AO On Site – New York: “Stray Light Grey” at Marlborough Chelsea Through Oct. 27, 2012

October 19th, 2012


Stray Light Grey opening at Marlborough Chelsea. All photos by Ryann Donnelly for Art Observed unless otherwise noted.

Stray Light Grey is a full gallery installation on view at Marlborough Chelsea by artist collaborators, Justin Lowe and Jonah Freeman. Equal parts creation and destruction, a series of rooms has been gutted and destroyed in order for the viewer to pass through a maze of the artists’ apocalyptic scenery. The torn walls, fluorescent horror-film lighting and the glut of strange objects such as crystals, antique dentist chairs and 1980s movie posters all make up the experience.

Freeman Lowe install courtesy Marlborough Chelsea
Freeman Lowe installation courtesy Marlborough Chelsea


Understanding the show’s obtuse narrative is aided by a pamphlet, which explains that the installation represents the ruins of a luxury hotel, now in shambles after the financial crisis, in a fictitious city called San San. The viewer has to traverse through holes in walls, a janitor’s closet, an old Off Track Betting salon, a plastic surgeon’s office and a psychedelic drug store.

Freeman Lowe installation view courtesy Marlborough Chelsea
Freeman Lowe installation view courtesy Marlborough Chelsea

According to the gallery’s press release, “the overall conglomeration is a system of architecture that forms a sculpture in its totality, a concept of the city as a clumsy monument whose symbolic identity is never fully materialized.” It comes out of ideas explored in the artists’ previous installations: Bright White Underground, 2010, Country Club, Los Angeles, CA; Black Acid Co-op, 2009, Deitch Projects, New York, NY; Hello Meth Lab In The Sun, 2008, commissioned by Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, TX.



Freeman Lowe install courtesy Marlborough Chelsea
Freeman Lowe installation courtesy Marlborough Chelsea


Freeman Lowe install courtesy Marlborough Chelsea
Freeman Lowe installation courtesy Marlborough Chelsea

Freeman Lowe install courtesy Marlborough Chelsea
Freeman Lowe installation courtesy Marlborough Chelsea

 

-R. Donnelly

Related Links
Exhibition Site [Marlborough Gallery]
Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe: ‘Stray Light Grey’ [New York Times]
Get a Room–Justin Lowe and Jonah Freeman at Marlborough Chelsea [Art in America]