Valerie Tevere UNITED STATES 1996 bluprint posters [large detail of installation]
Pedro Lasch Crumbs: Drawing on a Limited View of New York City's Cultural Wealth 2000 [large detail of installation]
With its current exhibition, "When Artists Say We", Artists Space would almost certainly take the prize for the current show which asks the most from its visitors. There are well over a hundred artists represented, "as colleagues, as collaborators, in collectives, as friends, as critics, as bystanders, and as allies", but it's not always a particularly visual experience. Whoa!
Think art school lecture hall, with some very interesting visual aids. The press release includes this note:
The needs that drive artists together are manifold: a discourse that educates, a horizon that widens, a complexity of knowledge, the ability to fail, or a larger capacity to remember critically and productively within their own field and beyond. But artists are also driven by the need for shelter, protection, and support. Such relationships are grounded in structures and language that are inherently self-critical and rarely reflected upon when art is shown. When Artists Say We takes up this task by trying to present some of the forms such collective exchanges have taken in New York City over the last thirty years.Because we had to be elsewhere at a certain hour and because of the impressive steam heat pouring into the space while we were there, we didn't stay as long as I might have otherwise. Or were those just excuses? I did see, or read, some very interesting work. The two images shown above can't possibly represent this huge show as a whole, but these are just a few of the pieces which do good double duty as art which works well both conceptually and aesthetically. I'm also realizing only now as I write this that, in spite of the fact that they were each created at least a few years ago, they are both particularly topical today.
The printed statement below the identification label for Tevere's work reads:
These posters were wheat-pasted on buildings, sidewalks, bus stops, and construction scaffoldings in San Diego and Los Angeles during the Republican Convention (San Diego, CA) and Republican election of 1996.The statement below Lasch's label is more elaborate, but definitely worth a read: