ESSEX STREET is pleased to present Chadwick Rantanen’s first one person exhibition in New York.
The exhibition will run from May 5 – June 9, 2013. There will be an opening reception on Sunday May 5, 6 – 8pm.
The exhibition will include two new bodies of work, Bins and Loops.
Each loop contains 50 segments. Suspended within each segment is polyester and cotton fabric from a nurse smock. In this exhibition the 5 loops respectively hold Eeyore, Tinkerbell, Garfield, Charlie Brown and the Chipmunks. These strips of fabric are wrapped around a carbon fiber rod and then inserted into a butyrate plastic rod. These rods are then connected to each other by steel ferrules which have been powder coated a matching color to that of the fabric. Each segment possesses 2 tags. One tag is foil stamped on acetate and is a replica of the original tag which accompanied the fabric. One tag is inkjet on polyester and outlines all of the materials used in the loop. Each segment also possesses at least 2 labels. The labels are laser or inkjet prints on paper or plastic and contain safety warnings, assembly and disassembly instructions and a model number, such as “CRLO14 #27 of 50” which indicates that this particular segment is the 27th of 50 of Chadwick Rantanen’s 14th Loop piece. There are occasionally additional tags which possess no text only corresponding colors. The circumferential dimensions of a loop is dependent upon the size of the wall which holds it; a larger wall will require more segments. The shape of the loop is dependent upon the shape and character of the wall which holds it.
Bins are made up of commercially fabricated storage bins. These are filled with water. On the surface of the water are hydrographics. Hydrographics are a method of applying images to three dimensional objects. In the process a polyvinyl alcohol film is gravure-printed with an image and is then floated on the surface of a vat of water. An activator chemical is sprayed on the film to dissolve it into a liquid and activate a bonding agent. An object is then lowered into the vat, through the floating ink layer, which wraps around and adheres to it. In Rantanen’s bins the process is suspended, after the activator is sprayed, the image is left floating. There is a correlation between the design of the bins and the design of the hydrographic. Some of the bins have been custom modified through the use of colored components, sand blasting and textured surface films. The arrangements of the bins corresponds to certain traits in their design and that of the hydrographic.
Rantanen’s artworks are systematic devices which convey certain tensions and balances / between sitespecificity and portability / between mass production and the handmade / between readymade and customized / between the decorative and the functional / between the mechanical and the whimsical / between arbitrariness and design. His works indicate patterns where perhaps none were recognized. He takes inspiration from the taste structures of hospitals and health equipment. The most useful precedent to his work is that of Situational Aesthetics and other modes outlined most consummately in Anne Rorimer’s “New Art in the 60s and 70s:
Redefining Reality” published by Thames & Hudson in 2001.
Rantanen was born in 1981 in Wausau, Wisconsin and lives and works in Los Angeles. He received his MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2010. Before that he attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine; Minneapolis College of Art and Design; and the New York Studio Program. Most recently he has had a solo exhibition at STANDARD (OSLO) in Norway. He has been in group exhibitions at Moscow Museum of Modern Art; Micky Schubert, Berlin; Shane Campbell Gallery Chicago; Untitled, New York; Thomas Duncan Gallery, Los Angeles