“In the mind of every mathematician, there is tension between the general rule and exceptional cases. Our conscience tells us we should strive for general theorems, yet we are fascinated and seduced by beautiful exceptions.… The dream solution to this dilemma would be to find a general theory of exceptions—a complete description of their structure and relations—but of course it is still only a dream.” – John Stillwell, Mathematical Evolutions
Grant Wahlquist Gallery is pleased to present “Exceptional Objects,” an exhibition of photographs and sculptures by Kate Greene and Bill Albertini. The show will run from March 23 through April 28, 2018. An opening reception will occur on Friday, March 23 from 5 – 8 pm.
Greene is deeply invested in photography’s capacities and limitations. “Exceptional Objects” features a constellation of photographs in which she makes formal connections between seemingly disparate phenomena to call attention to the medium’s failure to truly capture the real. Images of the cosmos may in fact be video stills of fireworks displays, their false light (ignis fatuus) a structural analogy for the artist’s manipulation of light in a series of sculptural still lifes of invasive plant species, curiously suspended ropes, mirrors, and painted paper, plastic, and fabric. In Greene’s capable hands archaic photographic tropes and genres such as light leaks, multiple exposures, and spirit photography are updated for a post-truth, post-digital age. Though their construction seems transparent to the attentive viewer, the photographs retain an air of mystery.
Like Greene, Albertini creates a system of or situation for production that he eventually breaks or distorts, calling attention to the specific qualities of his materials and concerns of his medium. He employs new technologies to create works that merge a modernist emphasis on balanced composition, the temporality of minimalism, and hints of Rococo ornamentation. “Exceptional Objects” includes a number of works derived from a series of evolving modular components begun by the artist in 2016. Albertini first created a set of fasteners, shown here as a set of 25 rendered images from computer files that can also be 3D-printed and functionally used to attach and support diverse materials in a variety of ways to create freestanding sculptures. The sculptures in “Exceptional Objects” rest on the gallery’s floor and have a marked horizontality that owes as much to a child’s partially assembled train set as to recent art history.
Though initially trained in different disciplines—Albertini in sculpture and Greene in photography—both create works in which objects traverse or reside between 2D and 3D space. They test, without confirming, the flatness of our increasingly mediated world.
“‘The exception proves the rule’ is an expression constantly upon the lips of the ignorant, who parrot it from one another with never a thought of its absurdity. In the Latin, ‘Exceptio probat regulam’ means that the exception tests the rule, puts it to the proof, not confirms it. The malefactor who drew the meaning from this excellent dictum and substituted a contrary one of his own exerted an evil power which appears to be immortal.” – Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary
Kate Greene holds a BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (2008) and an MFA from the Yale School of Art (2010). Her work has been featured in exhibitions at venues including the Institute of Contemporary Art, Maine; the Visual Arts Center at the University of Texas at Austin; the Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art; the Guatephoto Festival, Guatemala City; Museum Dr888, Drachten, the Netherlands; Bodega Gallery, Philadelphia; Daniel Cooney Gallery, New York; and Eighth Veil, Los Angeles. ROMAN NVMERALS published a limited-edition book of her series Pyrotechnics in the Fall of 2016. She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Photography at Maine College of Art.
Bill Albertini is a graduate of the Crawford College of Art, Cork, Ireland (1978) and the Yale School of Art (MFA 1982). He has had solo exhibitions at, amongst others, Martos Gallery, New York; Alona Kagan Gallery, New York; Temple Bar Galleries and Studios, Dublin; Althea Viafora Gallery, New York; and White Columns, New York. His work has been included in group exhibitions throughout the U.S. and Europe, including recent shows at the Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Projects, New York; LMAK Projects, New York; and Theodore:Art, Brooklyn. Albertini lives and works in New York.
The gallery is located at 30 City Center, Portland, Maine. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 11 am to 6 pm, and by appointment. For more information, visit http://grantwahlquist.com, call 207.245.5732, or email [email protected].