Sharon Arnold and I swung by Fremont yesterday to preview THE LOUDER THE SUN. Consider me impressed! Co-collaborators Ben Waterman, Noah Grussgott and Robet Yoder have transformed an empty theater space (literally) into a huge temporary gallery - complete with freestanding walls.
At first you don't realize how complex it is. It's a pretty large room, full of 2d work and sculptures. Utilitarian work lights dot the floor. It's raw, but with just the right amount of polish for the perfect presentation. From behind, the made-on-site walls (they went up in a day!) look temporary, like a movie set. But from the front, they look just like any other gallery space. The walls only extend up about ten feet so above that, the entire room opens up. Even though there's nothing there, you're eyes are still drawn up and somehow the empty space turns into a vast expanse like the sky.
Necessity dictated that they light the art from the floor up (that might have their preference anyway), but it creates this cool effect that when you move in to get a closer look at the art, your body (well, at least mine) obscures the light source creating an eclipse.
I know all three artists' work individually but when I walked in the room, I couldn't immediately tell what work belonged to which artist. Part of that is because how integrated the work is. It's tight enough that if you didn't already know it was 3 artists, you might assume it's a solo show. Another part is that these artists are showing all new stuff.
The last time I saw Noah's work, it looked like this. I talked to him recently and he had told me about some new drawings, but I certainly wasn't expecting these! I just love them. Fast scribbles of drippy ink, overlaid with dense graphite fields. You'll get totally lost in them. I think they might my favorite stuff he's done.
When I Crawled Under the Table it Became the Sea Beautiful and Magnanimous
Ben Waterman's work deals with time, repetition, text and is realized in clay, found materials and whatever else is around him. He executes concepts but they still feel human. I didn't know he painted. I really like them. His sculptures add a weight to the show that really grounds it.
Untitled (Scar) by Robert Yoder
Robert and I talked a while back about his new paintings and I've been anxiously looking forward to them ever since. I think they're really beautiful. Fields of white frosting with tiny peaks and drifts of color mapping itself across the surface of the canvas. I totally love them. So modest but so dense. His recent collages are much more figurative. They're also feel warmer than his previous, more austere works. I love them both (the cool and the warm) and would love to see them together sometime.
And as far as a fun opening, this space couldn't be better suited. In addition to the large gallery space, there's a huge separate room where DJ Funkscribe will be spinning . I'm guessing there might be some snacks and beverages. I have a feeling this will be a real fun evening. Also, they made a really cool DIY catalog (which is super slick)! Pick one up at the opening.
Also, I think it's important to note - this is another great example of artists creating an experimental space with full autonomy. As Matthew Offenbacher says, "Create your own context!".
The opening reception is this Saturday (March 20) at 7pm.
Michael Peck Space
3509 Fremont Ave North