18 October 2006
VIEW TWELVE : HEARTBREAKER
On 2 November 2006, the Mary Boone Gallery will open at its Fifth Avenue location “Heartbreaker”, a group exhibition curated by Amy Smith-Stewart that features the work of seven international artists: GEORGANNE DEEN, KATE GILMORE, RASHAWN GRIFFIN, LAUREL NAKADATE, SARA GREENBERGER RAFFERTY, CRISTINA LEI RODRIGUEZ, and KATHLEEN WHITE. The exhibition explores the tipping point of our emotional life — from a dangerous flirtation to a fatal attraction, an unhappy memory to an everyday psychodrama. The artists reflect on what is it to be excessively human.
Georganne Deenís paintings and objects offer an intoxicating mix of heady anti-establishment. Partly informed by underground comix, Deenís provocative sensibility is summed up in a highly irresistible and incredibly infective visual language. Her subject matter takes its cue from personal excavations of past turmoil. Weaving image and text, Deenís dark, disquieting and often riotous visual content rouses the shadowy passion teeming inside us.
Sara Greenberger Rafferty’s sculpture, “Max’s Mirror”, 2006, is based on a slapstick classic, the mirror gag/joke. The stuff of celebrated comedies, like I Love Lucy and Duck Soup, the man behind the “joke” (one man plays another man’s reflection), was French silent film star and pioneering comedian Max Linder. Greenberger Rafferty paints a black-and-white portrait of a person and their reflection, punches through it, and then photographs it with a large format camera. The image is blown-up to life-size and made into a sculptural freestanding mirror. Linder’s life ended tragically when he and his young wife committed suicide in 1925. Greenberger Rafferty pays tribute to Linder and his hard luck story, clobbering the joke’s punch line.
Laurel Nakadate finds lonely, deadbeat men in parks, on street corners and at truck stops, lures them back to their apartments, and involves them in an innocent romp of role-play. In the video “Beg For Your Life”, 2006, Nakadate stages homicidal encounters with anonymous men she met on a cross-country road trip. The video jumps from scenes of Nakadate as prey and Nakadate as predator. In one scenario, Nakadate holds a gun to the head of a recoiling victim, and in another, Nakadate lies half-dead on an unkempt bed with a delusional trucker.
Rashawn Griffinís sculptural installation “Untitled (fort)”, 2006, is composed of bed sheets, stained blanket scraps, found fabric, orphan socks, a pillow, and a stuffed toy. Like a childís blanket fort, or an abandoned shelter, Griffinís work is melancholic, offering up fragments of a personal albeit nameless history that encourages reflection of our own past.
In a series of seven intimate oil paintings, “Untitled (Letters to the Dead)”, 2004, Kathleen White reflects on a succession of personal tragedies. Using a predominant feminine palette of reds and pinks, Whiteís expressionistic mark making recalls diary entries or even a bloody residue, perhaps the aftermath of a fatal conflict. “Peephole”, 2006, continues Whiteís exploration of urban pathos. Enveloped in a rich, oily black, the central motif, an orifice or an eyelet, harbors our own in-born hysteria.
Kate Gilmore is the sole protagonist of a dangerous line-up of hilariously reckless performances. Assuming the roles of many different female stereotypes, Gilmore creates makeshift environments that act as sets and props for a mÈlange of wacky riffs on daily life. In the sixteen-minute video, “Heart Breaker”, 2004, Gilmore, dressed in her Sunday best, takes an ax to a larger-than-life-size heart made from scraps of plywood. With each swing, fake blood oozes down the side and splashes her hair, face and pretty dress. In “With Open Arms”, 2005, a six-minute video, Gilmore wears a lilac cocktail dress, flashes a beaming smile and spreads her arms out wide to signal the denouement of an imaginary performance. The invisible audience responds by hurling tomatoes at her face. With each repeated gesture, the intensity of the pummeling escalates, but Gilmore retains her smile.
Cristina Lei Rodriguez’s sculpture “Let it all go (it is too late now)”, 2006, made with liquid plastics and kaleidoscopic pigments, depicts a single exotic flower on a bejeweled mass of moss, weeds, and blossoms. Thick, viscous drips cascade off the melting flower, infecting the nuclear offspring below. A paranormal splendor, it inebriates and ensnares its transfixed admirers.
The exhibition, at 745 Fifth Avenue, will continue through 16 December 2006. Please contact Ron Warren at the Gallery for further assistance, or visit our website www.maryboonegallery.com.