Orphans Offered Up--Call for Participation

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Orphans , 2009 Oil On Canvas 4" X 4" © Holly Crawford
Orphans Offered Up--Call for Participation

547 W. 27th St., 5th floor
New York, NY 10001
February 4th, 2010 - March 6th, 2010
Opening: February 4th, 2010 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Thursday-Saturday 1-6
mixed-media, performance, conceptual


 Installation by Holly Crawford

“But, art as a practical precedent is forever young and physically here with us. Works of art, as theoretical constructs, hold their place in a field of knowledge. As historical artifacts, they speak of ancestry and parental origins. As practical precedents, works of art are orphans, ready to be adopted, nurtured and groomed to the needs to any astonishing new circumstances.”—Dave Hickey,  “Orphans,”  Art in America, January 2009

Orphans Offered Up is participation installation evolve in a space that was formerly an art gallery that is now empty.  


Orphans that I’m offering up are a series of conceptual  oil paintings that are very small, 4” x 4”. They’re intimate.  They are fragments that appear to be abstractions. They are offered up in several different ways.


Offer  is defined as: act of worship or devotion: sacrifice; to present for acceptance or rejection; to propose or suggest; to try or begin to resist; to threaten; to make available; to present in performance or exhibition; to propose as payment; to make an attempt; to present itself; to make a proposal.


        What will you offer me? Not all offers will be accepted.  Suggestions:  Stocks, bonds, a house, another painting, a manuscript, or something else?  Something much less tangible?   What are you willing to sacrifice?  If you insistent on money, then the price will be determined by random walk, and  that  price will be  a number between one and five hundred,  that will be generated randomly by RANDOM.ORG, Trinity College.  They provide a “random number service that generates randomness via atmospheric noise.”  Numbers will stamped on a poker chip and placed in a black velvet bag that will be hung from the ceiling. Pick one, that’s your price. Use it. Trade it. Sell it. Keep it as a souvenir.

          The inspirational sources for the paintings are the invisible engraving marks found in old postage stamps that belonged to my late father.  These painting were first started in 2002. They are not studies. They are not miniatures. They are finished paintings. I have completed more than fifty. 

        What do you do with your art?  What’s your relationship to art?  Do you hang it on the wall or put in storage?  Relationships with art: Baldessari burnt them; Van Gogh shoved them under Theo’s bed.


Ask people to suggest a name by writing it on a post-its and then placing that post-it around the painting.  The images and suggested names will be documented along with what I was offered. Names maybe also submitted by email. Peter Selz has already done just that.

I would like to thank the Pinetree Group for the offer of the space for this project.


Holly Crawford, NYC 2010