curated by Barbara Owen + Jon Laustsen
image credit: Matt Chinian, untitled, oil paint, wood. 2012-2017
December 9-23, 2017
Opening: Saturday, December 9, 6-9pm
This past June I stopped in for a cup of coffee to visit my friend, the artist Matt Chinian who lives in Upstate New York. I asked to see his studio, and we walked over to his barn, coffee in hand. After decades of making large concrete sculptures of heads and feet he has turned to plein air painting, capturing the small town and surrounding area he lives in.
Sitting in his studio surrounded by hundreds of paintings, I was drawn toward a colorful shape in the corner, a mound of discarded paint, the result of years of scraping and clearing the oil paint from a pallet. I found the shape so strongly sculptural that I was surprised that Matt didn’t see it as art. I found the origin of this accumulated material over time as interesting as the form itself; this by-product of the process fascinated me on many levels. I knew I wanted to curate a show around this piece.
While on a studio visit with artist Jon Laustsen I suggested the idea of developing a show around this concept, as co-curators/co-thinkers. This idea for a show presented many challenges: We asked ourselves what it would be like to ask an artist for “unintentional” pieces. Would artists be open to showing work they might think of as an accident, a remnant, something they had abandoned or even something they did not see as their “art”? What kind of conversation would this generate
In this spirit we asked nine artists if we could visit with them at their studio as a kind of foraging expedition, to work with them and this idea. To our surprise the artists we chose were game.
This show is a result of these many conversations.
Whether they are made up of left over bits and ideas from other projects, trial runs that never made it into a final piece, or new material that is not yet fully developed by the artist; all the pieces in the show have an interesting backstory.
Artists Taleen Batalian, Matt Chinian, Richard Fishman, Jon Laustsen, Richmond Lewis, Ed Osborn, Academy Records, Dan Talbot and Judyth vanAmringe use video, projections, sound, installation, sculpture, and painting to illustrate their thinking.