REACHING 100 (OR THE END OF AN ERA)
This will be the gallery’s one hundredth exhibition since it opened its doors in June 2000, and it will be the last in the gallery’s original location on Grand Street in Williamsburg. We hope to re-emerge somewhere soon with a new model, new energy and new ways to promote the best experimental contemporary art.
Parker’s Box has always endeavored to curate challenging exhibitions often involving exploration of some of the more rarefied regions of contemporary art practice, whether in painting, sculpture, video, installation etc. As a commercial gallery, Parker’s Box has always taken pride in making no concessions to that status, in favor of allowing artists a platform of complete freedom on which to experiment.
It’s no secret that surviving as a commercial gallery in the 21st century has become a real exploit, and it’s hard to believe that too many people fall for the veneer of opulence that some galleries and art fairs may take on, in order to pretend that everything they touch turns to gold. Those days are long gone in reality, except for that tiny percentage of elitist players who have managed to transform their artists into financial commodities on a par with oil and gold. The difference with art, of course, (and its huge advantage here), is that the ingredients of an artwork usually have little to do with its value - and quite rightly so. But that’s the rub also, since its inflated value can ultimately end up having absolutely nothing to do with art!
It’s in relation to that context that we’ve become increasingly disillusioned with the contradictions of the conventional gallery model, and increasingly impatient to explore (or invent) other options for the promotion of pertinent, experimental contemporary art research. As an artist-run gallery, we also need more time to participate in that research ourselves, and as such, we are eager to become much more like a laboratory than a boutique! In Williamsburg these days there are far more of the latter than the former, along with an inordinate number of bars and restaurants, of course, and for us, at least, this environment no longer feels like it lends itself to the experimentation we desire. That said, Williamsburg has always been, and will remain a melting pot of life and creative impulses, and for the numerous excellent galleries in the neighborhood, the context may actually be increasingly the right one for presenting exceptional art to an evolving community that may very soon number more collectors than artists! Ultimately that can only be good news for the galleries here. We wish them well and look forward to attending more of their openings for a change!
The last thirteen years have been an interesting and inspiring ride, and we would like our hundredth exhibition to be a celebration of that journey. The works on view will simply be a joyful choice of a few works we've enjoyed, some recent, many from the past.
We'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has encouraged, helped, supported or simply taken an interest in what we've done. Above all we'd like to thank the artists we've worked with, and look forward to doing so again in the new iteration of Parker's Box.
THIS EXHIBITION IS DEDICATED TO NANCY GRUMBACHER