Friday, May 19, 2006

EXTENDED: Joe Fig @ Plus Ultra

We had realized the need to extend Joe's exhibition a while ago, but it gives me great pleasure to announce that the show will now be up until June 3rd, in conjunction with noting Joe got awesome reviews by Jerry Saltz in the Village Voice, and Ken Johnson in today's New York Times (can't find a link online, so you'll have to buy the print version). Congratulations Joe!

And if you haven't made it over yet, please do stop in and see the exhibition. Again, the details:

Joe Fig
April 27 to May 27, 2006
Checklist and Artists Interviews

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 has exhibited widely in the United States and in Europe. His work has been included in exhibitions at PS1-MoMA, the Bass Museum, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and is represented in the following collections: the Altoids Collection, the Fogg Art Museum, and the Hood Museum of Art.

For more information, contact the gallery at or 212-643-3152.


Anonymous bambino said...


5/19/2006 11:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Priit said...

"his series of conceptual portraits of contemporary painters"

A question: What does "conceptual" mean here? Does it refer to conceptual art as an art movement, or does it mean that the artist has found an unique point of view?

5/19/2006 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

well, it's meant to connote a unique point of view, in that the "portrait" doesn't include the physical likeness of the artist in anyway, but rather suggests their presence through the unique arrangement of his/her studio with tell-tales signs of what's perhaps unique about their process.

5/19/2006 12:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Priit said...

Thanks! (I'm been interested in what the "conceptual thinking" in art means.) 'Inka Essenhigh', 'Brancusi', and 'Jackson Pollock' - window(s) appear to play very important role in artist studios.

5/19/2006 01:35:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

The environment is a key part of what Joe's looking at, Priit, it's true. One of the questions he asks each subject in the interview is "Has the studio location influenced your work." Many artists seem to struggle with that question, in that it's not something they initally think about and they often immediately suggest it doesn't but then when elaborating come to change their minds. In New York, for example, a studio in Manhattan is almost surely smaller than what one could afford further out, and so in size of work possible alone, the location will influence the work for most artists.

Windows are a luxury from what I've seen in many studios. One's a beautiful as those in Inka's studio are rarer still.

5/19/2006 01:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I mention this because you probably wouldn't know about it otherwise. My review of the Joe Fig exhibition will be posted at in the next day or two. I am glad the show has been extended.

5/19/2006 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

I've been cheking artcritical on a regular basis actually...thanks for the heads up and double thanks for the consideration.


5/19/2006 02:43:00 PM  
Blogger Nancy Baker, aka Rebel Belle said...

Congratulations!! This is awesome!

5/19/2006 08:21:00 PM  
Blogger Chris Rywalt said...

My studio, being my bedroom, sure affects my work. I can't work on more than one painting at a time and I sometimes drip paint into my wife's underwear drawer.

5/19/2006 08:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my wife's underwear drawer, being my studio, surely affects my process.

5/20/2006 08:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Priit said...

A logical extension of 'Jackson 1951' would be a study of the Pollock painting in some gallery, collection, auction, or museum context.

In this relation, I recall that in November 2004, NYT had a very interesting multimedia presentation, by curator John Elderfield - of the cardboard models that were use to plan the exposition in the MOMA new building.

One can see Brancusi models there, as in one of Joe Fig's work.

That MOMA cardboard model can still be viewed, by finding the article by Michael Kimmelman 'Racing to Keep Up With the Newest, of Nov 19, 2004, on, then starting the sidebar Audio Slide Show, stopping Kimmelman's presentation and switching to Curator's View pane in the Interactive Feature viewbox.

While the threat of banality is high in modeling, as Jerry Saltz writes, model-building has many unexpected uses and effects, I believe. Maybe a pragmatic artist could work 'backwards' by envisioning or modeling the gallery exhibition and then creating the individual pieces, instead on trying to gather individual works into well-functioning exhibition set.

I'd imagine models can help save time and effort in planning gallery exhibitions but not only that.

5/20/2006 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger Chris Rywalt said...

My latest work, then, will be a model of Plus Ultra, with me standing around being friendly and not eating, Ed chasing someone out of the office, and Bambino trying desperately to clean up a spill from some frat guy helping himself to the wine. There will be a mother changing her baby's diaper on top of Joe Fig's model of April and Eric's studio, and two kids playing soccer with Joe's model of Chuck Close's table.

5/21/2006 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

And will it all fit in your wife's dresser drawer? I can't wait to see the even tinier models of Joe's tiny models.

5/21/2006 02:02:00 PM  
Blogger Chris Rywalt said...

My wife's dresser drawer barely closes with just her underwear in it. How else would I drip paint into it? You don't think I open it to purposely drip paint into to it, do you? What kind of bespattered pervert do you think I am?

The model will fit in my dresser drawer, between the socks and the riding crop.

5/21/2006 06:12:00 PM  

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