April 9th, 2010

“Newtonland” at White Flag Projects

Artists: Greg Bogin, Elizabeth Bryant, Anne Eastman, Ib Geertsen, Grabner/Killam, Jean Painleve, Jan Van Der Ploeg, Jonas Wood

Venue: White Flag Projects, St. Louis

Exhibition Title: Newtonland: Orbits, Ellipses and other Planes of Activity

Date: February 27 – April 10, 2010

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Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.


Images courtesy of White Flag Projects, St. Louis

Press Release:

White Flag Projects is pleased to announce its next exhibition, Newtonland: Orbits, Ellipses and other Planes of Activity, with artwork by Greg Bogin, Elizabeth Bryant, Anne Eastman, Ib Geertsen, Grabner/Killam, Jean Painleve, Jan Van Der Ploeg and Jonas Wood. The exhibition is curated by Michelle Grabner. An opening reception will be held Saturday evening, February 27, 2010 from 7 to 10 PM. The exhibition will be on view February 27 – April 10, 2010. Newtonland: Orbits, Ellipses and other Planes of Activity will be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue published by Poor Farm Press titled MOBILES, including essays by Nicholas Frank, Michelle Grabner and Brad Killam.

“So I think what comes next is a web with big holes blown in it. A spiderweb in a storm. The turtles get knocked out from under it, the platform sinks through the cloud. A lot of the inherent contradictions of the web get revealed, the contradictions in the oxymorons smash into each other.” – Bruce Sterling, February 2009

Fiscal exigencies have bestowed artists with promising new freedoms. No longer charged with the aim to develop tamped spoils for the voracious speculative collector, many artists are once again examining the formal dimensions of three-dimensional space.

The once reliable foundations of the world have proven to be faithless bubbles. In the studio, artists are not simply rediscovering Alexander Calder’s mobiles anew, but are investigating the capriciousness of atmosphere and the loss of support (canvas, wall, pedestal, floor).

This suspended work is the inverse of recent accretion-based sculptural practices that engage in synthetic concepts of space. The works included in Newtonland actively invent non-static spatial relations, experiment with organizing structures, and choreograph movement. This experimentation is the physical opposite of accumulation and collection practices — many of which were aptly featured in the New Museum’s exhibition Unmonumental: The Object in the 21st Century (2007), which was comprised of organizational gestures that strikingly paralleled the bundling of debt by banks. Contemporary mobile work does away with traditional supports, allowing gravity to becomes the final arbiter. In Newtonland a force of nature takes the reigns in compositional arrangement.

The artists included in Newtonland harness gravitational forces in various degrees. Artist Greg Bogin’s (New York) shaped canvas suggests orbital speed and rotation, while Elizabeth Bryant (Los Angeles) evokes natural phenomenon that is closer to home. In her photographic mobile, forms are cut free from their conventional pictorial landscape. Anne Eastman’s (New York) stabiles negotiate geometries wrought in familiar materials, while Ib Geertsen (Danish 1919-2009) and Jan Van Der Ploeg (Dutch) explore the abstract qualities of form and color when subjected to the merits of balance and harmony. Jonas Wood’s (Los Angeles) drawings claim a debt to Calder’s mobiles and stabiles while identifying parallel compositions in the structure of houseplants. Like Eastman’s vernacular material references, Michelle Grabner and Brad Killam’s (Chicago) large-scale suspended screen employs familiar aluminum stadium bleacher material with traditional silverpoint line drawing. Finally, a selection of Jean Painleve’s (French 1902-1989) early 20th century nature films document radical life forms that have evolved in the relative density of the sea.

Link: “Newtonland” at White Flag Projects

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