Unspecified Urban Site
RH Gallery is pleased to present Unspecified Urban Site, a group exhibition on view January 17 – March 2, 2012. The exhibition will feature recent painting, photography, and sculpture by a diverse
group of contemporary artists including Mike Bayne, John Chamberlain, Andy Coolquitt, Zhang Dali, Richard Deacon, Paul Edmunds, Wolfgang Ellenrider, Tamar Ettun, Myeongsoo Kim, Roxy Paine, Gordon Stevenson, Tats Cru, Mee Wong, and Lin Zhipeng, whose works present visceral urban experiences through referencing the structures, objects and communication that signify urban space.
Zhang Dali and Tamar Ettun create interventions into the urban landscape through performative actions. Beginning in the 1990s, Zhang Dali spray-painted the profiles of anonymous heads on the walls of buildings in Beijing marked for demolition, in response to the city’s rapid modernization. For Unspecified Urban Site, Zhang Dali presents Dialogue #73, a photograph documenting one such action. Tamar Ettun’s photographic work was initiated by the artist’s walking expedition
from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv in which she conversed with the landscape and constructed narratives from its vestiges. Ettun will also be presenting a performance piece at the opening reception in conversation with her photographs. Both artists underscore a sense of urgency for dialog with their respective cities.
Mike Bayne, Wolfgang Ellenrieder, Lin Zhipeng and Myeongsoo Kim present documentation of urban landscapes. Bayne’s work Untitled (Downtown Owl) is part of an ongoing series of photorealistic paintings based on photographs of his native downtown Toronto that depict what the artist calls “the banality of our daily routine”. Three recent paintings by Ellenrieder present urban moments removed from their original context. Feuer Reifen (Tires on Fire) is a response to the use
and reuse of stock photography. The burning tires present an ambiguous narrative: they could be the result of a riot, an accident or a hate crime. Beijing-based Lin Zhipeng has been documenting Beijing’s youth culture over the past decade, a moment characterized by massive socio-economical shifts in the city. Kim’s sculptural installations displace elements of the city’s private and public spaces into dioramas. In his new work, Kim proposes dialogs between incongruous images and objects.
In selected work by John Chamberlain, Andy Coolquitt, Richard Deacon, Paul Edmunds and Roxy Paine the textures and materials of urban space are depicted, apart from the formal qualities of the urban landscape. Chamberlain’s Straits of Muse is a chrome-plated bronze sculpture resembling a tree stump that has been transformed into a precious object. The sculptural practice of Coolquitt is based on an alternative architecture in which he creates installations and objects referencing
quotidian experiences and encounters. Deacon’s No. 7 is a wall-mounted sculpture from a series of works completed in 1999 constructed from sheets of stainless steel. Although the material references the urban experience, the organic shape references the human body. Deacon calls himself a ‘fabricator’ rather than a sculptor; his work tends to expose his process. Edmunds’
abstract sculptures are often sourced from his native Cape Town. In Roll, Edmunds composed a sculpture derived from the forms of skateboard wheels rendered dysfunctional by transforming them from circular to hexagonal shapes. Scumak series is comprised of works fabricated by a sculpture-making machine created by Paine. The series raises questions about art production while also mirroring industrial production and relating to common urban materials such as tar.
Gordon Stevenson, Tats Cru and Mee Wong present yet another aspect of the urban landscape which that relates to the constructed imagery that exists on the streets. Tats Cru is an art collective that was founded in the eighties at the height of New York City’s subway graffiti movement. Hector ‘Nicer’ Nazario, Storero ‘Bg183’ and Wilfredo ‘Bio’ Feliciano are making a new work on canvas for the exhibition which relates to their renowned street art. Wong’s background as a commercial
illustrator informs her painting practice which stylistically relates to contemporary advertising, and in particular the commodification of women. Until The Morning Comes depicts three women clad in glittered undergarments lying suggestively around Philippe Starck’s iconic gun lamp.