A group show curated by Elwyn Palmerton
Broadway Gallery is pleased to present Homing Devices, an exhibition of five different artists that utilize abstract devices to engage with familiar everyday objects and materials. They create unpredictable machines of ambiguous purpose. Form and function exchange places creating unexpected ironies. A unifying theme is the tendency to create and solve absurd problems as device for generating form. These artists take Sol LeWitt’s “Sentences on Conceptual Art” (especially #5, “Irrational thoughts should be followed absolutely and logically”) seriously . . . following through on their seemingly nonsensical ideas with a single-minded sense of purpose and openness to discovery.
Here, in Wolfgang Ryan’s sculptural lamps, found objects are repurposed to function as decorative or structural elements of lamps; the lamps in turn, remain both lamps and sculpture. Soyeon Cho’s plastic detritus (things like plastic forks and electrical wiring) explode into abstract form. Jon Rosenbaum’s meticulous paper sculptures with their working gears and crankshafts ostensibly function while remaining essentially useless. Ben Bunch re-imagines the Koons-ian vacuum cleaner as a cartoon’y toy while retaining the sense of optimism and wonder. Morgan Croney takes a type of “systems art’ to a farcical extreme in his hermetic structures – their essential absurdity overshadowed by his fastidious sense craft and purposefulness.
What these artists share is a love for their chosen, often humble or inexpensive materials, a joy in craft and abstraction, and a playful sense of humor which often manifests in their subversion of familiar objects normal functions. As the title, “Homing Devices” suggests, these are artists that are on the move, experimenting, and changing. `Home’ isn’t a merely a place for them, it’s a product of their devices and a place where the banalities of everyday life are not only strange, surreal, abstract, or unfamiliar, but also provisional – a moving yet familiar target.