Pulling together three disparate artists in its three galleries on Greenwich Street in New York’s West Village, Gavin Brown’s Enterprise is currently presenting a group of works that illuminate and reinterpret the construction of physical and structural realities. Combining sculptural, installation projects, assemblage and conceptual painting practices, the works on-view by James Angus, Rikrit Tiravanija and Jonathan Horowitz highlight their drastically different conceptual practices in exploring similar thematic territory.
Upon entering the gallery, visitors are immediately greeted with James Angus’s John Deere Model D, an iconic tractor produced in the early years of America’s iconic industrial producer of farming implements. Flipped on its side and slightly skewed from its original form, the work shows a startling awareness of its own position in the digital/physical interplay. Any attempt to capture the work on camera confounds later viewers, leaving them wondering if the photograph has been manipulated digitally. Further, Angus parallels the increasingly calculated nature of contemporary agribusiness and food engineering with agriculture’s traditional imagery and definitively physical roots. By warping a classic symbol of food production, he creates a symbol of the agricultural ideal, carrying vast cultural weight while remaining relatively useless in the contemporary era.
In the next room is a group of mirror-plated ping-pong tables, installed by artist Rikrit Tiravanija. Working along lines similar to many of his past works, the artist provides a space for interaction and communal action. Any visitor is welcome to pick up a paddle and play with any other, playing ping pong in the large, hollow space of the gallery’s mirror lined walls. The total effect is powerful, as the myriad reflections of light and movement off the polished surfaces combine with the tapping and clicking of ping-pong balls to create a full sensory experience, completely generated by the participants.
The third room of the gallery is filled by an intriguing work of assemblage and reinterpretation by artist Jonathan Horowitz. Instructing his assistants to paint their own interpretations of Lichtenstein’s Mirror #1 (Six Panels), the artist then culls the works into a singular piece, emphasizing the inherent differences in each work created by the artistic hand of the assistants involved. By looking into Lichtenstein’s Mirror, the assistants effectively recreate themselves in the art. Horowitz, in this role, becomes the motivating element, setting this process of recreation and discovery in motion, then uniting the various strands of each work into a selection of seven final versions.
Using their media to create striking interpretations of parallel meaning, shared reality and creative practice, the selection of works here offers an elusively cohesive presentation, welcoming viewers to a deftly curated experience of three unique voices in contemporary art.
All three works are on view until March 23rd.
Gavin Brown’s Enterprise