Selected Standards+

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Selected Standards+

138 10th Ave.
New York, NY 10011
September 8th, 2007 - October 6th, 2007
Opening: September 8th, 2007 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Tue-Sat 10-6

Euan Macdonald’s third solo exhibition at the gallery was largely inspired by the serendipitous find of a large stack of sheet music at a Los Angeles second-hand record shop. While flipping through the stack of American songbook classics from the 1940s and 50s, the succession of song titles suggested a ready-made narrative, constructing the story of an ill fated love affair. The resulting works include video, sculpture, drawings, photographs and a slide projection.

Where Flamingos Fly is a video that records the artist flipping through the title pages of the sheet music, presenting them in succession to the viewer, gradually revealing the narrative. The video’s format recalls Bob Dylan flipping through cue cards in a segment of Don’t Look Back, the 1967 documentary about him by D.A. Pennebaker. Macdonald’s static, deadpan presentation of the material is a stark contrast to the wistful quality of the song titles and the accompanying piano soundtrack which plays along to each song title.

Installed throughout the gallery are 94 photograph-drawing diptychs titled Selected Standards, which pair each piece of sheet music featured in the video with a corresponding drawing or an aerial photograph of Los Angeles. The drawings relate tangentially to the song titles, if at all, confounding and complicating the natural tendency to read a linear narrative. This entire project was recently published as an artists book by JRP Ringier and Städtische Galerie, Haus Der Kultur, Waldkraiburg in Germany. The addition of the black and white photographs recalls Ed Ruscha’s seminal artist’s books from the 1960s, also made in Los Angeles.

Also included in the exhibition is a group of works made in the Mojave desert outside of Los Angeles. Continuing the themes of trial, chance, and indeterminacy, Macdonald attached a GPS tracking device to a tumbleweed and recorded its aimless wanderings while blown by the wind. The tumbleweed is included as a sculpture –Russian Thistle, in the show along with related photographs of details of topographical maps, and Day-Trip, a 35mm slide dissolve installation of a fragmented desert mirage.

Euan Macdonald has recently been the subject of solo museum exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver and the Stadtische Galerie, Haus Der Kultur, Waldkraiburg, Germany, both accompanied by publications. The video work Healer by Macdonald was also shown recently as part of the Creative Time Foundation’s The 59th Minute progam in Times Square, New York.  Macdonald's next show will be at the Luckman Museum in Los Angeles.