The Company, Los Angeles (Chinatown)
Alexander May’s solo show On the Verge of a Response (Conversation with Everything) at the Company in Chinatown closes today. For me this show places a perfunctory quotation mark on the year 2009 in all its gutsy and gory glory. May’s response gesture overtakes the entire company space unifying every piece of square footage by hand cutting a custom (albeit clumsy) linoleum floor and spray painting a line between the floor and the wall space. The halo of spray around the floor wafts up the wall like smoke and activates the entire space creating a spatial conversation about the conceptual gallery space as well as the cognitive space of the artist’s imagination. Not unlike Liam Gillick May hopes to underscore the intersection of intercourse and architecture as evidenced by his studio couch on display in the projection room crushed by the enormous weight of a concrete slab. May’s conversational weight is mighty and this show pretty much encapsulates the zeitgest. There is more to be found here aside from the purely abstract conceptual connection, a delicate piece of silk wafts from the ceiling evoking the sense memories of cheap silk shirts from the late eighties and a particular lover. May’s work lacks the intellectual pretense of most M.F.A. candidates perhaps because of his disability (May is dyslexic) or perhaps because he is good. This is the first of a series of solo shows planned for May at the gallery during the course of May’s M.F.A. program at Bard. Lets hope that institutional mastery won’t rob May of his sensuality or clumsiness both elements in his production process that are clearly his own.
-Mary Anna Pomonis