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Cary Leibowitz, Ye Olde Candyass Muggery


Alexander Gray Associates
508 West 26th Street, 2nd floor, 212-399-2636
February 18 - March 28, 2009
Reception: Wednesday, February 18, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Alexander Gray Associates is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Cary Leibowitz. The exhibition, Ye Olde Candyass Muggery, consists of over 25 new multiples, taking the form of coffee mugs, wine glasses, espresso cups and highballs. Leibowitz’ mass-produced multiples have been widely collected and anticipated since his first New York exhibition twenty years ago, when he began exhibiting under the moniker Candyass.

Where previous installations have taken a carnival-like atmosphere, Leibowitz’ 2009 installation is more restrained in its design. The exhibition consists of mugs and other drinking vessels—objects that are both personal and social; these objects are elevated to works of art in their sculptural installation presented in the gallery. For Leibowitz, high is low, low is high; art is personal, personal is art.

Leibowitz has emblazoned these manufactured objects with highly stylized typography ranging from Sampler Stitchery to Art Deco. The “texts” commemorate and morph popular culture, gay iconography and Americana: “George Washington Redecorates Mount Vernon;” “Liza Minelli Lands on the Moon;” “The Golden Girls Signing the Declaration of Independence;” “Bette Midler Crossing the Delaware;” “Oh to Have the Confidence of Ferris Beuller and the Hips of Johnny Depp;” “Abraham Lincoln’s Friend Sleeps Over”.

Cary Leibowitz is an obsessive collector, who believes firmly that “quantity is quality.” With Ye Olde Candyass Muggery, Leibowitz encourages consumption of his objects; for them to be used as functional, dysfunctional, and non-functional objet d’art. In the spirit of accessibility and activism, prices range from $15–$100.

Leibowitz’ work was included in the landmark exhibitions Too Jewish? Challenging Traditional Identities at the Jewish Museum New York; In a Different Light at the University Art Museum, University of California, Berkeley and Bad Girls, New Museum for Contemporary Art, New York. Since 1989, his work has also been seen in exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Kunstverein für die Rhineland und Westfalen, Düsseldorf; Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art; ICA Philadelphia; Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn; Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt; Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin; National Gallery of Australia, Melbourne; the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT; List Visual Art Center, MIT, Cambridge; the Guggenheim Museum, New York; and the Whitney Museum, New York. In 2008, Printed Matter organized a survey exhibition of Leibowitz’ multiples; his work is currently included in the Warhol Museum’s exhibition, The End: Analyzing Art in Troubled Times and Independent Curators International’s Slightly Unbalanced, on view at the Museum London, Ontario. Leibowitz lives and works in New York City.
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