Five Decades of Madness

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© Courtesy of Nyehaus
Five Decades of Madness

358 West 20th Street, #2
New York, NY 10011
September 9th, 2010 - October 29th, 2010
Opening: September 9th, 2010 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

366 4493
Tue-Sat 11-6


all the world is a studio
by Tim Nye

two year advance deposits on 10-figure gulf streams

tax dollars used to chauffeur the wives of government officials

couture dresses at a price

that would rid debt of medium size third world countries

the damien hirst factory.

and then there is george herms

now let’s travel to the cosmic antithesis of this corporate gluttony.

herms, the genetic mutation of a poet with sculptor dna became the father


and immaculate conceivee

of the art movement birthed in california called assemblage

arguably, the first completely homegrown cannabis of art practices.

don't fall into the francophile trap of accenting the final


his west coast tribe is:

bruce conner

ed kienholz

llyn foulkes

wallace berman

robert alexander

the stone brothers


jay defeo


robert dean stockwell

then there was the wealthy cousin on the east coast

robert rauschenberg

with the "povera" cousins in europe, mostly italy.


the consummate romantic

threw his hat in the ring with a love letter in the form of a door-sized collage in 1956.

all the world is a studio.

herms draws like a possessed genius

writes like a hybrid of t.s eliot and oscar wilde

uses these brushes to sculpt works of art that make the argument that there is a story in every discarded object.

the reclaimed object

often loaded with pathos

is much more often reanimated with humor and rhythms

that are usually reserved for musical composition.

jazz is always in his / their soul.

these objects are phrases in a visual poetry

stanzas in miles davis' bitches brew.

smell that 40-year-old burnt toast

as it’s black smoke stings your nostrils.

hear the sound of that rusted tin can

being kicked down an urban street.

the tenor from the drumstick rolled down that xylophone spine of bones.

the string quartet of rusted mattress springs.

the silence of a ghost ship drifting rudderlessly into the night.

in making selections for his exhibition at nyehaus, herms picked me up in a wrinkled toyota

the rear seating and trunk filled to the brim with drawings, prints, artist notes;

the brush strokes of his art.

the more astonishing fact was the fluidity with which he was able to know the precise placement of a napkin on which he had

sketched a note or the corner of the trunk

where an aging output from his love press was placed.

he did this with the ease of a typist

clicking control

"t" to access a word from the thesaurus

and this command of his language was nothing compared to the oz-like

intuitiveness he commanded

over the six storage facilities all only affording the most squeezed entry to view the work

these were giant vessels of nostalgia

not infused in the objects that comprised the works as much as the five decades

five manic, beautiful decades of work.

as his work slowly decays over time,

the eroticism of death and decay

shed their skin

and from a cocoon springs a moth, a la petite mort-- the little death.

orgasm reverberates.

- Tim Nye, 2010

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