WINTER SHOW

Works by Bleckner, Ethridge, McCarthy, Mercier

December 11, 2013 – January 23, 2014

WINTER SHOW, Van de Weghe Fine Art
December 12, 2013 - January 24, 2014, Installation view

WINTER SHOW, Van de Weghe Fine Art
December 12, 2013 - January 24, 2014, Installation view

WINTER SHOW, Van de Weghe Fine Art
December 12, 2013 - January 24, 2014, Installation view

Press Release

Van de Weghe Fine Art is pleased to present Winter Show, with works by Ross Bleckner, Sam Durant, Roe Ethridge, Paul McCarthy and Mathieu Mercier. The exhibition presents a wintery mix of painting, photography, sculpture, and installation which are at once a celebration of the season, and a rebuke to its accompanying doldrums.

Ross Bleckner’s (b. 1949) monumental painting, Infatuation, 1986 is a beautiful amalgam of vibrant stripes, a motif that the artist used extensively in his work of the early to mid-1980s. The stripe paintings exemplify Bleckner’s signature play on the perception of surface versus depth. There is a movement to the vertical bands, which seem to vibrate and blend as they emerge onto the surface of the canvas. The artist employs his characteristic “interruption” of the motif - in this case, an over-sized gift bow - which pulls our eye from the painterly play of the pattern to its surface, transforming the work from abstraction to representation, from a painting, to gigantic, unopenable present.

Sam Durant’s (b.1961) installation, The Scrap Recycling Project with American Ingenuity (Winter), 1995, utilizes idiosyncratically shaped pieces of plywood which have been covered in a pristine-looking laminate. These shard-like forms are stacked and leaned against the wall in an improvisational arrangement resembling a mutable modernist skyline, or an ice jam. The installation evokes the reconstruction of an aftermath. An artist that engages a variety of social, political, and cultural issues, Durant utilizes the hope inherent to the mundane practicality of common building materials to revitalize and repurpose that which is leftover.

Roe Ethridge (b. 1969) uses the language of commercial photography in Canada (Near Banff), 2005. He captures what initially appears to be a straight-forward image of a snowy mountainside traversed by a stream. The idyll is interrupted, however, as we notice that the forest has apparently been ravaged by logging. The stunted regrowth has the abstract look of static, and the landscape feels all the more cold.

Paul McCarthy (b. 1949) is best known for his transgressive performances and sculptures which push the limits of propriety, confronting the viewer with ribald, psycho-sexual humor. Santa Sac, Red DoubleHead, 3 Butt Plugs, 2004-2006, combines a kitsch figure of Santa Claus with various sexual accessories. The juxtaposition magnifies how we are both nostalgic for and repelled by our fantasies, titillating while testing our limits.

Mathieu Mercier (b. 1970) highlights the relationship between the Modernist use of color and its contemporary, commercial use. His installation, Plastic Anchors Wall, 2002, is, as the title suggests, comprised of common-place screw anchors in primary colors, installed floor-to ceiling in a pattern which is reminiscent of a multi-colored falling snow. Mercier reveals the possibility of beauty in mundane mass-produced objects.

By using the vernacular of everyday objects, the works in the exhibition draw us in, as familiar things do, and make us reconsider the world around us, revitalizing our eye when we most need it. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, from 10:00am to 6:00pm, and by appointment. For further information, please contact Jenn Viola at jenn@vdwny.com.