People Call Me Scott

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People Call Me Scott, 1995 Digital C Print
People Call Me Scott

107 Norfolk St.
10002 New York
October 27th, 2013 - December 22nd, 2013
Opening: October 27th, 2013 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

east village/lower east side
Closed as of September 2016
pasta, sculpture, mixed-media, installation, conceptual


Lisa Cooley is proud to present Scott Reeder’s exhibition, People Call Me Scott, a solo presentation of paintings and sculpture. This will be Scott’s sixth solo exhibition in New York City, and his first with the gallery, which is also his largest exhibition in the city to date. Reeder has been creating work for over 15 years and the gallery is particularly honored to present this substantive exhibition.

Language generates all of Reeder’s paintings and sculptures. He keeps voluminous lists of titles, methods, and copious ideas, which yield an expansive range of objects and approaches. This variety includes not only figurative paintings, like Panda Protest (2011), a painting of pandas holding blank black-and-white protest signs, but also minimal, geometric, abstractions like Paper at Night (2011), colorful rectangles on a black background. Reeder’s abundant lists also include ideas of how works can be made, generating process paintings like mop paintings, penny paintings, and pasta paintings. In every case, though, words come first. Additionally, these works point to Reeder’s ongoing interest in the history of painting, while simultaneously subverting the gravitas of historical reference through understated playfulness.

In Reeder’s new exhibition, language, humor, and abstraction again take center stage. These qualities exist most essentially in his new pasta paintings, which use spaghetti to form both abstract and text paintings. His abstract works playfully undercut Pollock, replacing brushstrokes with scattered noodles, while his text works present combinations of four letter words –Fake Rich, Post Cats, Idea Club – which gently point towards the cannon of text paintings. In both cases, the carbohydrate-laden source of each mark reads slowly, and creates a sly joke. Reeder’s new text works also, for the first time, foreground his titles, which have always exerted a gravitational pull on his imagery.

Overall, the exhibition touches on infinite possibilities. A neon sign in the window toggles between COOL and UNCOOL, constantly declaring both positive and negative. A wall of text paintings suggests endless permutations of word poems. Marks in several abstract paintings appear as starry sky, but are actually tiny outlines of pasta letters, implying the boundlessness of language. New sculptures called Bad Ideas – giant crumpled up balls of paper – suggest eternal revisions. Fabricated in powder-coated white aluminum, these “bad ideas” collect under a neon sign of the artist’s phone number, suggesting ambivalence, boundless possibility, or another iteration of the artist’s mark.

Reeder was born in 1970 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He lives and works in Detroit, and teaches at the Art Institute of Chicago. Recent solo exhibitions include the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; The Green Gallery, Milwaukee; Kavi Gupta, Chicago and Berlin; Jack Hanley, San Francisco; and Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis. Select group exhibitions include Tate Modern, London; New Jerseyy, Basel; Gavin Brown's Enterprise, New York; and Cheim & Read, New York. An upcoming three-person exhibition at the Journal Gallery, New York, includes Reeder early next year. In January 2014, Reeder will debut a major project at 356 Mission Road, Los Angeles. This full-fledged exhibition revolves around the production and screening of a feature film, a considerable project which Reeder has been working on for over eight years.

In 2002, with his brother Tyson, and wife, Elysia Borowy-Reeder, Reeder opened General Store, a storefront gallery in Milwaukee. The Reeder brothers have curated several exhibitions including Drunk vs. Stoned at Gavin Brown's enterprise, New York, and The Early Show, at White Columns, New York. Their most recent project, Club Nutz, is billed as the world's smallest comedy club and hosts a variety of performances, musical events, lectures, screenings, and dance parties.


The gallery is located at 107 Norfolk Street, just one block east of Essex Street between Rivington and Delancey. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, from 10am to 6 pm, and always by appointment. The closest subways are the F/J/M at the Delancey/Essex stop and the D at Grand Street. For more information, please contact Kelly Woods at or 212-680-0564.