The idea of doing a retrospective of Ed Lau's Space Gallery had been in its formative stages for the last couple of years. Some rough ideas for the exhibition had been worked out with Ed prior to his death in April of 2008. While not originally intended as a tribute to Ed Lau, since his death the exhibition has assumed that dimension. I (curator Patrick Merrill) always felt that there was a specific aesthetic to the work exhibited over the years at Space. Of course this had everything to do with Ed. Whether the work was abstract or based on narrative there seemed to me many shared qualities – for example, sensitivity to material, subtle psychological tension and a high respect for craft. Ed seemed to seek out artists who themselves were searching for essentials. Ed once told me that the relationship between an artist and his/her gallerist was similar to that of a marriage. He would say he was in it for the long haul – good times and bad. As a result he didn’t choose artists on a whim or who might be in fashion but by watching them over time, seeing their development and above all, their commitment to their art. Commitment to his artists was very important to Ed. It was probably one of the major reasons he developed such a high-caliber group of artists.
This exhibit is not intended to be some sort of history of Space Gallery. It is to be about the Space Gallery’s artists. This exhibition is not so much about what the artists were doing then, but rather what everyone is doing now, how they have evolved.
Read preview in ArtScene written by Judith Hoffberg