both imprints of a bodily action and fields of dense color.
As with the artist’s previous exhibitions, he inserts a performance into the opening. This non-narrative performance does not need to be watched from start to finish, but is framed as an ulterior event coinciding with the social situation that is the opening itself. Two women sit upon the fivesevendelle’s stairway, where they apply, remove, and re-apply layers of make-up on one another’s faces.
The face becomes equated with the surface of the canvas, while the act of beautification, performed in silence, becomes a ritual of communication between two women.
Jonathan VanDyke’s recent solo exhibitions include Gloved Impediment at HQ in Brooklyn and The Hole in the Palm of Your Hand at Scaramouche in New York. He received an MFA from Bard College, and attended the Skowhegan School as well as the Glasgow School of Art. Within the last year his work has been reviewed in artslant, White Hot Magazine, TimeOut New York, and Art Forum, and a feature-length article appeared on him in Modern Painters. This spring he was the recipient of a major grant from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation. www.jonathanvandyke.com
Fivesevendelle is an art exhibition venue and community platform for artists and visitors to create new relationships between one another and the artwork. Exhibiting artists determine how and what work will be shown while having the opportunity to exhibit work without any market constraints.
For this exhibition, fivesevendelle will have special hours. Saturdays: September 25, October 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30th from 1–4 pm; and several Tuesday evenings: September 28 and October 26 from 6 – 9 pm; as well as by appointment: