Not unlike an inner matryoshka doll, Tif’s Desk is a distant and less neurotically secluded relative of Bartleby’s hermitage: a play on the custom of showing artworks in a gallery office, a site-specific installation; a discreet displacement of assumed business bureaucracy that instead makes a designated place of work into a further vortex of exhibition space.
For the last few months, Tif Sigfrids, an artist and the director at Thomas Solomon Gallery, has been staging art shows from her desk in the space’s back room. The first of these was the presentation of a single weaving work, placed under glass, by Christina Forrer. This was followed by an exhibition of drawings (hung behind the desk) by Ulrich Wulff, an artist at the gallery, and future shows are set to include displays by the photographer and filmmaker George Porcari (opening October 6th), Owen Gump, Michael Auder and an exhibit organized by another artist, and gallery director for Richard Telles — Max Maslansky’s Desk @ Tif’s Desk @ Thomas Solomon. There has even been discussion of the artist Joe Sola going into an exponentially deeper field and organizing a show inside of Sigfrid’s ear, but when and how this will happen (there’s the fear it might be acutely uncomfortable) is still unresolved.
When I last visited, on view at the desk were a series of pastel drawings by the Becky Kolsrud entitled Road To Rondo. What first appear to be nighttime studies made at an abstractedly near perspective of rich, undulating jungle leaves, tree bark and earth are actually, upon second look, close-up depictions of the jersey of Celtics’ point guard Rajon Rondo (the favorite basketball player of both Sigfrids and Kolsrud; the two were originally planning to take a road trip to his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, hence the “road” of the show’s title). Behind Sigfrid’s chair is a large, spiked oval shape pastel drawing on painted black wood called simply, Tif’s Hair. Rendered in the same palate as the desk drawings, with exploding bursts of trailing line, the work is as much a frame for Sigfrids, as she sits at her desk, as it is a backdrop for the slightly absurdist micro-atmosphere of the show’s locale, which somehow is simultaneously integrated and obscured from its surroundings, the entire gallery now becoming a continuum, wherein, refreshingly, metaphoric walls fade, coalesce and converse.
(Top image: Becky Kolsrud, Tif's Hair, at Tif's Desk, Thomas Solomon Gallery; Courtesy of the Artist.)