Press Release: “While You Wait…”

For Immediate Release                                                       September 13, 2011

“While You Wait: Greg Allen, Laura Isaac, Laelia Mitchell, Christopher Moss, Maritza Ruiz-Kim, and Jason Varone on the Art of the Lobby,” curated by Brian Dupont

Extra Gallery NYC, October 6 – November 1, 2011

Coming off the street, climbing the stairs and through the door, you cross the small space and talk to a receptionist seated behind the desk. Appointment or no, he or she mediates access to those you are there to see, and you are invited to sit and wait in the lobby. Everyone has been in these spaces where we are asked to sit and wait, and we do so without complaint, expecting to wait even when on time for a scheduled appointment.

As there is always a place to sit in the lobby, and something set out to read, so there is always something on the walls as well. If nature abhors a vacuum, so does any transitive space; walls, carpet, and furniture are blank enough to be utilitarian, yet not inviting enough that you will regret leaving them behind when called to move on (although perhaps that depends on your reason for coming there in the first place). Usually the art is as inoffensive and bland as the rest of the décor, yet there are always exceptions.

This exhibition asks you to consider the structure of where you are sitting and what you are looking at, and by extension how you got there and what you expected to see. At the door, Christopher Moss takes the sublime intention of abstraction and reduces it to the bland and generic, having pixelated his own painting into an aggressive design and placed it on the floor so you may wipe your shoes. Similarly, Laura Isaac replaces the typical reading materials with her own limited edition artist’s magazine, titled (appropriately) Wait. The artist provides this specialty publication as a means of modifying an experience that is universal and rendering it particular. Both Greg Allen and Jason Varone address the singular window within the space; the lone source of natural light that provides little in the way of view. Greg Allen continues his investigation into Google’s Street View mapping project, using a near omnipresent digital technology with all its inherent glitches to re-envision an otherwise blank industrial view. Whereas Allen obscures the window, Jason Varone replaces and moves it, by projecting the light otherwise lost. His window is not tied to the local weather or time of day, but nonetheless contains a record of subtle events and the passage of time. Laelia Mitchell engages the enclosed receptionist, sitting behind a window that narrowly projects into the space and divides inside from the outside. She extends the metaphor to include the division and enclosure of nature by man-made structures, echoing the little bit of natural foliage the inhabitants of this office may see in their workday. And Maritza Ruiz-Kim uses a set of five paintings to bring attention to the mental shift that takes place when one enters, waits within, and then exits a space. Her layers of encaustic paint and hidden text activate the tension between space and void, opening the possibilities of how one views the waiting space.

More information about the participating artists and the curator can be found on their respective websites.

Greg Allen: greg.org

Laura Isaac: lauraisaac.com

Laelia Mitchell: laeliamitchell.com

Christopher Moss: christophermoss.neoimages.net

Maritza Ruiz-Kim: maritzaruizkim.com

Jason Varone: varonearts.org

Brian Dupont: briandupont.wordpress.com

The Extra Gallery is located in a semi-private space in Chelsea in New York City. If you would like to make arrangements to view the exhibition or would like more information, please contact Brian Dupont via email at briandupont@gmail.com.

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