Molly Larkey Untitled (“Pastel Bars”), acrylic and gouache on paper, 12.25×12 inches. Courtesy of Pocket Utopia.
Artists: Rico Gatson, Ben Godward, Valerie Hegarty, Andrew Hurst, Molly Larkey, Kevin Regan, Austin Thomas, and Jonathan VanDyke
Pocket Utopia is pleased to end its 2-year, 20-exhibition run with “Finally Utopic,” a group exhibition, and Bushwick Biennial venue, of artists from the neighborhood. As an artist-run space, Pocket Utopia is an extension of a social practice and is a social sculpture. It is also a gallery and a post-studio artist residency that blurs the lines between artist, dealer, gallerist, viewer and participant.
In this last show, at a nicely renovated old storefront in Bushwick, we artists are looking at other pocket utopias, and continuing to discuss art-world issues, art-making, and community. Valerie Hegarty helps box up this pivotal moment by creating a paper monument, Andrew Hurst completes a Pocket Utopian performance trilogy, and Rico Gatson also returns to the space with two adjacent or mirrored images of his particular pocket utopia.
Kevin Regan, who has been working in the space as the resident artist, installs himself and serves us all coffee. Ben Godward will serve beer. From cups of coffee to bottles of beer, all the artists are like studio mates, contemplating their ineluctable states of becoming. Another returning artist, Jonathan VanDyke punctures the space with dripping paint and Molly Larkey compliments VanDyke’s drips and puddles of color with a series of drawings that attempt to capture a sculptural aura. Austin Thomas displays a definitive statement with a small text piece that defines the mood.
Whether dripping or serving, mirroring or becoming, all the artists and by extension the surrounding community unite in one small place that has made the best of what was on hand, a temporary pocket of utopia. Pocket Utopia is and has always been a relational exhibition, salon and social space run by artist Austin Thomas.