Mamie Tinkler, Amanda Trager, Gene Beery, Jen Schwarting, Derek Zeitel (clockwise from the door)
Organized by Roger White
Never Work is pleased to announce a group exhibition featuring works by Gene Beery, Jen Schwarting, Mamie Tinkler, Amanda Trager, and Derek Zeitel, organized by Roger White. The exhibition looks at the role of language in the work of five otherwise dissimilar artists, adopting their use of text as an organizing principle.
Each of the artworks in the show is concerned—one way or another—with speaking for itself: Mamie Tinkler’s Oil Slick (The Manager’s Book of Decencies) (2008) creates a cryptic alternate cover for a corporate-culture tract, replacing the placid, pastel graphics of self-improvement-book design with an altogether less optimistic image. Nearby, Amanda Trager’s sculpture My Boyfriend is Jesus (2002) features a run-on narrative of unbalanced love on a similarly off-kilter wood and plaster signpost. On Gene Beery’s Test (2006), the hand-painted titular word acts as both a classification of the artwork and a command for the viewer. Jen Schwarting’s I (2007) captures a model performing a headstand in order to become a letter (so doing, she also inverts Robert Morris’ iconic I-Box). Language reaches its limits in Derek Zeitel’s Gorilla (2007), which loops footage of director Paul Verhoeven standing-in for a CGI gorilla on the set of his film Hollow Man.
A viewing order is suggested in the show’s quasi-title. Beginning with Tinkler’s self-contained phrases and ending with Zeitel’s sub-linguistic howls, each work in the exhibition further dissects the language of its predecessor.