The ArtCat calendar is closed as of December 31, 2012. Please visit Filterizer for art recommendations.


John Salvest: No Time For Sorrow

Morgan Lehman Gallery
535 West 22nd Street, 6th floor, 212-268-6699
May 18 - June 24, 2006
Reception: Thursday, May 18, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Salvest explores the realm of sculpture through the evocative power of everyday materials, asking the viewer to re-examine his/her preconceived notions of these artifacts and their value. Business cards, wine corks, cigarette butts, chewing gum, slivers of soap and chalk stubs are accumulated over years and used, often with the assistance of language, to create works that communicate personal realizations about time, mortality and the many paradoxes of the human condition, as well as to comment upon the triumphs and follies specific to our own time.

The title of the exhibition is taken from an excerpt of William Blake’s Proverbs of Hell: The busy bee has no time for sorrow… Salvest writes,

My uncontrollable impulse to salvage and preserve normally ephemeral materials seems to be a gesture against time’s passage and the sorrow of loss associated with it. Conveniently, the process of amassing, organizing and arranging these materials succeeds in keeping me too busy to think much about such things. I am happiest while lost in the focused and repetitive labor my work requires.

Salvest notes, however, that Blake’s quotation is open to more than one interpretation.

On the one hand, to be called a “busy bee” suggests useful distraction and its resultant productivity, but on the other it implies the avoidance of a painful yet more complete relationship with the world.

While Salvest is perhaps best known for large-scale temporary and permanent installations involving massive quantities of found materials, No Time For Sorrow mainly focuses on more intimate works. The exhibition includes a wooden stool with a stalactite growth of hundreds of chunks of chewed red bubble gum; a chalkboard grid filled with precisely placed chalk stubs; wooden rulers stacked up to create square foot standards of measurement; and Memento Mori, a mosaic of business cards which spells out the poignant message remember me.
Have photos of this show? Tag them with artcal-2417 to see them here.