Last year, when everything was great and wonderful, it was common practice for me and a friend to respond to each sparkling piece of good news with the refrain . . . We’re all gonna die.
This was punctuated with the sound affect – pooouuucchhhh!
This year, now that everything is awful and worrisome, it’s still common for my friend and me to evoke the refrain. The fact that my funny friend and I are both cancer survivors is not without significance – although this of course does not change the basic facts of life, on or under the ground.
-Ron Keyson, May 2009
As the gallery enters it’s 10th year, we’ve decided to celebrate our past collaborations with invited curators, a few of which were tasked with suggesting an artist to participate in this exhibition. We’re all gonna die. is a reprisal of an exhibition curated by Ron Keyson who passed away in 2011 due to complications from cancer. In his memory, and to pay homage to his darkly humorous exhibition, we (again) existentially bring to you: We’re all gonna die.
Rob Andrade’s work examines the artificiality of materials that shape our modern urban landscape, specifically focusing on analyzing formal gardens designed to manipulate social interactions and individual contemplation. This artificial interaction is suspect; the artist asks to reconsider the artifice and gather your suspicions about what is happening beneath the surface.
Buhm Hong is an artist that uses memories and their power to continuously shape our worldview, including our perception of real and imagined spaces. His video series Visit draws its imagery from real spaces recreated from memory. As the drawn images move and change, to the staccato soundtrack, the rooms oscillate between the unfamiliar and the eerily familiar, marking at points the places where we’ve already been and where we will all eventually arrive.
Rachel Phillips is an artist that uses character-based imagery that expresses attitudes and emotions. Her brushwork moves instinctually, pushing a stream of consciousness composition into play with strong geometry and colors that range from primary to acrid. Her more recent works reflect the artist’s existential dread of the Trump presidency and the foreboding of what is to come.
Andy Milien is a sculptor that explores how the mind is constantly trying to understand information. Paradoxically juxtaposing elements bound together by glue, screws, a weld, or tension results in a family that stands for a purpose. His untitled sculpture is composed of 3 elements: hand balls, a bicycle wheel and steel legs; an endless circle of frozen energy bound within a motionless wheel.
In Lucia Simek’s video, Fountain (2013), we see the artist’s Sisyphean effort to contain the spill from an overflowing wheel barrow using a myriad of instruments that range from practical to absurd. In contrast, the video is accompanied by two works on paper with the text burnished into the surface until the words have a carpet texture. The bubbling text on the clean white surface to reveal the words GAS FIRE and CAR FIRE, not with a bang but with a whimper.
Aaron Williams’ gradient blue photographs are a response to his struggle with mid-century painters. The images of sky were taken outside of de Kooning’s studio on Eastern Long Island. Originally shown alongside images of sky taken from outside the artist’s studio, the photos are a tacit record of place and the studio process, the characterless reference lends itself to an introspective investigation into the known and the unknown.