SCARAMOUCHE c/o Fruit and Flower Deli is pleased to present a solo exhibition of New York artist Jonathan VanDyke. In his first solo exhibition with the gallery, VanDyke has altered the gallery’s space to create a container for five sculptures and a photograph.
The sculptures appear at first like specific objects of the Minimalist era. Each work is structured around a concise geometry of rectangular forms and employs a muted palette of grays and browns. Underfoot a brown tiled floor, also designed by the artist, begins to reveal a rupture in the cool pastiche of the installation. Puddles of brightly colored liquid paint gather on the floor. A close investigation reveals that this paint is dripping slowly from inside the sculptures. In a large piece entitled Asymmetrical Relationship, the source of this paint is two cast plastic tubes that break a tightly woven surface of black webbing. The paint will drip for the duration of the exhibition, changing shade each day.
Rupture is a key motif of VanDyke’s work. Form is ruptured by formlessness, the solid is ruptured by the liquid, the familiar is ruptured by the unlikely. His work displays an intense bodily presence, surgical physicality, and knowing theatricality that reveals an affinity with the works of Donald Moffett, Frank Moore, and that of fiber modernist Claire Zeisler. The Gallery installation disorients the supposed order of the viewing space. As noted by theorist Sara Ahmed in her book Queer Phenomenology: “It is not only that queer surfaces support actions, but also that the action they support involves shifting grounds…” As the ground underfoot builds up with a startlingly vibrant muck, taking on new color each day, the exhibition constantly re-makes itself. VanDyke questions the very way in which we experience the art object, putting forth the work of art as an ever-evolving phenomenon that ruptures the senses.
Jonathan VanDyke received his MFA from Bard College in 2005 and attended the Skowhegan School in 2008. He has had held solo exhibitions at the University of Rochester and at Pocket Utopia in Brooklyn, and has created large-scale works at the Tallahassee Museum of Art, the Islip Art Museum, The University of Chicago, and Socrates Sculpture Park. He was recently awarded a fellowship from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation.