still standing… sort of
March 16 – April 15, 2012
Two consistent themes in Kirk Stoller’s work are connection and support. He builds sculpture using found wood, plastics, and other elements divorced from their original intent. He fuses the worn states with new, clean, glossy surfaces: the narratives that arise when things are placed on or near one another reflect how the artist makes sense of the world. All life is a collection of small precariously placed pieces that rely on each other for strength, in actual form or through a labyrinth of memories. Stoller’s foundation is in painting, though he works and understands the world through a sculptor’s lens. His work echoes this tension, as he continues to be intrigued by the space that exits between the two mediums, both in the physical sense and through the myriad possibilities that are inherently distinct to each. He uses an interdisciplinary approach to push the boundary, while highlighting desired issues that can only be deciphered when the two are combined.
With still standing…sort of, Stoller furthers his exploration of the frailty of life. By creating works that seem to just barely remain upright or intact, he taps into the inner strain of life in our “post” recession world. Each piece has a central solidity that somehow resists the general degradation of the forms and allows them to remain standing (or hanging) despite the visual lean to the contrary.
Kirk Stoller was born in Oregon and was raised on a small farm outside of Portland. He received his BA in French Language from Portland State and his MFA in Art Practice from UC Berkeley. His work was recently exhibited at Mary Ryan Gallery in New York, Galerie Axel Obiger in Berlin, and Romer Young Gallery in San Francisco. It has been reviewed in the SF Chronicle, City Arts, and Shotgun Review. Stoller was the 2010-2011 recipient of the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation Studio Residency in New York, and was also a studio resident at the MacDowell Art Colony in 2008 and Headlands Center for the Arts from 2004-2007. He maintains a studio practice in Brooklyn, NY, and in San Francisco, CA.
In the project space:
Knickerbocker Mini Maw
March 16 – April 15, 2012
opening reception: Friday, March 16, 6:00–9:00 p.m.
featuring: Brent Owens, Rachael Morrison,
David Pappaceno, & Don Pablo Pedro
curated by Brent Owens
Knickerbocker Mini Maw is a curatorial extension of artist Brent Owens’ Knickerbocker Maw, an online store-style project presenting small-batch series of objects that explore the novelties and commerce of Bushwick’s Knickerbocker Avenue. The imagery and the pricing of these objects are inspired by the bargain-blasting bustle of Knickerbocker.
In 1809, Washington Irving published “A History of New York” under the pseudonym Deidrich Knickerbocker. A long-winded satirical text, the book presents the lamentations of a fictitious Mr. Knickerbocker at the passing of the genteel Dutch colonial society and mannerisms that he once enjoyed to a modern age marked by fewer scruples, of “degeneracy and refinement.” Knickerbocker takes great liberties in conveying to his devoted reader the story of the invasion and eventual takeover of Manhattan and its surroundings by “the Yankee Race,” which culminated in the change in the name of our city from “Nieuw Nederlandts” to New York along with a change in governance. The name Knickerbocker has since become emblematic of many things New York, most famously becoming the namesake of the New York Knickerbockers, or Knicks, and of course, of Bushwick’s Knickerbocker Avenue, now the shopping hub of the neighborhood. Since Irving’s time, and indeed before, New York City itself has become synonymous with transition, playing host to an ever-changing cast of social groups, and accompanying cycles of economic decline and subsequent gentrification.
As Bushwick braces itself for another such transition, Knickerbocker Maw is a project with the aim of harnessing something of the glaring and grotesque collision of social spheres that pervades the neighborhood, and in the process, having a bit of fun with that classic New York situation, the conflict between hustling and holding on, in the Knickerbocker fashion.
With Knickerbocker Mini Maw, Owens has invited artists Rachael Morrison, David Pappaceno, and Don Pablo Pedro to join the project. The four Brooklyn artists, with very different approaches to object making and a shared familiarity with Bushwick and Knickerbocker Avenue, will present small series of objects based on the conceptual criteria of Knickerbocker Maw. The artists will explore, in their own stylistic and formal terms, the vast stimuli of Knickerbocker Avenue and its commerce. The objects, or products, created will be presented in the rear gallery space of Storefront Bushwick as a pop-up shop exhibition. The pop up shop, a growing trend within the upper echelons of the commercial art world that reflects a new market strategy in changing economic times, will be presented here in Bushwick fashion. With an emphasis on financial accessibility that seems a fleeting notion as Bushwick changes with the times, Knickerbocker Mini Maw will be the art pop-up shop that offers works at bargain prices, true to the commercial form of Knickerbocker Avenue.
Brent Owens was born in Spartanburg, South Carolina in 1980. He received a BFA in Sculpture from Winthrop University in 2003 and has been living and working in Brooklyn, NY, since. He exhibits regularly at English Kills Art Gallery in Bushwick, Brooklyn. He has shown throughout the New York area and in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and New Orleans, including at Invisible Exports in New York and This:Los Angeles, in Los Angeles. His work has been written about in The New Yorker, The L Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, Hyperallergic, and Bushwick BK.
Rachael Morrison is an interdisciplinary artist, curator, and a librarian at the Museum of Modern Art. Her work has been featured in New York Magazine, on BBC1, and in exhibitions and screenings at Anthology Film Archives, White Box, and Esopus Space. Morrison is currently in residence at Harvestworks in New York.
David Pappaceno was born in Hartford, Ct in 1975. After switching majors from physical therapy to fine arts, David received his BFA from Boston University, where he was also a member of the wrestling team. After finishing his MFA in Boston, David eventually moved to Brooklyn, NY, where he currently lives and works. He has shown his work in Boston, Philadelphia, and New York City including solo shows at Work Gallery in Brooklyn and Green Street Gallery in Boston.
College dropout Don Pablo Pedro has shown at Pandemic Gallery, Mighty Tanaka Gallery, and English Kills Art Gallery. He has been featured in Juxtapoz, Animal New York and The L Magazine.