MARCH 20, 2014 - MAY 23, 2014
OPENING: THURSDAY, MARCH 20, 6-8pm
Mixed Greens and Projective City are pleased to present an ambitious, site-specific installation by Susan Graham in which an entire wall of the gallery, from floor to ceiling, will be consumed by a giant mandala-like spiral made of porcelain sculptures and sugar objects affixed directly to the wall. There is a simultaneous sense of wonder and danger in the installation, palpable through the viewer’s proximity to such unprotected fragility.
For over a decade, Graham has used strategies of pattern and decoration to poetically depict the eternal struggle between nature and technology. In this installation, Graham will push scale and her materials to limits dictated by time and fragility. Her ability to transform delicate, evocative materials into powerful objects is showcased as she uses porcelain and sugar to sculpt wall-based electrical towers, satellite dishes, flora, and trees with a depth that is both precarious and inviting. Humorous yet foreboding, each vignette will build upon the next to create an overall vortex that leaves an indelible impression.
For this exhibition, Projective City was kind enough to give Graham a full week (and a cot) to install the work on site. The porcelain sculptures that provide the framework for the spiral were made in advance of the installation, but the sugar pieces will be constructed with site-specificity when Graham arrives at Projective City. Over the course of seven full days, Graham will live and breathe the installation as she attaches more sugar whilst residing in the gallery. The resulting installation will be maximally additive, pushing scale, playing with depth, and evoking multivalent narratives. The collection of sugar pieces (made of sugar and egg whites) will represent growth and creation in juxtaposition to the more static porcelain. When the show is over, the sugar will be destroyed while the porcelain towers will remain.
Susan Graham lives and works in New York City. Her solo exhibition venues include Lux Art Institute in Encinitas, CA; Schroeder Romero, NYC; Mixed Greens, NYC; Avram Gallery, Long Island University, Southampton, NY; Holly Solomon Gallery, Chelsea Hotel, NYC; and the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Grand Rapids, MI. Group exhibition venues include Margaret Thatcher Projects, NYC; Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ; Fresno Metropolitan Museum, Fresno, CA; Nicolaysen Art Museum, Casper, WY; Neuberger Museum of Art, Yonkers, NY; Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, NY; Sherman Gallery at Boston University, Boston, MA; Leubsdorf Gallery at Hunter College, NYC; John Michael Kohler Art Center, Sheboygan, WI; and the Whitney Museum of American Art at Philip Morris, NYC; among many others. She has had residencies at prestigious venues including Smack Mellon and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Awards have included a Pollock-Krasner grant and two Fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts. Her work can be seen in public collections at Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Hessel Art Museum at Bard College. She is represented in New York by Schroeder Romero.
"I LOOKED DOWN, I REALIZED I HAD A BODY"
JANUARY 9 – MARCH 15 2014
OPENING: THURSDAY, JANUARY 9, 6-8pm
Mixed Greens and Projective City are pleased to present an ambitious, site-specific installation by Brice Brown. Imagine being obsessed with a particular object’s beauty. So entirely consumed, in fact, with the power and glory of the object’s image that you eventually feel compelled to destroy it and liberate yourself from the crippling control of its perfection.
Brice Brown’s immersive installation, I looked down, I realized I had a body, explores this all-consuming obsession and its tragic consequences. It takes inspiration from Yukio Mishima’s book, The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, a fictionalized recounting of the tragic burning of the Kinkaku-ji temple in Kyoto in 1950 by a crazed Buddhist acolyte. However—as indicated by the show’s title—Brown’s installation contemplates an alternative conclusion, replacing the desire to destroy with the desire to wholly consume, to negate by ultimately becoming the object itself. In Mishima’s book, obsession is rooted in a desire to abolish personal ugliness; in Brown’s installation, obsession is rooted in a desire to transcend the banality of life and self-mythologize by asserting control over one’s physical self.
The exhibition consists of a large, 24k gold suit of armor based on the dimensions of the artist’s own body. Held aloft by a museum-style stand in the middle of the gallery space, it appears to hover just slightly above the floor: large, terrifying, domineering, at once alien and familiar. Equal parts narcissistic, melancholic, and perversely sexual, this golden suit is as much an impotent cage as it is a spectacular object, hinting at the pervasive futility underlying the quest for mortal release. On the gallery walls surrounding this golden structure are three large-scale works: illuminated and etched mirrors depicting stylized landscape motifs; a luxurious field of hand-applied gold leaf; and a site-specific pigment print wall covering. Each of these works reflects light back and forth, creating a murky, luminous, and physically pungent environment in which the viewer confronts the glory and menace of the golden suit of armor.
In conjunction with the exhibition, Brown has created a limited edition replica of the large helmet from the golden suit of armor. Like a talisman, or charm, this small item can be carried around and obsessed over, acting as a constant reminder of the power and control an object can have over us.
Brown’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and has been written about in The New York Times, TimeOut New York, artnet.com, artforum.com, ARTnews, and Art in America, among others. His work is in the permanent collections of the Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY; Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD; Yale University, New Haven, CT; and Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH.
TRAVIS LEROY SOUTHWORTH
"A FANCY MACHINE IS THE PERFECT CENTERPIECE"
NOVEMBER 14, 2013 - JANUARY 4, 2014
OPENING: THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 6-8pm
During a six-month residency in Basel, Switzerland, Travis Leroy Southworth spent much of his time investigating the Large Hadron Collider run by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). Having completed the residency, he approached Projective City with a proposal for his most ambitious project to date. Inspired by the power of the CERN particle detectors to produce tens of petabytes of data per year, Southworth believed it possible to produce a slightly smaller scale, Do-It-Yourself version of the hadron collider, to enable his own experiments on the invisible particles that compose us. The project promised to further Southworth’s ongoing artistic investigations into the cosmic forces that continually mold us, and his presentation of the self in relation to the universe.
Nevertheless, even a smaller version promised to be much larger than his domestic arrangements could accommodate, so he approached Projective City about using the large gallery space in Paris as a workshop in which to build his hi-tech machine. We were initially overjoyed by the possibility of bringing such a worthwhile scientific project into the context of an art gallery, but if we had known the extent of the project we might not have been so eager.
In order to install a bank of superconductive magnets, Southworth demolished much of the east wall of the gallery while the staff vacationed in New York, initiating what will likely be protracted litigation between the building managers and the gallery. The gallery in Paris remains closed pending further legal action and is unavailable for French visitors. However, the Paris-Scope viewer was largely undamaged, and New Yorkers can still avail themselves of this unique opportunity to see the results of art and science colliding. Though this might mean the end of the Projective City gallery space in Paris, we feel Southworth’s accomplishment should be celebrated as best as possible under the circumstances, as it so clearly embodies the qualities of passionate inquiry, curiosity, and purity of heart we hope to foster.
Brooklyn-based Travis Leroy Southworth holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has exhibited his work at The Drawing Center (NYC), Martha Otero Gallery (Los Angeles), Mixed Greens Gallery (solo project, NYC), Thomas Robertello Gallery (Chicago), Arthouse at the Jones Center (Austin), and the Center for Curatorial Studies at the Hessel Museum of Art (New York). He was awarded a 2010 Fellowship in Photography from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and has participated in the Artist in the Marketplace (AIM 29) Program at The Bronx Museum of Art.
HANS VAN MEEUWEN SENSE
SEPTEMBER 5 – NOVEMBER 9, 2013
OPENING RECEPTION: THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 6-8PM
Projective City is pleased to announce Sense, an exhibition focused on a singular, surprising, large-scale sculptural work by Hans van Meeuwen. The piece was conceived in direct reference to the gallery’s architecture and the viewer’s gaze.
When van Meeuwen was a teenager in the Netherlands, peepshows were an exciting topic of conversation. He remembers a striptease dancer talking about how she had a good idea of who was behind the peephole. Van Meeuwen was struck by this admission, and thought about both the comfort in supposed anonymity as well as the rush of confrontation. For Sense, van Meeuwen utilizes the voyeuristic nature of Paris-Scope by forcing viewers at Mixed Greens to literally peep through a hole in the wall to view his sculpture.
For years, van Meeuwen has worked to create figurative sculptures of disembodied limbs (tree, human, and animal) that astonish the viewer with their location and scale. Sense is no different. Our perception, our comfort as viewers from a distance, and our own bodily experience are all questioned with a simple look through a tiny viewer.
Hans van Meeuwen was born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, where he studied at the Royal Academy of Art and Design. In 1987, he was a finalist at the very prestigious Prix de Rome prize for emerging artists. Van Meeu- wen has shown extensively in Europe and the United States including solo exhibitions at Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn, Germany; Kunsthalle Dominikanerkirche, Osnabrück, Germany; Kunstverein Baden-Baden, Germany; Galerie Deschler, Berlin, Germany; Lokaal 01, Antwerp, Belgium; Christinerose, NYC; Galerie Carla Stützer, Cologne, Germany; ADO Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium; and the Durst Organization in NYC. Residencies include the Fine Art Work Center in Provincetown, MA, and the Millay Colony for the Arts in Austerlitz, NY. His public art has appeared at the Arte Luise Kunsthotel in Berlin, and is on permanent installation in public spaces in Amsterdam, Leeuwarden, Huizen, and Zeist, all in the Netherlands. Van Meeuwen currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
February 14–April 20, 2013
Opening: WEDNESDAY, February 13, 6-8pm
Mixed Greens is thrilled to present the next installment of Paris-Scope, viewable through a peephole in the back gallery. There, viewers will encounter Stacey Watson’s astonishing, near-impossible transformation of the Projective City gallery space.
Golden stalactites hang from the roof of a glowing grotto, reaching ever so ponderously, impossibly, slowly to meet their stalagmite counterparts. The stalagmites are, in turn, formed by the preposterous labor of billions of water droplets, drizzling down the stalactites and falling to the cavern floor. With each drip, micro-milligrams of golden limestone accumulate to form perilous towers, stretching up to touch their creators and eventually joining them in a single column. The grotto itself is no longer a mere cave, but has been gilded and transformed through human activity for undisclosed ends. What rituals or obscure cosmic rites were performed in this transmogrified gloom? What are we to make of the mysterious axe? Against the backdrop of a gargantuan timescale, the scene suggests wealth, ambition, and opulence, but also gloom, doom, and decay.
Citing a range of source material for inspiration (the elaborate maquettes found in the Garnier Opera House in Paris, the tinfoil grandeur of the Ladurée macaroon shop in London, the unfinished Crystal Grotto in Surrey’s Painshill Park, and the Rocky Mountains of her native Canada), Watson has gooped, dripped, and oozed her sloppy materials all over the Projective City gallery, transforming the main exhibition space into an epic faux grotto. The cave is golden, luxurious, and rich, but it is a shabby luxury—a deliberately staged elegance at once natural and artificial, ceremonial and banal. Watson’s use of everyday materials (even in large quantities) evokes the pleasure of artistic play, and her light handling of complex themes generates an atmosphere at once solemn and absurd.
Watson has been shown in solo and group exhibitions in London, Paris, Berlin, Toronto and her native Calgary, where she is also the head curator at Pith Gallery. Her admittedly “ham-fisted,” playful approach to materials is unapologetically demanding of her viewers, who are invited to stretch their imaginations to meet hers, perhaps not unlike the stalactites and stalagmites in her current installation.
Benoît Pype's Paris-Scope project debuts tonight at Mixed Greens. A quick glimpse through the peep hole reveals a room filled with over-sized renditions of his lint ball sculptures. Pype has also made micro-sized "souvenir" sculptures of the exhibition available for sale. Check them out at Mixed Greens tonight!
You can watch a great interview with Benoît about his preparations for his exhibition at Palais de Tokyohere (or below):
AUDREY HASEN RUSSELL: SEE ROCK CITY
June 8–August 17, 2012 Opening: Friday, June 8, 6-8pm
Mixed Greens announces the second installment of Paris-Scope, a series of peculiar, collaborative exhibitions that give visitors to Mixed Greens a glimpse into Paris-based Projective City’s newest gallery space. Operating as a kind of alchemical experiment into the possibilities of “action at a distance,” viewers are able to peer into (but obviously not enter) the space both thousands of miles away and inches from their grasp—to mystically be both HERE and THERE simultaneously. The Paris-Scope series allows artists unprecedented control over the gallery space, and focuses on ambitious solo installations. The second exhibition in the series is See Rock City by Audrey Hasen Russell
SEE SEVEN STATES! LEFT IN FIVE MILES to see WONDER of the WORLD!
In her installation for Paris-Scope, Russell returns to her Tennessee roots and the phenomenon in which farmers
advertise local attractions (like “Rock City”) on the huge walls of their barns. The notion of a rock city, simultaneously real and imagined, is an ideal starting point for Russell’s unique practice.
Russell’s work is deceptively ambitious. Initially, it comes across as whimsical: Mysterious, incongruous, and very much playful. Yet under this lightness of touch, Russell engages the heavy notion of “second nature,” the way in which our constructed world appears natural to us as we grow up within it. We’ve slipped into a world in which a string of electrical pylons stretching over farmland seem utterly natural to us, while neither the pylons nor the farm are anything of the kind. How to carve out somewhere to live in the space of second nature? Russell faces the question head on, yet the seriousness of this vexing philosophical
problem is belied by the aroma of playfulness, hope, and fun lingering in the atmosphere around the work.
Audrey Hasen Russell grew up in East Tennessee at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains on the family farm. She received a BFA in Sculpture from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and an MFA in Sculpture from Cranbrook Academy of Art. She has been included in recent exhibitions at Lesley Heller Workspace, NY, NY; Dorsch Gallery, Miami, FL; Philadelphia Art Alliance, PA; and Nurture Art, Brooklyn, NY. Solo show venues include Dorsch Gallery, Miami, FL; The University of Wyoming, Laramie; WaveHill, Bronx, NY; and ADA Gallery, Richmond, VA. Audrey has been honored to participate in residencies including The Fountainhead Residency in Miami, FL; SculptureSpace in Utica, NY; The Robert MacNamara Foundation, Westport Island, ME; and most recently as a fellow at The MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, NH. Russel currently lives and works way out in Queens, NY.
Projective City, under the direction of Benjamin Evans, aims to advance, promote, and make visible the work of emerging artists through an ongoing, flexible, and interconnected series of projects. Working on the assumption that bigger is generally worse, projects are for the most part designed to be smaller-scale and more intimate, aiming for personal encounters between artists, artworks, and audiences.
Projective City’s gallery space is located at 34 Rue Hélene Brion, Paris 13eme, and, for the time being, through a peephole at Mixed Greens.