Sunday, January 27, 2008

Accidental Modernism at Leslie Tonkonow

A group show consisting of works created in the last century, titled Accidental Modernism on view at Leslie Tonkonow gallery. A very well curated show based on the theme of artist appropriating their voice onto found, or happen chance materials, manipulating found products to incorporate and incise with their individual expressions. A vast range of artists from Jean Tinguely and Rudolf Stingel to Keith Tyson and a collaboration with Reena Spaulings, Bernadette Corporation and others.
Each work coincide in their interest with ambivalence and abstraction, transcending the interpretable, creating witty nonsense, yet separating with each other as very separate singular entities. They communicate the same concepts in different dimensions.
Bill Morrison's video "Light is Coming" is ethereal and dreamy, with a couple scenes superimposed, a stop animation of paintings, similar to the works of Jacco Olivier. A horse, a man and a woman make appearances throughout the video, blissfully drowning in a sea of earthy orange and yellows. The painterly-ness of the video creates an existential environment, tempting the viewer to jump in and escape from reality.
Keith Tyson's "Table Top Tales: The Little Silver Screen" from 2000 is a comical take on the existence of the artist in an artwork. He takes a used table with scratches and holes and gives them definitions, specifically indicating them to a tv guide schedule. This specificity grounds the work with our space, and the table mounted on the wall by its legs converts it into a screen for our viewing. We see chance and text combined with artificial surrealistic meaning, witty and comical in its rendering of the artists hand.
Rudolf Stingel's signature foil work is mounted here with a single panel engraved with bathroom graffiti phrases. There was no mention of the viewer to take the freedom creating their own remarks, but here the artist takes away the author and creates a work that stands alone defiant of being manipulated by a single creator.
Each work in the show, no matter their medium, either come together or go against each other, almost simultaneously, creating an ambivalent, confusing and surreal conglomeration.

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