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Gareth Long, Section Man

Kate Werble Gallery
83 Vandam Street, 212-352-9700
January 23 - February 27, 2010
Reception: Saturday, January 23, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Kate Werble Gallery is pleased to present its first solo show, Section Man by Gareth Long. The three bodies of work in Section Man take texts by Gustave Flaubert, and J.D. Salinger and address ideas of interpretation and projected reading by the viewer.

Untitled (Stories) is Long’s new series of lenticular prints based on the iconic 1991 cover designs for J.D. Salinger’s four published books. Long’s interest in the Salinger book covers stems from the design’s inherent juxtaposition; the design is ostensibly aligned with a modernist aesthetic however, it was applied after-the-fact to a series of texts that toe the line of modernist literature in America. The six-foot tall lenticular prints reconfigure and animate the brightly-colored geometric lines on the book covers, suggesting the modernist art historical precedents of abstract painting, facets of Minimalism, and of the Op Art movement. The work questions Salinger’s relationship to modernism and the subsequent appropriateness of the design for these books.

A Place to Sit, A Place to Read, A Place to Sit and Read comprises a series of modular units that function as sculpture, book display, and seating. Each unit has a magazine-rack-like cutout that not only holds books, but also makes the structures appear vaguely book-like. As literal storage for books and figurative books themselves, they are then containers for potential texts. These sculptures integrate book-works into the gallery space while their utilitarian qualities present a new way of viewing and interacting with artworks.

The Illustrated Dictionary of Received Ideas is an on-going, limited edition book project in which Long and his collaborator Derek Sullivan illustrate every entry in Gustave Flaubert’s posthumously published Dictionnaire des Idées Reçues. The drawing sessions are public illustrating performances where they make drawings for each entry based on images pulled from Google searches while seated at a version of a double desk that appears in Flaubert’s Bouvard et Pécuchet, the novel in which he intended to feature his satirical Dictionnaire. Long and Sullivan have completed eight drawing sessions with 125 illustrations printed in the second galley-volume of The Illustrated Dictionary of Received Ideas.

Gareth Long was born in Toronto, Canada. He holds a BA in visual studies and classical civilizations from the University of Toronto and an MFA from Yale University. He has had several solo exhibitions in Canada, at Oakville Galleries and Leo Kamen Gallery, and has shown at a variety of institutions including the Badischer Kunstverein, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Artists’ Space, and P.S. 1. This is his first solo exhibition in the United States.
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