A Collective Silence at Andrew Kreps Gallery

Left to their own devices, the objects in Standard Sizes can be uninteresting and even bewildering in their presentation as art.

poster for

"Standard Sizes" Exhibition

at Andrew Kreps Gallery
in the Chelsea 22nd area
This event has ended - (2008-06-14 - 2008-07-12)

In Reviews by Rajesh Barua 2008-06-24 print

Standard Sizes feels like a piece of explanatory exposition; one you’ll need to make sure to pick up from the stack of papers at the front desk. Curated by Joao Ribas, the current group exhibition at Andrew Kreps Gallery is comprised of seemingly unrelated arrangements and objects including repeated monotone canvas paintings, a large pile of wooden boards, a fully dimensional color gradient that seems like it came out of the Photoshop toolbar, and other minimalist curiosities. Ribas attempts a survey of works that try to subvert understandings of art as individual expression by stripping the structure and conventional standards of form. That much is conveyed in a very necessary synopsis provided by the gallery.

A gallery view of 'Standard Sizes'
All pieces are left unlabeled, which adds to a kind of fluid monotony and lifelessness about the exhibition. Nothing engages beyond the level of a recognized pattern or shape. For example, Morgan Fisher displays plane glass mirrors sized according to the standard aspect ratios of film, “Techniscope 2:35:1” (2004). Silence appears integral to Standard Sizes. One that is supposed to make you question how a personal voice speaks through material, and to what extent a more collective one is concealed or forgotten. The arrangement of identical newspapers, or repetition of a canvas size, reveals a kind of repulsion to these structural standards when they are left unclothed. Like staring at the borders of what can be expressed. Still, you can’t help but feel pushed a little too hard toward these interpretations.

Gallery view of 'Standard Sizes'
The artists represented are mostly contemporary, with a few like Blinky Palerma dating from the 1960s and 70s, and share the same high concept absurdity that requires a prefaced introduction before looking at a work. Left to their own devices, the objects in Standard Sizes are uninteresting even with the bewilderment of their presentation as art. The point seems to be that expression is framed through pervading material standards that are altogether non-individualistic. That said, there is little fulfillment to be had outside of engaging in this thesis. And it isn’t clear it could have been engaged in without reading about it first, making the objects on display feel more like accessories for esoteric bantering than anything else.

Rajesh Barua

Rajesh Barua. For show, Rajesh is part Peruvian, part Bangladeshi, and a 1st generation American. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he should be finishing a BA in Philosophy any time now from Purchase College, SUNY. In the meanwhile, he gets by doing odd jobs, reading Plato, and attempting to be a freelance writer. Oh, and writing his thesis. » See other writings


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