75 Grand Street
Dan Colen’s exhibition consisted of one phenomenal work, Secrets and Cymbals, Smoke and Scissors (My Friend Dash’s Wall in the Future) (2004–2006).
This painted sculpture was a re-creation of the artist Dash Snow’s wall in his former Avenue C apartment. Everything depicted in the work, including the wood-paneled back, was illusionistically painted to resemble this legendary wall. Every crumple of every sullied New York Post front page, every art-show announcement, photograph, baseball card, and tag was re-created by Colen in paint.
After photographing Snow’s unique piece of interior decoration, an artwork in its own right, Colen re-created with maniacal exactitude both the appearance and the arrangement of Snow’s living-room wall. Over the years in his high-traffic clubhouse of an apartment, Snow had accumulated on his wall the record of a group that would soon come to the fore of the Lower East Side art scene. Staple-gunned to his wall were stickers, photographs, news clippings, sketches for tattoos, pervy doodles, spray paint, swastikas, porn, and assorted cutlery. Heavy on sex, violence, and Saddam Hussein, Snow’s wall was anthropologically fascinating, providing a view onto what sort of cultural debris caught his eye and was worthy of apotheosis.
At first Colen’s sculpture baffled because it almost reproduced the original too well, but once the trompe l’oeil was deciphered, the viewer could admire this very sophisticated and nuanced piece of contemporary sculpture. Simultaneously anthropological and minimal in origin, Colen’s work begins as a monument to the accumulated energy of this slice of the New York experience, but then moves into the realm of conceptual sculpture, where pondering the selection of such an object for meticulous re-creation becomes more fruitful.
Like his sculptures of boulders, which were concurrently on view in the Whitney Biennial, Colen here created a work both deceiving in its construction and ambiguous in its intent, blurring high and low, public and private, in a way that is deeply compelling.
March 8 - 11, 2018
We will present a special solo project by the artist JR.
Image: JR, Migrants, Walking New York City, 2015
April - May 2018
18 Wooster Street
76 Grand Street
New York, NY 10013
Monday – Friday
10 AM – 6 PM
Tuesday – Saturday
Noon – 6 PM
The gallery reopens with People in April 2018.
+1 (212) 343-7300
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