Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Joe Fig @ Plus Ultra

Note: I spent my birthday installing this exhibition. I couldn't be more proud of Joe for the accomplishment this exhibition represents or more pleased with how his show looks.

Plus Ultra Gallery is very pleased to present the third solo exhibition of new work by gallery artist Joe Fig. Following Joe's solo exhibition at the Bass Museum in Miami Beach in 2005, this new body of work furthers his series of conceptual portraits of contemporary painters via exquisite miniature sculptures based on extensive research into their studio practice. In addition to a major new double-studio sculpture this exhibition includes 16 new sculptures of painting tables, which incorporate audio tracks from Joe's growing library of interviews with important contemporary painters.

The heart of the exhibition is Joe's largest sculpture to date, an exquisitely detailed miniature of the side-by-side Long Island studios of artist couple Eric Fischl and April Gornik. An architectural marvel in its own right, the structure includes two practically identical buildings connected by an elegant entrance and represents the second time Joe has realized a husband-wife sculpture (the first was Inka Essenhigh and Steve Mumford) highlighting one of the central themes of his exploration, the romance we associate with the artist in his/her studio. New to Joe's work is the integration of audio into his sculpture, filling the space with the voices of the artists, which enhances the intimacy of the viewing experience.

Also exhibited are 16 new sculptures that focus on the artists' painting tables. This on-going project includes portraits of the following New York area artists: Gregory Amenoff, Chuck Close, Will Cotton, Karin Davie, Eric Fischl, Barnaby Furnas, Bill Jensen, Ryan McGinness, Julie Mehretu, Philip Pearlstein, Matthew Ritchie, Alexis Rockman, Fred Tomaselli, Dana Schutz, Amy Sillman, and Joan Snyder. In contrast to Joe's full-studio sculptures, which include a figure of the artist, in these gem-like pieces, the unique set-up and elements of the painting table itself stands in as a process-related psychological portrait of the artist. Further, each piece is enclosed in a vitrine, referencing art historical artifacts, and each includes the audio of Joe's interview with that painter, forming an extraordinary document of the ideas and practices of a wide range of important contemporary artists.


Joe Fig
April 27 - May 27, 2006

Opening reception: Thursday, April 27, 6-8 pm

Plus Ultra Gallery
637 West 27th Street (Ground Floor)
New York, NY 10001
t: 212-643-3152
f: 121-643-2040

8 Comments:

Blogger Bill Gusky said...

Superb - congratulations!

4/26/2006 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

I love how sloppy this work is about categories. Biographical, journalistic, voyeuristic, fanish, collegial, representational, sculptural, formal, self-referential, conceptual, and it teases my puritanical side by referencing other artists work in a way that could be seen as self-serving if it weren't so funny and true and fascinating.

There is enough going on, conceptually, to make me stop and think again. You know, that is pretty rare.

4/26/2006 02:49:00 PM  
Anonymous bambino said...

It looks like museum exhibition.
A M A Z I N G.......

4/26/2006 03:30:00 PM  
Blogger Chris Rywalt said...

I'm curious to see this show. It looks totally fucking weird. I love dollhouses and the craft inherent in them. Miniatures -- like in gaming, like Warhammer -- are endlessly fascinating to me.

And also I'm curious about artist's studios. What do they look like? What goes on in there? How do they vary from artist to artist? Is Chuck Close in a wheelchair?

All very interesting. I'm not sure what would motivate someone to create these, as Joe Fig clearly has. And I'm not sure what the "art" part here is, as opposed to craft -- but I'd have to see the works to get a better handle on that.

Luckily, I will be in the city this Thursday, so I'll try to make it.

4/26/2006 04:43:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

I'm not sure what would motivate someone to create these, as Joe Fig clearly has. And I'm not sure what the "art" part here is

That reminds me of a quote by Peter Scheldahj, who once wrote:

What makes these exercises art? Well, what else might they reasonably be? They perform tasks that no one assigned. They involve real work that is really gratuitous. In a world of tightly knit job descriptions, that's distinction enough.

Please do come see the show Chris. I think it's gorgeous, smart, and wonderous...but then I'm not ambivalent.

4/26/2006 09:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. I stopped by the gallery and lucked into seeing this in advance.

This guy is AMAZING! I'm going back again this weekend with friends in tow.

the one and only,
Ondine

4/26/2006 11:13:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

and by "Peter Scheldahj" I mean, of course, "Peter Schjeldahl"...useless public education...

4/27/2006 07:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Oriane said...

I like that description of art by Peter S, but that could also describe hobbies, couldn't it?

4/28/2006 10:45:00 AM  

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