Fruits of Our Labor; Chew, Screw, Glue is an exhibition of six artists based in Providence, Boston, New York, Los Angeles, and Knoxville. Curated by Kevin Frances, it features the work of Eleanor Aldrich, Taylor Baldwin, Hilary Doyle, Bayne Peterson, Joel Seidner, and John Zappas.
Fruits of Our Labor is about the backwards, silly, idiosyncratic search for meaning. The artists in this exhibition take familiar objects as their collaborative partners; mops, lamps, dish towels, an elephant tusk, and through the act of recreation, expand our understanding of what these things can do, and arrive at wholly unexpected destinations.
Eleanor Aldrich creates work that bridges the gap between painting and sculpture. In her recent works, actual mop handles lean against paintings, merging seamlessly with the furry, spongy, thickly painted mop heads. Shimmering colors and expressive paint application create a sense that the mops are in motion.
A brief selection from the materials list of Taylor Baldwin’s The Plague Year: “Wood glue, prehistoric whale ear bone from the James River delta, pine, aluminum shaft collar stolen from Tim’s office, ride stand/snare stand bought in 1994 from a medical student in Sahuarita, AZ, coconut shell.” In Baldwin’s work, everything has a history, summons a memory. Together they coalesce into the shape of a person, looking slightly resigned, toothbrush in hand.
Hilary Doyle is also working with domestic objects, exploring different ways to represent towels. In her painting, Towel Folded, the heavy texture of a teal towel folds softly around the edges of the painting support, creating the illusion of a folded towel somehow stuck in place on the wall.
Bayne Peterson takes the object of a 19th century Swedish camp stove, translated through a walrus ivory carving by an anonymous Inuit artist, as the starting point for a series of sculptures about translation, globalization, and craft.
Joel Seidner takes objects with nostalgic value and creates sculptures that twist and probe at those memories. In his piece You and My Grandma, an old fashioned lamp shade sits atop a base of porcelain and mahogany; traditional materials that have been reformed into something abstract, a lamp in a dream perhaps, ready to turn into something else.
John Zappas makes sculptures that feel strange, yet familiar. His works in Fruits of Our Labor resemble something like a cross between a beetle, mold, and a hat hook.