Circumventing the City reflects on the flux of the neighborhood around us as seen in the transitions between old and new structures, ideas, and architectures. The dichotomy between past and future is omnipresent: warehouses are positioned next to brand new condos, old studio buildings are occupied by glossy new restaurants, and the once-secret High Line has become a marketing phenomenon. The transitory state of the neighborhood relates to the practice of a number of artists negotiating their way through materials and process. These artists play with the intersection between a made and unmade space, using materials as a guide, often revealing the structure of the work itself like some half built architectonic building or a willowy wall of torn movie posters, exposing the space of questions and of flaws.
Artists and galleries have traditionally been driving forces of city diasporas, pushed further and further into the urban fringes, and even shifting the public focus to alternate areas and different cities. There is something at once beautiful and formidable about the impending presence of change in the city, a time where the bellies of buildings are exposed, dust is flying in the air, and shiny newness is rearing its head. This tenuous position is captured in a variety of ways by the artists in this exhibition.
Sarah Braman juxtaposes materials such as wood, paint, and glass in work resembling broken architecture. David Brooks’s carefully ordered structures, such as his graphite rock vestiges, play with tension, multiplicity, and space. Jedediah Caesar exposes the process behind his work, candidly exhibiting cross sections of his resin encapsulated objects. Nicole Cherubini’s ceramic vases fuse luscious materials with references to material wealth in the age-old historical form of the vessel. Valerie Hegarty’s interventions into spaces infuse them with narrative and alter our perceptions of those spaces. Yuri Masnyj tenuously stacks hand cast objects to create his own concept of design and order. Ian Pedigo salvages discarded materials and assembles them into newly enhanced forms. Jacob Robichaux references the simple yet progressive techniques of early childhood educational tactics in his primary colored paintings and drawings. Sterling Ruby’s sculpture and collages make use of urban insignias such as spray paint, etching, and torn ephemera, investigating various modes of expression and control. Erica Vogt’s large works on paper combine freely available lumber scraps with small industrial signifiers.