Eric Firestone Gallery is pleased to announce the group exhibition Seventh-Inning Stretch, a selection of contemporary artworks exploring, employing and imploring our favorite national pastime, baseball.
The exhibition does not delineate the sport's history nor ratify its tradition. Rather, McCormick explains that the show is "[a] modest sampling of some of the ways in which baseball has entered the lexicon of contemporary visual art; Seventh-Inning Stretch is hopefully a meditation on how and why we care. It is about the excitement we feel and the beauty of the boredom that borders on ennui."
Oh, and we do care a whole lot! Whether it be the season or not, baseball is entrenched in American culture and safely protected by our state borders. It's ours, alone, not overrun by tourists nor affected by our globalized iPhone generation. We're the only ones who understand it: we all know it, love it, hate it, follow it, play it, watch it, are bored by it, smell it, can nearly taste it, and empathize with it.
Seventh-Inning Stretch provokes our inner child who manifests our heroes and imagines the make-believe land where they live. We collect relics that remind us that this kind of magic can exist. Through visual recognition of cultural icons, William Coupon mimics such childish storylines with his Polaroid portrait series, intimately portraying every player on the 1979 New York Yankees team during spring training in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, including Reggie Jackson, Thurman Munson, Billy Martin, Bucky Dent, and others.
Another two artists on view, Deborah Kass and Susan Grayson meditate on the sport itself, and slow down the simple mechanics that keep the game going, pulling apart an epic move that will change history. Here, we can trace the lines and contours of success. Better than an instant replay, these pieces are comprised of freeze-frame type shots to dissect the curveball and homerun, allowing you to study glinting greatness. Those who aren't familiar with the rules cannot deny baseball's command over American iconography and ideology.
We use it all: the jargon, "homerun"; the tools, "baseball bat"; the people, "Babe Ruth"; the places, "Yankee Stadium"; the rivalry, "Dodgers-Giants"; the metaphor, "bases loaded," and; the snacks, "crackerjacks." In poured and mirrored glass, Rob Wynne references this national passion through his piece titled, HOMER, 2013.
For many, art is a physical outlet to express uncensored thoughts. However, art and daily life often are separated. Seventh-Inning Stretch confronts this canon by incorporating the universal sport into the gallery.