Westbeth Gallery: LMCC ARCHIPELAGO January 17 – 27, 2013

Archipelago: Works by 17 artists of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Artists-in-Residence, Governor’s Island 2012
Curated by Kaegan Sparks.

OPENING RECEPTION

Thursday, January 17, 6pm–8pm

ARTIST TALK

Friday, January 25, 2013, 6:30–8pm

Press contact: Deb Travis
WARCvp@gmail.com
917-841-6032

Archipelago: Works by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s
Artists-in-Residence, Governor’s Island 2012

Many of the works respond to the particular historical and environmental cues of
Governors Island, which is now being transformed by the City of New York into a
large-scale public park.

On January 17, 2013, seventeen artists of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Swing Space residency program present Archipelago, a collective exhibition of recent work. Curated by Kaegan Sparks, the exhibition will culminate the participating artists’ fall 2012 residency at Building 110 on Governors Island.

Opening reception:

Thursday, January 17, 6–8pmOn view January 17 to 27, 2013 Westbeth Gallery Calendar

55 Bethune Street @ Washington Street, New York, NY 10014
Open Wednesday to Sunday, 1pm to 6pm

Artist talk:

Friday, January 25, 2013, 6:30–8pm

Ranging from two-dimensional media and sculptural installations to video and animation, the works of Archipelago represent a vibrant cross-section of new art by Ruta Butkute, Jessica Cannon, Maya Ciarrocchi, Elizabeth Duffy, Laurie Frick, Marina Gutierrez, Sarah Kabot, Jenn Kahn, Patte Loper, Sarada Rauch, Jaye Rhee, Alan Ruiz, Diana Shpungin, Abraham Storer, Kyoco Taniyama, Jeanne Verdoux, and Jenifer Wightman.

Many of the works on view respond to the particular historical and environmental cues of Governors Island, which served various functions as a military base for almost two hundred years and is now being transformed by the City of New York into a large-scale public park. An inherently ambiguous and interstitial space, the isolated landmark stands at a point of anachronistic and atmospheric remove from the imposing skyline of Manhattan’s financial district just across the water. Strewn with long-abandoned forts and residential buildings, much of the island seems an eerie shell of an antiquated coastal defense system, while its harbor vistas and proximity to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island evoke the legendary immigrant influx seminal to so much of New York’s cultural identity. All the more topically in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the multifarious works of Archipelago reflect both the vitality and vulnerability of these sites in relation to one another, as a congregation of islands.

Paintings and video works by Jessica Cannon, Abraham Storer, Ruta Butkute and Sarada Rauch respond to aspects of liminality and tension in the island’s architectural and natural landscapes through perspectival shifts and distortions. Sarah Kabot’s paper sculptures and Elizabeth Duffy‘s multimedia installations derive from artifacts found at specific historical locations on the island, including St. Cornelius Chapel, the Coast Guard library, the Admiral’s House, and Pershing Hall. Patte Loper‘s paintings and Jeanne Verdoux‘s photographs feature tableaux of improvisational sculptures made from materials salvaged on the island, while Marina Gutierrez and Diana Shpungin draw on water’s cultural, symbolic, and biographical valences through an interactive community project and hand-drawn animations. Kyoco Taniyama and Laurie Frick each rely on empirical data from their interaction with the island to create installations around site-specific coordinates and self-tracked commutes, and Alan Ruiz reconfigures the temporary partitions of his Building 110 studio into a sculptural object.

Several artists will present newly developed work that extends beyond the context of the island. In ecologically concerned projects, Maya Ciarrocchi exposes the land and communities affected by mountaintop removal mining in West Virginia through a image-saturated documentary, and Jenifer Wightman cultivates terrarium “landscape paintings” of dynamic bacteria-produced pigments sourced from polluted waterways around New York City. Probing different facets of the commodified precious, Jenn Kahn‘s subtly threatening phalanx of porcelain wolves conjures a monument from kitschy, mass-produced miniatures, while Jaye Rhee’s videos incorporate naive and artificial imagery into scenes inspired by European fairy tales adapted to a South Korean cultural context.

Kaegan Sparks writes, edits, researches, and curates in New York City. Her exhibition Prolonged Exposure was presented by Recession Art in November 2012. Previously she directed KWH Art, a gallery at the University of Pennsylvania, and worked in various capacities for the Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative, ICA Philadelphia, Dia:Beacon, The Kitchen, and Parkett. She is currently Special Events and Programming Associate at The Drawing Center, where she will produce the program
series Drafts in 2013.

About Westbeth Home to the Arts

The Westbeth Gallery is a nonprofit gallery operating on the first floor of Westbeth
Artists Housing in the West Village of New York City. It exhibits the work of resident artists and independently curated exhibitions. www.westbeth.org | email:
westbethg@gmail.com

Lower Manhattan Cultural CouncilLower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC)

, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, has been a leading voice for arts and culture Downtown and throughout New York City for nearly 40 years,producing cultural events and promoting the arts through grants, services, advocacy,and cultural development programs.

Gallery Hours

Wednesday – Sunday 1 pm – 6 pm or by appointment
55 Bethune Street at Washington St or 155 Bank Street (enter through Courtyard)

Contact

westbethg@gmail.com

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