The Space Between Us
Featuring work by Jesse Bercowetz and Matt Bua, Dawn Clements, Richard Garrison, MarkGreenwold, Oliver Michaels,Adia Millett, Fabien Rigobert, and Mary Temple.
On view at the University Art Museum
January 24 through April 9, 2006
Opening Reception: Tuesday, January 24, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Free and open to the public
ALBANY , NY ---The University Art Museum is pleased to present The Space Between Us, a group exhibition featuring nine contemporary artists who explore a range of spatial circumstances inspired by familiar interiors and the surrounding architecture. Working in video, painting, drawing, and installation, Jesse Bercowetz and Matt Bua, Dawn Clements, Richard Garrison, Mark Greenwold, Oliver Michaels, Adia Millett, Fabien Rigobert, and Mary Temple share an affinity for overlooked spaces (real or imagined). Through a combination of acute observation, persistent research, and elaborate fabrication, their personal readings of a given space reveal that the space between us is rarely what it first appears.
Jesse Bercowetz and Matt Bua build ramshackle structures that are part kids-fort, part Kurt Schwitter’s MERZbau for the 21 st-century. Created out of found materials, these wonky habitats combine Bercowetz and Bua’s can-do resourcefulness with their finely honed aesthetic; the results suggest both a nostalgic yearning for innocence lost and a future driven by apocalyptic survival.
Dawn Clements’ acutely observed and densely rendered wall-size ink drawings depict empty film noir stage sets. Although the melodrama queens who typically occupy these interiors are nowhere in sight, their emotional presence is palpable. Clements captures these backdrops for celluloid indiscretions in such vivid detail that they seem as real and immediate as the spaces we actual inhabit.
Operating like an eighteenth-century naturalist, Richard Garrison, records and measures the most innocuous details of all that he surveys: the shadows cast on his lawn, the graduations of color in his neighbors' asphalt driveways, the width of the aisles in stores that he frequents. He then filters and reconfigures this information into drawings and installations that at first glance read like exercises in 1970s Minimalism, but are actually highly personal attempts at creating new terrain out of familiar ground. For this exhibition, he will turn his attention to the countless hallways of the University's academic buildings. After compiling exacting measurements from each site, Garrison will transfer the data onto 20-foot strips of white paper forming a vast undulating grid that bears the folded imprint of every corner and opening found within the campus built environment.
In Mark Greenwold’s obsessively wrought paintings of domestic conflict the action almost always unfolds with tragic results. Initially the paintings’ figurative elements seem to propel the narratives forward—each contorted gesture and imploring glance conveys a world of psychological torment; but what ultimately solidifies the narrative are its compressed spaces—stage-like backdrops culled from upscale home design magazines. Despite the suggestion of comfort and insularity, these interiors provide little relief from the emotional misdeeds that entrap its occupants.
Oliver Michaels ’ videos Train (2004) and Door (2005) offer an intimate and dislocating experience of interior spaces. In Train, his camera is attached to a model train that passes through a series of rooms that appear connected, but are actually from multiple buildings. As the train tunnels seamlessly through the walls of bedrooms, living rooms, and bathrooms, a distinctive narrative of each space emerges —some rooms indicate spacious ease, while others reek of cramped squalor. In Michaels’ composite world, these disjunctive spaces become one vast fictional set in which the boundaries that typically contain social and economic classes are made permeable.
Using found and craft-based materials, Adia Millett constructs tabletop renditions of low-rent brick apartment buildings. Despite the generic façade, these structures are anything but homogenous; each miniaturized room reflects a singular and distinctive place that speaks to the inherent individuality of lived spaces. Plastic covered couches, ornate gold frames, dusty silk flowers, chandeliers, and cockroaches are all part of Millett’s intimate fictional mix. Although delicate in appearance, these fabrications pack a potent message about social expectations and the precariousness of life in the dual shadows of desire and despair.
The carefully composed tableaux that unfold in Fabien Rigobert’ssingle-channel videos owe their scale and composition to the language of painting, while their narrative drama draws on contemporary notions about intimacy and alienation. In South Flower 2, a group of unrelated figures, seemingly from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds, come in and out of what appears to be a public waiting room; at no point does anyone interact. As the video progresses, a palpable sense of isolation descends upon the scene. We are left with the suggestion that small, contained spaces are no more likely to bring people together than large open expanses.
Mary Temple ’s site-specific wall paintings give the illusion that sunlight and the natural world have penetrated the gallery space. Taking cues from her immediate surroundings and then subverting them, her artificially staged, yet utterly convincing and poetic falsehoods stand in stark contrast to the spaces they occupy. For this exhibition, Temple takes on the museum’s Modernist architecture by painting cast shadows of leafy trees across three columns in the mezzanine gallery. Only after fully absorbing the museum space and the intricate play of light and shadow across its walls will the viewer realize there isn’t a tree in sight.
The Space Between Us is held in conjunction with Architecture at Albany: A Year Long Exploration of the Built Environment at the University at Albany and Its Surrounding Community and is supported by the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost, and the University Auxiliary Services.
Jesse Bercowetz and Matt Bua live and work in Brooklyn andhave worked together since 1998. Their recent solo exhibitions include The World’s Largest Bowie Knife at Jack the Pelican in Brooklyn (2005) and The Re-creation of Fort Comfort at Rice University Art Gallery in Huston , Texas (2004). Selected group exhibitions include Set and Drift: Art Lands on Governors Island, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council in Governors Island , New York City (2005); Open House: Working in Brooklyn at The Brooklyn Museum of Art in Brooklyn (2004); Relentless Proselytizers at Feigen Contemporary in New York City (2004); and Clubhouse at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City , New York (2003).
Dawn Clements lives and works in Brooklyn , New York . She has had recent solo exhibitions at Pierogi in Brooklyn (2004) and at Feigen Contemporary in New York City (2004). Selected group exhibitions include In Door Out, at ACME Gallery in Los Angeles , California (2004); The Drawn Page, at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield , Connecticut (2004); Score! Action Drawing at White Columns in New York City, Story Telling at New Langton Art Center in San Francisco, California (2004); Open House: Working in Brooklyn at Brooklyn Museum in Brooklyn (2004); Explaining Magic at the Rotunda Gallery in Brooklyn (2003); Some Panoramas at Pump House Gallery in London (2003); and Next Next Wave at Brooklyn Academy of Music in Brooklyn (2002).
She received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University at Albany , State University of New York in 1989.
Richard Garrison lives and works in Delmar , New York . He had a recent solo exhibition at I Space at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Chicago , Illinois (2004) and his work will be featured in Structuring Perception an upcoming group exhibition at NurtureART in Brooklyn (2006). Additional group exhibitions include New Turf at the Fleming Museum at the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont (2005); This is Not an Archive at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York (2005); Topographic at Spaces in Cleveland, Ohio (2005); Day Job at The Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy, New York (2003); and Open and Shut: Artists’ Doors, Kidspace at MASS MoCA, Pittsfield, Massachusetts (2001).
Mark Greenwold lives and works in Albany , New York . Selected solo exhibitions include You Must Change Your Life at D.C. Moore Gallery in New York City (2002); and The Risk of Existence at Phyllis Kind Gallery in New York City (1998). Selected group exhibitions include Solitude and Focus: Recent Works by the MacDowell Colony Fellows in Visual Arts at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut (2005); Disparities and Deformations, Our Grotesque, The Site Santa Fe 5 th International Biennial Exhibition at Site Sante Fe in Sante Fe, New Mexico (2004); About Painting at The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York (2004); Endless Love at D.C. Moore Gallery in New York City (2004); Colored Pencil at K.S. Art in New York City (2004); Ballpoint Inklings at K.S. Art in New York City (2003); and Self Made Man at D.C. Moore Gallery in New York City (2001).
Oliver Michaels lives and works in New York City . He has had recent solo exhibitions at Herzliya Museum of Art, in Herzlia , Israel (2005); at Krefelder Kunstmuseen in Krefeld , Germany (2005); and at Shoshana Wayne Gallery in Santa Monica , California (2005). Selected group exhibitions include Greater New York 2005 at P.S. 1 in Queens , New York (2005); Scenes de Vie at Centre Culturel Suisse in Paris , France (2005); Home Comforts at Toronto International Art Fair in Toronto , Canada (2004); Bag Lady at Cell Project in London (2003); and Civilia at Bluecoat Gallery, in Liverpool , England (2003). His work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and Krefelder Kunstmuseen in Krefeld , Germany.
Adia Millett lives and works in New York City . Her recent solo exhibitions include Pre-Fabricated Innocence at Mixed Greens in New York City (2005) and Adia Millett at Cherrydelosreyes in Los Angeles (2004). Selected group exhibitions include Greater New York at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in Queens, New York (2005); African Queen, at Studio Museum in Harlem in New York City (2005); and Black President The Art and Legacy of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Los Angeles (2004); and New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City (2003); Undomesticated Interiors, at Smith College Museum of Art in North Hampton, Massachusetts (2003); Living Units, at Triple Candie in New York City (2003); and Freestyle at The Studio Museum in Harlem in New York City (2001).
Fabien Rigobert lives and works in Paris . Recent exhibitions include Fresh Paint at Galerie Lehmann Maupin in New York City (2005); Festival Némo at D’arcadi in Paris (2005); Le Printemps de Chine at Pékin in Shanghai (2005); and South Flower and Topanga Ground at Galerie Anne de Villepoix in Paris (2005). He was represented by Galerie Anne de Villepoix at Art 35 Basel in Basel , Switzerland (2004).
Mary Temple lives and works in Brooklyn , New York . Her upcoming solo exhibitions include In Practice Project Series at the SculptureCenter in Queens , New York (2006) and Extended Afternoon, Phase 2 & 3, at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield , Connecticut (2006). Recent solo exhibitions include Extended Afternoon, Phase 1 at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield , Connecticut (2005); Postcard Skie at Mixed Greens in New York (2003); 1,000,000 Ellipsoids at ZieherSmith in New York City (2003); and Additaments at Cherrydelosreyes in Los Angeles , California (2003). Selected group exhibitions include Presence of Light, at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield , Massachusetts (2004); OnLine at Feigen Contemporary in New York (2003); and Explaining Magic at the Rotunda Gallery, in Brooklyn (2003).
For more information on The Space Between Us, please call (518) 442-4035.
MUSEUM HOURS: Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. , Saturday and Sunday noon to 4 p.m.