AO On Site, with interview with Kathy Grayson – New York: Opening of “Not Quite Open for Business” at The Hole, through August 21, 2010

June 28th, 2010

Kathy Grayson mid-smooch. Image courtesy Taylor Derwin for Art Observed.

Currently on view at the new art outfit, The Hole, on 104 Greene St. in Soho is “Not Quite Open for Business.” The show, which opened to much hype last night, runs until August 21st. The Hole is run by former directors at the legendary and now-closed Deitch Projects, Kathy Grayson and Meghan Coleman, in collaboration with former Executive Director at Deitch Projects, Suzanne Geiss. With the gallant goal of filling a hole in the downtown community, they are off to a running start.

The first exhibition is called “Not Quite Open for Business,” a conceptual group show of unfinished art, unfinished poems, and unfinished symphonies. The installation is designed by Taylor McKimens and the show includes over twenty artists from the community.

Left: Ben Jones, Unfinished Video, 2010, single channel DVD, edition of 5. Right: Kunle, Vomit, 2010, acrylic on canvas, 30 x 40 in.

More text, images, and an interview with Kathy Grayson after the jump…

Barry McGee, Tagger Plant, 2010, automated moving installation

As the honest and cheekily written press release states, when Jeffrey Deitch left to take directorship of the LA MOCA, the rest of the crew scrambled to wrangle artists, looking for a space, investors, a name, a logo. They were set to open two shows June 26th but a sponsor pulled out.  They were able to find a different source for the capital, but two days later, the space for the show was revoked. Further, their other exhibition, an inaugural show at the Tony Goldman space, was canceled because the artist was under too much pressure to execute his idea well under so little time. It was then that the team decided to turn into the skid. “What if the gallery didn’t look finished, lights burned out, cracks in the floor, a mop bucket still sitting out. What if the sheetrock was showing and the benches were half painted and the press release full of typoos?” They called their artists and asked them to show any unfinished work they had, and the exhibition was born. All this being said, the show is not about process-based art or deliberately “unfinished” artworks, it’s about not having enough time and coming through anyway.

For Ms. Grayson’s perspective and some cool behind-the-scene shots, check out her blog Art From Behind.

The smell of fresh paint affronts you when you enter the space, and you truly feel like you’re witness to something special. Works hang, stand, and lean from every nook and cranny, and in the back room of the space is Holey Books, a shop of art books, zines and products in the back room designed by Rafael de Cardenas. Artists whose work is shown include Kembra Pfahler, Misaki Kawai, Nate Lowman, Andrew Jeffrey Wright, Evan Gruzis, Erik Foss, Dearraindrop, Spencer Sweeney, Ben Jones, Francine Speigel, Kunle, Terence Koh, Rosson Crow, Aurel Schmidt, Michael Williams, Jim Drain, David Sherry, Matt Leines, Eddie Martinez, Jules de Ballincourt, Xylor Jane, Robert Lazzarini, Barry McGee, Andrew Kuo, Todd James, and Steve Powers.

Art Observed caught up with Kathy Grayson during the opening:

AO: It’s great to see so much unfinished work on the wall!

KG: Most artists are hesitant to show their unfinished work, but they’re all very brave. Usually you don’t get to see that. I do studio visits, so I get to see half-finished work all the time, they’re always really shy about showing it, so this is fun. It’s a treat.

AO: With such a rush job, were there any challenges you faced in mounting the show?

KG: (Laughs) Well, the thing is that if you didn’t finish something, then it was part of the theme, so… That’s the beauty of a show like this.

AO: Where does the name The Hole come from?

KG: If you google any article about Jeffrey [Deitch], it talks about this huge hole in the downtown community, this hole in contemporary art, so we want to fill that hole. I also used to hang out at this club called The Hole. It was this awesome place that was run by lesbians but the Rat Graffiti Group would hang out there, and it was this total lawless mess, and it was like, the craziest freedom zone. And it was really positive, and it was like a community center, and then it closed in 2003, and so I was like, the name’s available. I want the gallery to sound like a club and a community center instead of the blah-blah gallery, the blah-blah projects. So that’s why we took the name. We thought it was funny. Three women running  something called The Hole was kind of gross (laughs). We liked it.

AO: Totally. What about the decision to do the gift shop?

KG: Well, I go to these shows and like I love this art and then they’re like, “$10,000 please!” (frowns) and so I just kind of wanted everyone to be able to take home something. Also, all these artists are really interdisciplinary: they’re in bands, they’re fashion designers, they make jewelry… and so it’s part of this artist’s way of working, making objects and zines, and so it’s just really natural. They have all this cool stuff, and we thought it would be great to make it available.

AO: Thanks, the show looks great.

Dearraindrop, Hakunamatata motherfucker!, 2010, acrylic on canvas, 72 x 72 in.

Terence Koh, the fall of rome, 2010, styrofoam, epoxy resin, spray paint, 12 x 1 ft

The Gift Shop

Matt Leines, Unfinished paintings, 2010, acrylic on paper, sizes vary

Nate Lowman, Not Yet Titled, 2010, oil on canvas, 40 x 30 in.

David Sherry, Holy Holy Holy, 2010, mixed media, 10 x 4 ft.

Detail from Erik Foss, Change, 2010, acrylic and oil on canvas, 24 x 36 in. Image courtesy Art From Behind

Aurel Schmidt, For Lucien, 2010, pencil and colored pencil on paper, 7 x 10 in.

Detail from Barry McGee, Untitled, 2007, 5 panels of spray paint and acrylic on wood. Image courtesy Art From Behind

Robert Lazzarini, Handcuffs, 2010, mixed media, 12 inches across

Steve Powers, If You Were Here I’d Be Home Now, 2010, enamel on aluminum, 20 x 8 ft. Image courtesy Art From Behind

More unfinished Matt Leines

Co-founder of The Hole, Meghan Coleman

The scene outside 104 Greene

Fashion designer Zac Posen and artist Rosson Crow

Spencer Sweeney, Yet To Be Titled, 2010, mixed media on canvas, five pointed star at 47 x 47 in.

Detail from Spencer Sweeney, image courtesy Art From Behind

Art critic Jerry Saltz and friend.

John Grillo

Buttons, image courtesy Art From Behind

– J. Lindblad

Related Links:

Exhibition Site [The Hole NYC]
Kathy Grayson’s Blog [Art From Behind]
Deitch Alums Step Into Void [Wall Street Journal]
Saltz: Why New York Will Miss Jeffrey Deitch [New York Magazine]
New York’s Newest Exhibition Space: The Hole [Vogue]
In Post-Deitch NYC, Kathy Grayson Steps Up [Art Info]
Not Quite Open For Business [Dossier]
Is Soho’s Mysterious New Gallery “The Hole” Kathy Grayson’s Deitch Projects Sequel? [The L Magazine]
Minute Maid: Rome [Art Forum]