Sara Meltzer Gallery is pleased to present Songs Without Words, an exhibition of new works by Joseph Grigely. Presented in the penthouse gallery, this is the first in a series of collaborative projects with Andrew Heyward, former co-owner of Cohan and Leslie, New York.
This exhibition presents two recent works that give silent representation to different forms of communication. Songs Without Words is an installation of 12 pigment prints made of images clipped from The New York Times of people singing – opera, rock, choral and jazz. In addition to the silent image, the captions have been removed, adding another layer of linguistic absence to the work. The second work, which was done in collaboration with artist Amy Vogel, is a chandelier sculpture hanging in the stairwell called Hop Frog. Crawling around and covering the surface of the chandelier are small mischievous monkeys, one of which seems to have lost its grip and fallen to the ground. The monkeys illustrate an Edgar Allen Poe short story from 1850 called Hop Frog, which tells the story of a court jester (“…a dwarf and a cripple.”) who is ridiculed and tortured by a lazy hedonist king and his courtiers, and claims gruesome revenge on his tormentors by tricking them into ape costumes, stringing them up on a chandelier and incinerating them. Like much of Grigely’s work, this piece represents a site of conversational exchange, alluding to the space absent of sound.