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Serious Play at Goya Contemporary

You may remember my past reports from the American Visionary Art Museum’s Kinetic Sculpture Races, especially the insanely fun entry by David Hess and his Team Platypus. David Hess, Reconstruction, an exhibit of his latest sculptures at Goya Contemporary, opened to a packed house this past Friday evening.

Hess is one of the premiere scavengers of discarded objects I’ve ever met - and I know many. I’m always surprised by his finds, but it turns to pure joy and amazement to view the final results: it’s serious playtime with masterful precision.

What David does best is to allow these previously used objects to retain the essence of their past identities, as with the piece Chestnut, a 7’ wood plank of chestnut exposing a history of paint, scars, and a mysterious cut-out. A rusted toy tractor, with a hefty chain and hook attached, seems to be attempting to move the void; of course it’s folly, we can’t alter reality with force, can we?

Another toy tractor in the piece Excavator diligently tills a field of complex crop circles. It’s an accomplishment of man and machine over the environment; the only problem is that this alien landscape is composed of steel.

With Conveyor a truck towing some sort of harvester appears to have come to the end of its path. The path in this instance is a long industrial canvas belt attached to a mechanical device, positioned out of reach, high up on the wall. There is plenty of neatly rolled belt attached to this strange invention; its purpose is unclear, but if we could only fuel the fire, what harm could something this elegant do?

There are several more pieces, including a very cool lounger, that may have survived a cataclysmic reentry; it's very comfortable. The exhibit runs through October 19th; you can find more images on the gallery website.

Over at Paperwork Gallery, co-directors extraordinaire Cara Ober and Dana Reifler have assembled Bright Shiny New, a show of recent BFA and MFA graduates.

Jaime Bennati's biomorphic creation of folded and assembled newspapers was the highlight of the show for me. It’s a complex piece that just keeps on giving. In addition I liked the photos of Joseph Latourneau and Jana Rice.

It was a treat to meet the wizard of the City Paper’s Best Art Blog, Alex Ebstein of There Were Ten Tigers! Keep an eye on Paperworks: the shows are always interesting and thoughtfully installed. It’s an evolving venue, full of passion.

And cheers to Tara Donovan, a genius grant and $500,ooo for art supplies and taxes.


B.more.Art said...

thanks mark! you don't have a pot belly!

Mark Barry said...

:)) I was doing ancient yoga breathing techniques!

Anonymous said...

I want a genius grant!!

Mark Barry said...

Genius Grant=tuition (congratulations!)

alex said...

It was nice to meet you too!!