Melanie Bonajo Todd Bourret Ian Pedigo Nancy Radloff Claudia Weber Ben Wolf
Pace University is pleased to present Let The Nouns Fool Around, a group exhibition in the Peter Fingesten Gallery curated by Jen Schwarting.
The exhibition takes its title from a line in the Dada Manifesto– Hugo Ball’s 1916 call for a radical new approach to language and form. The movement gave shape to found object construction– expanding the vernacular of materials with assemblages cobbled-together from old appliances and common household items. Reacting to the devastation and turmoil in Europe following WWI, the Dadaists salvaged waste and transformed everyday debris into art, reconfiguring notions of value. Kurt Schwitters built reliefs from wood scraps, discarded furniture, clothing and cardboard directly into the corners of his home, establishing a deeply personal system of meaning, and a model of recovery.
The use of cast-off, household and low materials continues to be a significant approach by artists reconsidering ideas of value in contemporary society. In a climate increasingly characterized by decline and instability, with economic and natural resources threatening collapse, many artists resist consumption to focus on production, creating their own systems of resourcefulness. The artists in Let The Nouns Fool Around incorporate found and recovered objects, and draw from everyday accumulations, building up a tableau of materials and references. They employ an open process, and seek a visual stability, a symmetry and balance that departs from the rupture and fissure that defined Dada’s reception. Yet as the title still insists, the artists let their materials act, maneuver and fool around, before settling in to their effective positions.