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Type A, Ruled

Goff + Rosenthal
537 West 23rd Street, 212-675-0461
September 10 - October 17, 2009
Reception: Thursday, September 10, 5 - 8 PM
Web Site

Goff + Rosenthal is pleased to present an exhibition of new works entitled Ruled by the New York-based artist duo Type A. Type A is made up of Adam Ames and Andrew Bordwin. This is their first exhibition in New York City since 2004.

Continuing with their ongoing interest in rules and regulations surrounding traditionally masculine activities, Type A explores the intrinsic authority and aesthetic of everyday objects, especially construction and sports equipment. Otherwise innocuous pieces of plastic, rubber, string and metal carry expectations of success and failure, dependability, predictability, competition and collaboration with them. Ruled is comprised of various installed ready-mades, a collection of ink on paper drawings, and chalk wall drawings.

The entire space in the front gallery is taken over by a single installation consisting of approximately 2000 plumb bobs—a reference tool used for millennia by surveyors, masons and builders that indicates a perfect vertical line pointing to the center of the earth. The objects themselves are pointed, sharp, and made of solid metal, both phallic and weapon-like. However, when they are installed, these objects have a slight and fragile simplicity that is uncharacteristic of their singular purpose as a reference tool. For the artists, they “determine the viewer’s path and present a staccato of lines that is both lyrical and dictatorial. They are as much a source of anxiety as beauty.” Used as a drawing device, the plumb bob becomes a simple pendulum that can illustrate the direction and, to a certain extent, the velocity with which the bobs were released. The character of the line shows a relationship between the plumb bob’s/pendulum’s displacement and its tendency towards equilibrium, as well as the irregularities that arise when the simple motion meets interference. In essence, each drawing shows the relationship of the variables that were in effect among the pen, paper and individual throw of each member of Type A as he released the plumb bob.

In the rear gallery, there are additional works which often allude to very specific Minimalist artists, albeit from a new critical (and subtly humorous) perspective. For example, the line of bronze-colored anodized aluminum relay batons has a De Maria-like simplicity and repetition. Type A is not only drawing out ideas of play, gamesmanship and competition within the canon of contemporary art and art history, they also exhibit here an “anxiety of influence” in which they question the unsure trajectories of the post-minimal.

Taken together, the objects used take on an entirely different meaning when configured to acknowledge the work of Carl Andre, Walter De Maria, Donald Judd, Fred Sandback, and others. Most compelling is not how the Minimalist aesthetic informs the new configurations but how this second-tier equipment, stripped of its intended purpose and context, was part and parcel of the very culture—with its assumptions, references and tropes of masculinity and nationality—that inspired the original art.

Type A currently has a solo exhibition at the Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, and upcoming solo exhibitions at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut and the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Type A will also be included in the inaugural exhibition of the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s new 100 Acres Art & Nature Park opening in June 2010. Their work is in the permanent collections of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Addison Gallery of American Art and the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University. They have been reviewed in The New Yorker, Time Out New York, The New York Times, Art in America, Art Forum, Art on Paper, Artnet, and The Village Voice.

Furthermore, the Indianapolis Museum of Art is producing a documentary about Type A for its Art Babble website, and the German publisher Hatje Cantz will be releasing a monograph to coincide with the IMA show in June 2010.
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