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Unspecific Objects


Thierry Goldberg Projects
5 Rivington Street, 212-967-2260
East Village / Lower East Side
March 11 - April 18, 2010
Reception: Thursday, March 11, 6 - 8 PM
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Thierry Goldberg Projects is pleased to present Unspecific Objects, a group exhibition with works by Martin Basher, Jona Bechtolt, Daniel Ellis, Rashawn Griffin, David Scanavino, and Takayuki Kubota.

Making a reference to “Specific Objects,” Donald Judd’s seminal essay of 1965, the show brings together a group of six artists, who approach art-making with a fresh take on the process of reduction. It is through this reduction that the artists reinvest minimalist art, what Judd located as “neither painting nor sculpture,” with a voice specific to their own time and attitudes.

Through these artists’ ironic sense of touch, they deflect any sense of nostalgia. As this particular brand of Minimalism has been incorporated into the mainstream of fashion and music, these six aren’t just looking back, but looking towards the contemporary culture and economy of a style.

Martin Basher confronts painting and sculpture with an ironic take on desire and disappointment. His casual handling of ready-made materials can be seen in his installation piece where a poster of a Claude Monet landscape is affixed to a vertically stripped hard-edge painting. He undercuts notions of escape by the harsh fluorescent light propped against the painting. Both attracting and deflecting the viewer, the fluorescent tube is part Dan Flavin part bug-light.

Best known for his band Yacht, Jona Bechtolt primarily works with sound and video. His piece NTSC-YA animates what is typically the static field of a standard TV test pattern. Where Minimalism and Colorfield paintings once focused on uniformity, Bechtolt’s video disrupts and transforms the standard by infusing it with a sense of play, as a childhood Chimalong.

Minimal and monochromatic, Daniel Ellis’ paintings capture networks of regular repeating patterns. The patterns, on the one hand, articulate the surface of the painting and, at the same time, soften the solid backgrounds. His work deals with the tension between subtle affects via regimented graphic elements.

Though spare in composition, Rashawn Griffin’s work is loaded with references brought by his materials. His paintings feature fabrics, second-hand and new, bringing their own associations and histories to the minimalist object, so often devoid of the personal. Free standing, and sometimes suspended, his work speak to the sculptural presence of painting.

Parts and wholes are consistent players in David Scanavino’s work. For instance, his sculpture Untitled (rope cast) makes two parts of one length of rope while his Untitled (one square foot) makes one form of equally sized parts. His use of common materials as standards keeps their transformations articulate and arresting.

Takayuki Kubota presents sound in the format of painting. He unravels and splices together reels of tape-recorded readings or atmospheric sound and adheres them to panels. In this way, the work becomes a sonic portrait of a space or literary work.

Takayuki Kubota was born in 1985 in Kobe, Japan and currently lives and works in Tokyo. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Temple University, Japan Campus. His work has been recently shown at the Laundromat Gallery in Brooklyn and at Gallery Q, Tokyo, Japan.

David Scanavino was born in 1978 in Denver and currently lives and works in New York. He holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from Yale University. His work has been shown at Klaus Von Nichtssagend, Newman Popiashvili, Southfirst, Satori, and Gavin Brown’s Passerby – all in New York.

Rashawn Griffin was born in 1980 in Los Angeles and currently lives and works in Kansas. He holds a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and an MFA from Yale University. He has participated in the 2008 Whitney Biennial and shown at the Studio Museum in Harlem; Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin; Marianne Boesky, New York; Arndt & Partner, Berlin; John Connelly, New York, Smith Stewart, New York; Thomas Erben, New York; and Galerie Eva Winkeler, Frankfurt.

Jona Bechtolt was born in 1980. He is an electronic musician and multimedia artist based in Portland, Oregon. He has played with The Blow and The Badger King before founding YACHT, what he calls “a Band, Business, and Belief System” and has performed pieces commissioned by P.S.1, Rhizome, and the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art.

Martin Basher was born in 1979 in Wellington, New Zealand. He currently lives and works in New York and New Zealand. He holds an MFA from Columbia University. Basher has shown at Starkwhite, Auckland, New Zealand; Susan Inglett, New York; and Michael Hirschfeld Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand. He was recently awarded an artist residency at the McCahon House Trust.
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