Off KilterApril 24th - May 30th, 2021
Min Jung Kwak & Kwang Min Kim
Curated by: David Howe, Sara Shaoul, Robert Blake, Jennifer Dalton, and Marie-Noële Guex
The 601Artspace team set out to co-curate a show reflecting how we think and feel about art at this pivotal moment in the long narrative of New York’s pandemic. As vaccinations flow, flowers bloom, and a sense of tentative hope seeps into our daily lives, what do we want to look at? We each chose works from the collection affiliated with 601Artspace as well as New York’s larger contemporary art community. The result is Off Kilter.
Find a complete list of artworks here.
David Howe, Founder: Peter Cain, Maurizio Cattelan, Simon Vega and Min Jung Kwak and Kwang Min Kim
After a year of focusing obsessively on the ordinary details of day-to-day existence, seeing pretty much the same thing every day, I'm thirsty for visual excitement. One of the threads in the collection is incongruity and surprise, sometimes combined with theatrical overstatement. I’ve chosen works that seem to make you widen your eyes. From outside the collection, I’ve chosen several pieces from America as a Second Language, a project by Korean artists Min Jung Kwak and Kwang Min Kim. Setting out to explore America as new territory, they were struck by the deep individuality and eccentricity that may pop up in any corner of the American landscape.
Sara Shaoul, Gallery Director: Mernet Larsen, Gracelee Lawrence and Christian Marclay
My choices are born of deprivation. They reflect my hunger for cultural and visual pleasure and both a nostalgia for physical closeness and a newfound discomfort with it. The visual cues I’m drawn to are decidedly surreal, beautiful, distorted and corporeal. Christian Marclay’s unplayable instrument, Mernet Larsen’s gatherings of dislocated figures and Gracelee Lawrence’s digitally-inspired mashups of food and body all communicate a sense of physical frustration through humanity’s most powerful weapon against despair: humor.
Robert Blake, Director of Special Projects: Luigi Ghirri and Andreas Rentsch
I selected works from Luigi Ghirri and Andreas Rentsch. I have always admired Ghirri’s agile observational skills, sense of humor, his journey of discovery and visual pleasure. Both artists embrace experimentation, the readymade, and shifts in scale. There is often a modesty in the size of their works, while the scope of their artistic interests is large. My decision to bring them together is metaphoric rather than literal. In each, a personal journey is at the center of their practice. Both artists push the ordinary towards the extraordinary with a surreal sensibility.
Jennifer Dalton, Collection Manager: Ellen Harvey and David Opdyke
At this terrifyingly hopeful, burnt-out stage of the pandemic I've been thinking about the sublime. I've chosen two works that my eyes adore but that unsettle my brain. Both David Opdyke’s and Ellen Harvey’s works are twists on the iconic form of the beautiful landscape; each consists of a large field made up of small, jewel-like components: astonishing up-close, and awe-inspiring from a distance.
Marie-Noële Guex, Technical Gallery Manager: Shay Arick, Gabriel Orozco and Charles Ray
The pandemic produced both the uncanny feeling of sharing day-to-day experiences with people thousands of miles away whose life couldn’t be more different than mine, and a new hyper-awareness of myself, brought on by isolation. Similarly, the works of Gabriel Orozco, Charles Ray and Shay Arick oscillate between plurality and singularity, with a welcome twist of joy and humor. Ray multiplies from a single entity and Orozco’s office finds redemption through a profusion of growth, while Arick’s work refocuses on the individual, each ficus leaf reclaiming its own identity.