Curated by Suzanne Kim
Theresa Bloise, Tracey Goodman, Virginia Poundstone, Devin Powers, Svetlana Rabey, Jason Rosenberg, Michael Schall, Suzanne Song
Smack Mellon’s summer exhibition is curated by an emerging curator and includes artists selected from Smack Mellon’s Emerging Artists Exhibition Program—an annual open call to emerging artists. This year, emerging curator and Smack Mellon’s Director of Exhibitions, Suzanne Kim, has selected eight exciting emerging artists to present their work. These diverse works collectively re-examine and represent existing and imaginary places.
Far from being a “white cube”, Smack Mellon’s architecture provides a unique point of departure for artists making site-specific installations. Svetlana Rabey’s work functions as architectural shadows, reacting to the shape and dimensions, color, texture and scale of the space it inhabits. Focusing on a section of the gallery’s concrete coal trough for her most recent wool-felt installation, she flattens its volume to create a shadow of the massive form. This shape then divides and multiplies, expanding systematically.
Tracey Goodman’s slim suspended lines similarly direct our focus to the concrete trough that dominates above. As she creates a faulty path for an imaginary electrical source with her delicate cast plaster conduits, quad outlets and junction boxes, Goodman contradicts the efficient and logical paths of the building’s modern electrical system and its obsolete function as a “Boiler Building”.
This thread of obsolescence resurfaces in Michael Schall’s imagined world of pipes, rocks, cables, scaffolding and cliffs in various phases of development and decay. His large and intricate works on paper celebrate both the grandeur and futility of human construction.
While examining the economic concept of “creative destruction” and the erasure of the natural landscape, Virginia Poundstone arranges materials in settings that challenge our perception of the familiar. Made of thinly veiled common building and decorative materials, her distorted landscapes describe certain habitual ways we use our land.
Through real and fictive geometric forms, Devin Powers explores the space outside our everyday experience. Depicting the n-dimension through linking hypercubes—a two dimensional representation of a four dimensional cube—he visually introduces dimensions realized only mathematically.
Applying a trompe l’oeil technique, two-dimensional patterns become three-dimensional spaces within Suzanne Song’s picture plane. After initial perception, the dimensional shifts go beyond optical illusion; the figure/ground relationships of the interwoven spaces become increasingly more complex configurations.
Influenced by architecture, Theresa Bloise explores the overwhelming landscape of the city. Dazzling night-time patterns in high-rise buildings and the effects of neon signs that artificially illuminate and obscure become fractured planes of pattern that hover between abstraction and symbols of space.
Collected common materials such as paper, envelopes and wrappers are poetically rearranged into small-scale collages by Jason Rosenberg. While influenced by design, the work is antithetical to a seamless product. The collages are held together only by tape—leaving the narrative in a state of impermanence.
Smack Mellon’s Emerging Artists summer exhibition presents dynamic new work by these yet to be discovered artists. This exhibition exemplifies the power of our mission to encourage artistic exploration and foster the careers of young and under-represented artists.