exhibition dates: March 18-April 21, 2012
opening reception: Sunday, March 18, 2012, 2-6pm
viewing hours: 12-5pm, Sundays and by appointment
Work by artists including Jamie Allen, Caitlin Bermingham, Maggie Butler, Elaine Chow, Jill Daves, John Delk, Paul Druecke, Terra Fuller, Alexa Gerrity, Sarah Hirzel, Janelle Keith, Lara Kohl, Joseph Maida, Klea McKenna, Sarah McNulty, John Moran, Sarah Murrie, Nate Page, Faith Purvey, Kim Roenigk, Jessica Rohrer, Sarah Ruggieri, Colby Shaft, Noam Toran, Jennifer Kay Tyre, Harry Tyre. Home solutions presented by Elaine Chow, Jill Daves, Janelle Keith, Lara Kohl and Jennifer Kay Tyre.
Set in a 1956 ranch style home on a cul-de-sac in the San Gabriel Valley, House Beautiful operates as both a celebration and critique of American suburban culture. Painting, photography, film, site-specific installations, objects for the home and “home solutions” are imagined as a contemporary art collection within a middle-class suburban home.
In the core of the house, the current status of the American dream is depicted with paintings of suburban developments by Kim Roenigk and photography by Joseph Maida and Colby Shaft. A large, lush hand-woven carpet by Terra Fuller occupies the dining area, drawing emphasis to the conventions of mid-century American domestic floor plans. A collection of family photographs salvaged from a home ravaged by fire are presented in meticulous archeological fashion by Klea McKenna. These charred distillations of a family history lead to McKenna’s abstract accounting above the credenza. Nearby, a constellation of elements comprises a ghostly image of domesticity by Sarah McNulty. Maggie Butler’s paintings serve as a bold, Pop-destroying counter to the image of the repressed American housewife of the 1950’s.
Tools for living and personal comforts as evidenced by consumption are represented by Jamie Allen’s laser-etched Kitchenwhere, Paul Druecke’s approach to portraiture with refrigerators, and Jessica Rohrer’s uncanny renderings of the contents of her kitchen pantry.
The home as a haven for wish fulfillment, self-gratification and desire is experienced in the master bedroom with Noam Toran’s Desire Management screening above the armoire. John Delk’s lead-cast Universal Remote stands opposite the darkened screen of the living room television, a monument to the pre-Internet era when television reigned as the primary source of information and anesthetization. Alexa Gerrity’s sanctuary of self-actualization created in the large bath holds Sarah Murrie’s unabashed longings for the ideal home and man, displayed above the tub.
Nate Page’s Suburban Reflecting Pool interrupts, reflects and diverts the desires and expectations of suburban dwellers as an architectural innovation on the facade of the home. Sculptural works by Sarah Hirzel and Faith Purvey address the artificiality, psychology and humor of the suburban landscape.
Home solutions appear throughout the exhibition. Jill Daves identified and honored the accumulation of marks in the walls of the rear bathroom, turning imperfections in the drywall into gestural custom gilding. Jennifer Kay Tyre arranged a double posthumous collaboration between architect John Moran and self-taught craftsman Harry Tyre. Several home solutions were executed by the curator per the artists’ instruction. Elaine Chow’s solution is two-fold. Her diagrammatic instructions for furoshiki, the Japanese art of wrapping with cloth, also act as decorative designs on the linen cabinets housing the cloths. Janelle Keith designed a festive table runner long enough for a palace banquet, with one end tailored to encircle the spa. Lara Kohl presents a series of vignettes as three-dimensional freeze frames in the backyard pool area, creating an Altman-esque landscape specific to the Los Angeles suburbs.
House Beautiful is located at 8226 Halford Street, San Gabriel, CA 91775, and will open with a public reception on Sunday, March 18th, 2012, 2-6pm. Additional event dates to be announced.
House Beautiful is curated by artist Jane O’Neill.
Special thanks to Lara Kohl, Trish Sie, Jennifer Kay Tyre, Sara Daleiden, and Carter & Citizen gallery for their support in the organization of this exhibition.
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