Carol Bove “RA, or Why is an orange like a bell?”


poster for Carol Bove “RA, or Why is an orange like a bell?”

This event has ended.

Maccarone presents Carol Bove’s RA, or Why is an orange like a bell?, the artist’s second solo exhibition with the gallery.

In conjunction with Bove’s sculptural arrangement of metals, found material and concrete at 630 Greenwich Street, she and Philip Smith have curated Qor Corporation: Lionel Ziprin, Harry Smith and the Inner Language of Laminates - a parallel exhibition at 98 Morton Street of recently discovered artwork and materials from the Lionel Ziprin archive.

These presentations share a common denominator, their close proximity conjuring up the metonymic measures and enigmatic core of the uncontainable and ever-shifting nature of the abstract gesture.

Bove’s glyphs are large curvilinear structures of enameled steel, first conceived as a version of generic outdoor “plop art”. Her I-beam sculptures are the hard-edged, right angle foils to the glyphs, utilizing a customary industrial material designed to provide structure and bear heavy loads. The I-beams recur, in one work holding upright a large specimen of petrified wood, and again in the rectangular sculpture, Flora’s Garden II, on top of which a pattern of stacked, congruent bronze cubes shares an edge. Another large-scale block of concrete interwoven by fractal bronze cubing traces the minute to the monolithic. The works formalize a consideration of binaries, where the organic, the handcrafted, and the industrial are brought together.

The disaggregated, damaged components of Flora’s Garden II are presented in a neighboring vitrine. At the center of the gallery hovers a large glass wall displaying a painting by Harry Smith; other works by Richard Berger and unattributed Ziprin archive doodles are resuscitated here as installation components. The interplay between artwork and information becomes a laboratory for contemplation of all these collinear formulas. As Cathleen Chaffee writes in Bove’s latest publication, The Middle Pillar, “[Bove’s] exhibitions register the drift between art and non-art. For Bove, the murky, often seemingly magical passage from thing to art object, from collectable to readymade, is not a permanent transformation-any more than an installation is a unique, static, fetishized moment in time. The memory of each exhibition is being altered and re-written, as new works are read backwards against the past and come to change its meaning.”


Maccarone is pleased to present Qor Corporation: Lionel Ziprin, Harry Smith and the Inner Language of Laminates, an exhibition of previously unseen artwork and materials from the Lionel Ziprin archive, curated by Carol Bove and Philip Smith.

Lionel Ziprin lived his entire life on the Lower East Side as a central though unheralded mover of the ’50s and ’60s cultural and esoteric underground. The scion of an important Kabbalistic lineage, a prolific and still largely unpublished poet, and a close associate of a vast array of influential artists, musicians, and occultists, Ziprin — in partnership with his wife, Joanne — maintained a bohemian salon within his Seventh Street apartment that proved to be a critical axis for the development of revolutionary spiritual energies still in play.

Harry Smith, one of the Ziprins’ closest and most profoundly fated intimates, moved to New York City in 1951 and the following year assembled the Anthology of American Folk Music, a collection of metaphysically curated vintage recordings that catalyzed an inchoate folk and blues revival and sprouted rock. Then in his late twenties, Smith was already an accomplished student of anthropology and occult metaphysics, a masterful abstract artist, and an important American avant-garde filmmaker. While his reputations as a filmmaker and musicologist have long been recognized, Smith considered painting and graphic work his primary vocation — though the bulk of his early output has been unaccounted for since an early 1964 dispute with an unpaid landlord, and much of his later work is dispersed.

Upon arrival in New York, Smith plunged into Kabbalistic studies with the Ziprins, producing an extensive and unique series of recordings of esoteric songs and stories performed by Lionel’s grandfather that remains unreleased. At the same time, Smith produced creatively dazzling but commercially unintelligible works for Lionel and Joanne’s Inkweed Studios, a frenetic early ’50s greeting card company that employed a cadre of artists then at the start of their careers.

In the wake of Inkweed’s collapse, Ziprin launched Qor Corporation (1958–1962) to tap the design potential of mylar, which he presciently realized could adhere to nearly any surface and thereby serve an ideal print base for tile, aluminum, paper, plywood, fabric, and other materials. To this end, Smith and Ziprin created mock-ups, prototypes, and design sketches that applied unexpected formal and esoteric principles to a utilitarian medium that was often constrained in its variety by the lumbering aesthetic of the manufactory or the cosseted whimsies of fashionable design. Thwarted in its entrepreneurial aspirations by the visionary otherworldliness of its founder, Qor Corporation never attained viable fruition, though it attracted industry notice, wielding an uncredited influence on future developments within the applied visual arts.

Exhibited publicly for the first time are plans and materials from this enterprise, including original designs by Harry Smith and Lionel Ziprin, in juxtaposition with other unseen artworks, occultic sketches and notes, poems, writings, doodles, ephemera, and associated source texts, ripe for consultation. The exhibition will reveal a selection of works and working materials whose survival has been a closely guarded secret for nearly six decades, unveiling the inner mechanics of an occulted fulcrum of the postwar American avant-garde.

Special thanks to Zia Ziprin and Aishling Labat of the Lionel Ziprin archive, whose care and guidance have made this exhibition possible.

Carol Bove was born in 1971, raised in Berkeley, California and currently lives and works in New York. Bove has exhibited internationally, in solo exhibitions at The Common Guild in Glasgow, The Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the Blanton Art Museum in Austin, the Kunsthalle in Zurich, the ICA in Boston, and the Kunstverein in Hamburg. She has participated in Documenta 13, the 54th Venice Biennale, and the 2008 Whitney Biennial. Current NYC solo exhibitions include Carol Bove: The Equinox, at The Museum of Modern Art, and Carol Bove: Caterpillar, High Line Art.



from September 07, 2013 to October 19, 2013

Opening Reception on 2013-09-07 from 18:00 to 20:00


Carol Bove

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