26 Wooster Street
Trunk of Humours was a group exhibition curated by Kathy Grayson investigating new trends in painting and sculpture. The show featured substantial installations by these five participants exploring their highly personal and idiosyncratic visual languages in both 2D and 3D works. Hopefully suggesting some of the Falstaffian wit from which the title was derived, the work in this show asked us to think back to the spirit of the carnivalesque by using humor to upend traditional beliefs and make social ills writ large and in a common hand.
Besides the pervasive influence of comic book culture, folk art, and craft, these artists also shared an interest in the expansion of a 2D visual language into the 3D, one method by which they can literally invite the viewer into their world of wit and critique. While internally rigorous, these systems are also generous and accessible, legibly crafted by hand with a sincerity whose primary aim is to communicate.
Taylor McKimens' paintings and installations blur the line between drawing and sculpture, taking a graphic sensibility and expanding it into clever and subtle environments. Deadbeats and derelicts roam sparse, harshly lit worlds of soggy bread and Band-Aids, bologna and tangled garden hose. Strong comic book influences, which may bring R. Crumb to mind, evoke an underground sort of roughness to the tragico- comic energy of his pieces, and the moments of elegant painterliness lend even the ugliest image a complex beauty.
Whether in his lushly hued paintings or diverse sculptural installations, Jules de Balincourt builds worlds of strange occurrence and serious commentary. From an aurora borealis in a shopping mall's food court, a rainbow global media outpost amidst arctic tundra, to skiers blissfully traversing a snowy mountain of post-consumer waste, Jules' wit and elegance are never far from a pointed and sincere critique of the cultural. Rendered in a folk idiom familiar to recent San Francisco tendencies but fleshed out with a formally attentive precision and unique outlook, Jules remains very of-the-earth while seeking the transcendental.
Misaki Kawai's installations are both whimsical and puzzling, their construction and purpose suggestive but mysterious. Who are the beings that populate her worlds and what, exactly, are they up to? A skilled and loving construction out of humble materials is of particular interest in her work, part of a childhood that included making puppets and clothing with her seamstress mother in Osaka. Often inhabited by herself and her friends, Misaki also expands her miniature universe to include all manner of cultural icons and whimsical beings.
Matt Leines' pieces share a similar intensity and highly personal iconography, implying instead narratives of power and manipulation. Matt's pieces tend to focus on exploitation and technology in forgotten civilizations, weaving strange analog circuits and crafting quasi-organic architectural objects with breathtaking precision. Hair, wires, blood, tears and trees all share a pulsating circuitry of interconnection, animating an alternative reality full of humor and insight into contemporary experience. Reconstructing the world of Matt's creatures from the artifacts he leaves us, we infer situations that enlarge and reflect upon our own social world, often to surprising ends.
Jim Drain filled the basement with a complex installation explorable only with a flashlight. Lurking beneath the floors at 26 Wooster was a strange world occupied by unknown beings. Whether in elaborate dissonant knitwear or smooth enamel paint, Jim's sculptures share a mythic beauty that is decidedly inter-dimensional. Recent projects at the Mattress Factory, Greene Naftali, PS. 1, and the 2002 Whitney Biennial (with the group Forcefield) are testament to the diversity of Jim's vision, while a precision of execution and a clever disruption of museum or gallery space are ever-present. Privileging found materials and handmade patterns, Jim's disruptions reinvest the ordinary with a sense of the uncanny.
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
18 Wooster Street
New York, NY 10013
Monday – Friday
10 AM – 6 PM
Thursday – Saturday
Noon – 6 PM
+1 (212) 343-7300
View this website on a larger screen for the full experience.