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February 5, 2009 – March 29, 2009
Utilizing an open floor plan in our largest gallery, Make Room brought together Karyn Olivier, Amanda Ross-Ho, and Lisa Sigal, artists whose works examine the built environment, real and represented space, and the orientation of the viewer. Operating at the crossroads of painting, sculpture, and installation, each artist utilized commercial building materials (sheetrock, brick, wood, wallpaper), and acts of irreverent construction, collage, photography, and drawing. In this exhibition, their unique actions shared affinities with each other and the industrial architecture that surrounded their efforts.
The psychology of space is Karyn Olivier’s primary subject. Her built environments create conditions of solitude, forced interaction, and awareness of scale and direction. Olivier has made spare carousels, walled enclosures, and see-through billboards that draw on her childhood experiences in Trinidad, as well as traditions of vernacular architecture and ritual. Handball, her roughly built and regulation-sized handball court produced a powerful material and emotional effect, combining aspects of natural decay and human repair Her interest in the “melancholy gray of the wall, and the activity of deflection” was evinced in this monumental indoor work.
Amanda Ross-Ho’s installations feature lengths of painted and pierced drywall creating freestanding partitions, stages, and sculptural niches that assert conditions of “studio and store.” Incorporating aspects of fine art and craft traditions (embroidery, textile design, and faux-finishing techniques), as well as consumer items (litter boxes, magazines, receipts), Ross-Ho exploits the gaps between 2-D and 3-D, public and private. Her installation Untitled Home and Gift Showroom (Negative Reinforcement), included numerous works from past projects that were combined to establish rhythmic zones of color, pattern, and shape. Gilded chains, earrings, clothespins, and other intimate objects animated the spaces behind or inside her large leaning or pinned structures, providing rewarding experiences for viewers at various distances.
Lisa Sigal’s constructions question and coerce gallery spaces and notions of stability, value, and time. Using variously assembled and precisely “ruined” structures (walls, trap doors, stairways), often animated by trompe l’oeil surfaces, Sigal establishes opportunities for the viewer to consider conditions of escape, entropy, and transformation. For Make Room, she incorporated materials and imagery inspired by and salvaged from the architectural work created by BLDGS/Brian Bell and David Yocum from the preceding exhibition, Mergers & Acquisitions. The result was the multi-part work entitled One rm shelter, new const, loft storage, woodbrnstove, cozy, must provide lot, call Mad Housers (404) 806-6233. It was made in collaboration with members of the Atlanta-based non-profit group the Mad Housers, and featured the walls, floor, and roof for a small shelter made for a homeless citizen. These component parts were re-assembled and donated after the exhibition ended. Sigal’s installation also included a large wall painting and several smaller canvases, combining images of stained surfaces and observational landscapes.
Karyn Olivier lives and works in New York City. She has exhibited her work in group exhibitions at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Whiney Museum at Altria, New York; Gwangju and Busan Biennale; and Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. Olivier received the Louis Comfort Tiffany Biennial Award in 2003, and a Guggenheim Fellowship and Joan Mitchell Foundation award in 2007.
Amanda Ross-Ho lives and works in Los Angeles. She has exhibited her work in solo exhibitions at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York; Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles; Western Exhibitions, Chicago; and group exhibitions including the 2008 California Biennial, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA; and the 2008 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
Lisa Sigal lives and works in Brooklyn. She has exhibited her work in solo exhibitions at Frederieke Taylor Gallery, White Columns, and Queens Museum of Art, all in New York; Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield , CT; and group exhibitions including the 2008 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and Museum as Hub: Six Degrees, The New Museum, New York.