CLOSED FOR SNOW
Half Gallery is pleased to present Rascal House, a collaborative project conceived by and including Blair Thurman along with John Armleder, Justin Adian, and Stéphane Kropf. The exhibition is the result of a strange confluence of memory, sensory perception, and association (both free and mediated): a 3-D painting installation-cum-diner booth born of historical, personal, aesthetic and ulterior connections.
It all started in Los Angeles last summer when Thurman made a pilgrimage to Barney's Beanery in honor of Edward & Nancy Kienholz's iconic resin replica namesake. For a swath of the 1960s, the bar/restaurant had served as stomping grounds amongst a select segment of California artists, most notably the Ferus Gallery regulars. The eatery and its signage were the subject of several drawings by Ed Ruscha, one of which introduces the exhibition.
Like the Surrealist’s corps exquis, the components of Rascal House were created by each artist at Thurman's invitation and the resulting installation is a collage in the same peculiar manner as the Kienholz Neo-Dada sculpture. The project title is taken from the classic-now-defunct Miami diner, a favorite of Armleder. The diner as subject - the seating, the interior architecture - is also an important theme in Armleder's work and the basis of his “furniture sculptures”.
As Blair Thurman recalls, I decided I’d drop in and have a look at the “Beanery” in honor of the Kienholz masterpiece I remembered, just to see what the original was like. When I got there, I was really taken with the booths – they looked like they would make great paintings. I was instantly reminded of Justin Adian’s abstract paintings - the color and the Chiclet shapes - and there were so many surfaces of the kind Stéphane Kropf explores. The tables were a mess of resin, full of memorabilia and knick-knacks. I thought about how much John Armleder would like this place, and the rest of the idea just fell together. Then later, I attended Armleder's pour session with Stéphane at Wade Guyton's Brooklyn studio. I was struck by the incredible vapors of lacquer and resin and that stink of resin, so well remembered in the Kienholz installation, which included an olfactory component.
John Armleder will have a one-man exhibition at the Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, in May 2015
Justin Adian's first book, Soft & Loose, was recently published by Fulton Ryder.
Stéphane Kropf currently has a solo exhibition at Galerie Andrea Caratsch, Zurich. He will participate in a show organized by John Armleder at David Kordansky Gallery in March 2015.
Blair Thurman currently has a solo exhibition at Gagosian Gallery, New York until January 10th. He will participate in Gagosian Geneva’s Chromophobia opening in late January 2015.
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