509 West 24th Street

June 19 – August 14, 2009

Installation View

Marianne Boesky Gallery, 2009

Installation View

Marianne Boesky Gallery, 2009

Installation View

Marianne Boesky Gallery, 2009

Installation View

Marianne Boesky Gallery, 2009

Installation View

Marianne Boesky Gallery, 2009

Installation View

Marianne Boesky Gallery, 2009

Installation View

Marianne Boesky Gallery, 2009

Installation View

Marianne Boesky Gallery, 2009

Installation View

Marianne Boesky Gallery, 2009

Holiday Jewels (Christmas Ornaments), 1937

Color carbo print

16 x 12 1/2 inches  40.6 x 31.8 cm 

Courtesy of Cheim and Read, New York

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Untitled, 1982

Oilstick on paper

30 x 22 inches  76.2 x 55.9 cm

Yoko Ono

Painting to Hammer a Nail, 1961 - 2009

Wood, nails, hammer

Dimensions variable

Courtesy of the Artist and Galerie Lelong, New York

Rosemarie Trockel

Pot, 2006

Ceramic, platinum glazed

13 x 10 x 11 inches  33 x 25.4 x 27.9 cm

Alexandra Bircken

Gelande, 2006

Wood, wool, plaster, paint, copper sheet

45 x 23 1/2 x 12 1/2 inches  114.3 x 59.7 x 31.8 cm

Robert Elfgen

Versuch 1, 2007

Styrodur, basketwork, clay, epoxy, fiberglass

39 3/8 x 47 1/4 x 47 1/4 inches  100 x 120 x 120 cm

Jay Heikes

Here on Earth, 2008

Enamel and rust on steel

71 x 28 x 12 inches

180.3 x 71.1 x 30.5 cm

James Castle

Untitled, Not dated

Found paper, soot

8 x 10 inches  20.3 x 25.4 cm

Courtesy Knoedler & Company, New York

Cady Noland

Untitled, 1999

Collaged cardboard tube

38 x 10 13/16 inches  96.5 x 27.5 cm

David Hammons

Untitled (Body Print), 1974

Pigment on paper

26 1/2 x 20 1/2 inches  67.3 x 52.1 cm

Franz West

Paßstück, 1979

Fiberglass, polyester, wood and dispersion

12 5/8 x 39 3/4 x 11 inches  32.1 x 101 x 27.9 cm

George Ohr

Untitled (Vase), c. 1900

Glazed earthenware

2 3/4 x 4 1/2 x 3 1/4 inches  7 x 11.4 x 8.3 cm

John McQueen

Whisper Campaign, 2006

Sticks, string

43 x 31 inches  109.2 x 78.7 cm

Melissa Gordon

Synonym, 2007

Acrylic on canvas

30 x 24 inches  76.2 x 61 cm

Marvin Lipofsky

California Loop Series #38, 1968

Mixed media with glass, copper plating and rayon flocking

14 1/2 x 27 1/2 x 7 inches  36.8 x 69.9 x 18.1 cm

Peter Voulkos

Untitled (Bucket), 1990

Wood-fired stoneware

11 x 17 inches  27.9 x 43.2 cm

Robert Elfgen

Totenkopf: Total, 2005

Mixed media

12 x 11 inches 30.2 x 27.9 cm

Rashawn Griffin

Femme fatale, 2009

Acrylic, ink, collage on wood panel

17 x 13 inches  43.2 x 33 cm

Sterling Ruby

Head Artist/ Archaeology I, 2007

Ceramic with formica pedestal

Sculpture: 10 x 11 x 16 inches  25.4 x 27.9 x 40.6 cm

Pedestal: 48 x 26 x 22 inches  121.9 x 66 x 55.9 cm

Sergej Jensen

Untitled, 2005

Fabric on dyed burlap

49 1/2 x 59 1/4 inches  125.7 x 150.5 cm

Toots Zynsky

Continuous Chaos, 1998

Fused and thermo-formed glass threads

11 1/2 x 23 x 15 1/2 inches  29.2 x 58.4 x 39.4 cm

William J. O'Brien

Untitled, 2008

Colored pencil and ink on paper

62 1/2 x 36 3/4 inches  158.8 x 93.3 cm

jãnis AVOTIŅŠ jean-michel BASQUIAT alexandra BIRCKEN alighiero e. BOETTI james CASTLE joseph CORNELL thea DJORDJADZE leonardo DREW robert ELFGEN roe ETHRIDGE peter FISCHLI/david WEISS melissa GORDON Rodney GRAHAM hannah GREELY rashawn GRIFFIN françoise GROSSEN david HAMMONS jay HEIKES mary HEILMANN barkley l. HENDRICKS diane ITTER sergej JENSEN titus KAPHAR marvin LIPOFSKY john MCQUEEN ed MOULTHROP bruce NAUMAN cady NOLAND william j. O'BRIEN george OHR demetrius OLIVER yoko ONO paul OUTERBRIDGE steven PARRINO ed ROSSBACH sterling RUBY anj SMITH shinique SMITH gert & uwe TOBIAS rosemarie TROCKEL peter VOULKOS franz WEST toots ZYNSKY
Curator Statement
For three years, starting in 1961 (the year I was born), the English literary critic A. Alvarez prepared a series of programs for BBC radio on the intellectual scene in America called "Under Pressure." In these broadcasts, various writers commented on the need for artists to create their own language. This is an extract of what poet Robert Lowell said to Alvarez: "Some artists have impatience with the prosaic, everyday things of life, that sort of whimsical patience that other people may have…they leap for the sublime…what one finds wrong with culture is the monotony of the sublime…Art is always done with both your hands…the artist finds new life in it and almost sheds their outer life.."
Whilst relistening to, and reflecting upon these radio programs recently, it became sadly apparent that facile irony had become one of the dominant philosophical stances of the art world, and that perhaps the artists and artwork I chose for inclusion in Your Gold Teeth II simply had to lay in wait until the Oligarch decade was over. Any artist can hide for a long time in the wilds of their own irony, never rising above the vegetation. But hipness, in the illicit art world sense, feels suddenly puerile, meaningless, a sham, another way of simply buying into the system. One is sick to death of all the posturing.
In contrast, within this group exhibition one senses that boundaries are being tested, and rules of art conduct are being subverted – not subverted where craft is cast aside in favor of studied simplicity such as in the recent Whitney Biennial and Unmonumental exhibitions, but subverted by craft itself. On the contrary, there is a 'muchness' to a great deal of the work in this exhibition. When the cultural bar has recently been lowered to the point of absurdity, the only revenge worthy of the name comes from reestablishing standards lost to laziness and expediency, putting into sharp relief the dreck that surrounds it.
So much of what one sees today is one-sided. Either it is cold and calculated, with a minimum of feeling, or it is a sloppy slum of terrifying emotion. Somewhere in the labyrinth the artists in this exhibition have found individual answers to this balancing act. To give this 'answer' in words is approachable, but ultimately impossible. What is involved is the union of an idea with emotion, precomposition with improvisation, discipline with spontaneity.
These artists have an affinity for the controlled yet significant gesture, the performed essence, a result of concentrated internal selection from a vast repertoire of expressive options. This stripped down approach to craft often obscures a wider technical command than is immediately apparent. If you're looking for order, you will find it. But even when these artists systematically subvert themselves for the devious pleasure of it, they still maintain a level of control where they strange can be made familiar - and vice versa. By eschewing displays of obvious virtuosity, the artist gains the advantage of a kind of mystery.
A good jazz improviser can make one note do the job of many. Incomplete utterances can fully communicate an idea. Imply, don't state. Artwork doesn't have a necessary end goal. Ideas, rendered in these artists' distinctive lo-fi argot, feel aired out and simplified without being rendered trivial. A sense of satisfactory unsatisfaction remains. The artwork featured in Your Gold Teeth II is about the opening up of ideas and approaches, not the pin-point sharpening of them. - Todd Levin, June 2009
Marianne Boesky Gallery is located at 509 West 24th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues. Our summer hours are Monday to Friday from 10am to 6pm beginning June 23rd. For further information or images, please contact Annie Rana at 212.680.9889 or