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Ashes For Breakfast

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Goff + Rosenthal
537 West 23rd Street, 212-675-0461
Chelsea
July 2 - August 8, 2008
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Ahmed Alsoudani, Joe Biel, Type A

Goff + Rosenthal is pleased to present “Ashes for Breakfast”, a group exhibition with works by gallery artists Ahmed Alsoudani, Joe Biel and Type A.

“Ashes for Breakfast” refers to the title of a poem by the contemporary German poet Durs Grunbein which Joe Biel cites as a source for his sprawling, intricate and often apocalyptic graphite works on paper. The poem is a multi-part catalogue of contemporary urban life—humorous and bleak, existentially unmoored, and fed an endless stream of information about the atrocities of the day. It is a life with the peculiar feature in which one is as removed from the world as one is morally engaged with it:

I have breakfasted on ashes, the black Dust that comes off newspapers, from the freshly printed columns. When a coup makes no stain, and a tornado sticks to half a page. And it seemed to me as though the Fates licked their lips.

Ahmed Alsoudani’s violent paintings of war and atrocity, Joe Biel’s ruined terroir of humanist ideals and symbols called “Compound” and Type A’s humorous and minimal “insertions”—body parts inserted into the relatively new structure of an always-evolving urban “security” apparatus in New York—are part of the legacy of our post-911 world. We are at war but it’s the gruesomeness of Alsoudani’s paintings that reminds us we barely see images of the horror of war. In the same way we hardly notice the new gray, black and orange corrals springing up across the city. The works in this exhibition allow one to notice what is so pervasive but deliberately not shown or made obvious.

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