Thierry Goldberg Gallery

Tailgates & Substitutes
Øystein Aasan, Joshua Abelow, Anna Betbeze, eteam, Charles Harlan, Joyce Kim, Ellie Krakow, Erika Mahr, Dave McDermott, Ian Pedigo, Mary Simpson, Hannah Whitaker

november 13 - january 22, 2012


Thierry-Goldberg Gallery is pleased to present Tailgates & Substitutes, a group show with a selection of works in painting, photography, and sculpture, by 12 artists—Øystein Aasan, Joshua Abelow, Anna Betbeze, eteam, Charles Harlan, Joyce Kim, Elie Krakow, Erika Mahr, Dave McDermott, Ian Pedigo, Mary Simpson, and Hannah Whitaker.

The title of the exhibition, taken from the Bob Dylan song "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere," refers to a work-process in which artists translate images into multiple forms and utilize them as substitutes for memory or an experience. In a sense, the works in this exhibition are a translation of an ideal, a convention, of a lost encounter the artists attempt to recapture. Uses of the grid, geometry, found and ready-made objects, photography, and text are all employed in connecting parts that whet memory and spark allusion.

Øystein Aasan uses display as a means to show how space obscures and constructs meaning. Using wooden frames to present two dimensional pieces functions in a similar way to how he makes use of a grid to obscure text in his two-dimensional work. Here with "Untitled (PLASTIK)," 2011, three paintings, like fragments of thought, are hung on an architectural framework comprising an object of partial recall.

Charles Harlan's sculpture “Remesh,” 2011, simply presents the framework as the object of recall, recalling itself. Here, several metal grid panels are held upright in tension between black clamps. By vertically stacking ubiquitous construction material, Harlan gives the piece its presence and sense of depth. In this way, the material, ever so removed from how it is usually experienced, becomes a portrait of itself.

Dave McDermott's “The Third Man,” 2011, employs a tongue-in-cheek quality in portraiture. Here two zainy circles and a crescent smile hover over a mysterious sfumato background. A profile in silhouette to the right of the painting adds to the moodiness of the atmosphere. One can read this as two separate faces—a double portrait—or as one portrait, with the separate geometric features and profile adding up to one face.

With a similar humor, Joshua Abelow's self portraits refer to Constructivism's geometric abstraction reclaimed through his own palette and irony. Two circles separated by a dangling J over a triangular patterned ground compose a face. These shapes recombine letters from his name J A B into a mask—how he literally brands his own retro abstraction.

Anna Betbeze's one retro claim is through her use of shag carpet, though she escapes the clutches of '70s decor by imbuing it with watercolor and acid-dye color fields. Her painting treatment of unstretched wool shag brings this surface into the realm of the organic and perhaps even magic. The work suggests the presence of painting without using its accustomed terms.

Joyce Kim's work speaks to painting as well, or rather a remembrance of it, via text and suede. The gold canvas included in the piece is a reminder that each of the installation's components is a distillation of painting.  These parts then create a sense of narrative and performance in their evocation of painting much in conversation with the legacy of Yves Klein.

As Kim reflects on painting through installation, Ellie Krakow reflects on sculpture via photography. Krakow's pairing blank flat forms against fragments of Greco-Roman figurative sculpture reads as substitutes for them. The fact that one may begin to imagine ancient sculpture over Krakow's contemporary silhouette forms, mediated by the flat surface of a photograph, further complicates her game of building narrative and creating context.

Erika Mahr's work suggests a narrative of form as well, but her's references minimal sculpture as she carefully cuts out shapes that vary subtly from sheets of uniform stacked paper.  Her meticulous cutting results in equally meticulous void whose form only exists through the looking in thought. Her use of black paper cut-outs in shaping an interior empty space plays off the overriding idea of absence in the exhibition.

Ian Pedigo also addresses the dialectic between thought and form in his sculpture. Pedigo work’s shows how the physical aspects of an object are inscribed with the mental in a parallel effort of creating meaning. In a sense, his sculptures are models of thought, and his “The Point from Which All Distances are Measured,” 2010, suggests this in its balance between drawn shape and three dimensional presence. The Point in the title implies an origin, however it is left up to the viewer to decide whether that origin refers to thought, materiality, or some combination of the two.

Considering origins, Mary Simpson explores marks of gesture that encapsulate both mental and physical qualities. For Simpson whether it be in film, photography, painting, or installation, gesture is the point by which all encounter is measured. In her “Untitled,” 2011, a W mark, similar to the calligraphic moves of Brion Gyson, hovers over an image of a zebra. The mark is a dash against the surface of the print that, despite its obstruction of the subject, gives another kind of access to it.

Hannah Whitaker's photography doesn't employ painting, as Simpson's does, but implies it through close framing. Without additional context, associations to painting occur before anything else in her photograph Helter Skelter. White snow on rocky black soil suggests gestural scrapes and, if the mind wanders, to zebra hide. Taken individually Whitaker's photographs are all equally ambiguous moments that acquire their meaning in context with each other, part to parts.

As all the work in Tailgates and Substitutes, eteam's project Wend der tanz zu steif wird, muss der Regen als Eiswürfel ausgegraben werden (If the dancing gets too stiff, the rain needs to get dug out as ice-cubes) insights connections between abstract ideas and physical reality. eteam does so in regards to site with Wend der tanz. After having acquired 36,000 square-foot plot of land including eight tenants and abandoned lots, they ran into problems of access to water. In charge of the area, eteam considered building a well. The reality of the problem grew into a project that explores the search for water in a series of artworks, such as “Piece of Dirt,” 2011, a Carl Andre like floor piece, comprised of twenty brown wooden squares.


Øystein Aasan, born in 1977 in Kirstiansand, Norway, currently lives and works in Berlin. He attended the Oslo Tegne of Moleskole and earned an MA at the National College of Art and Design, Oslo. He has exhibited at the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo; PSM, Berlin; Lautom, Oslo; Stenersen Museum, Oslo; Sørlandets Art Museum, Kristiansand; Momentum Biennale, Moss, Norway; Migros Museum, Zürich; Kunstverein Arnsberg, Arnsberg, Germany; and La Vitrine, Paris.

Joshua Abelow, born in 1976, currently lives and works in New York and is the director of ART BLOG ART BLOG, New York. He attended the Rhode Island School of Design, where he was presented with the Gordon Peers Award for Excellence, and earned an MFA at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, Michigan, where he was awarded a merit scholarship. He has had solo exhibitions at James Fuentes, New York; Tomorrow, Toronto; and Branch Gallery, North Carolina and has had work included in group exhibitions at Dodge Gallery, New York; Gallery Diet, Miami; and Eric Firestone, East Hampton. Abelow attended residencies at The Vermont Studio Center, The Banff Center, and Takt Kunstprojektraum, Berlin.

Anna Betzebe, born in 1980, Alabama, currently lives and works in New York. She attended the Lamar Dodd School of Art, university of Georgia and earned an MFA from Yale University School of Art. She has had a solo exhibition at Kate Werble Gallery, New York, and participated in group exhibitions at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, Luxembourg & Dayan, Ramiken Crucible, and Horton Gallery, all in New York.

eteam is Franziska Lamprecht and Hajoe Moderegger who live and work in New York. They have had one and two person shows at M29, Cologne; Smack Mellon, Brooklyn; and Hordaland Art Center, Norway. They have shown in group shows at The Kitchen, New York; The Queens Museum, NY; Museo Nacional Centro de Reina Sofia; Ronald Feldman Gallery, New York; and Devotion Gallery, Brooklyn. They have contributed work to screenings at Video_Dumbo, New York; International Film Festival, Rotterdam; Anthology Film Archives, New York; and Centre Pompidou.

Charles Harlan, born in 1984 in Atlanta, Georgia, now lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.  He has had a solo show at Charlie Horse Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, and showed in group exhibitions at Maccarone Gallery, John Connelly Presents, The Abrons Arts Center, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, and Ideo Box in Miami.

Joyce Kim lives and works in New York.  She received her Masters in Arts from New York University in 1996, and has exhibited at Thierry Goldberg Projects, Artists’ Space, Marlborough Gallery, Art in General, The Drawing Center, Exit Art, Nicole Klagsbrun, Gasser & Grunert, Southfirst, Peres Project, Los Angeles; The Center for Contemporary Non-Objective Art, Brussels, Belgium; Livingroom D Lyx, Malmo, Sweden; The Slought Foundation, Philadelphia, PA; and The St. Etienne Museum of Art, St. Etienne, France.

Ellie Krakow, born in 1978 in Los Angeles, currently lives and works in New York.  She studied at Yale University, the Rhode Island School of Design, Presscott College, and recently earned her Masters in Fine Arts from Hunter College in New York.  She has exhibited at Marianne Boesky Gallery, Castle Gallery, Bullet Space, Trinity Museum, ISCP, Canada Gallery, and The Project Space at the Royal College of Art in London.

Erika Mahr was born in Astoria in 1983, and attained her MFA from Hunter College in 2007.  She recently had a solo exhibition at Launch F18 and Susan B. Hilles Gallery, and her work had been included in group shows at Art Current, Clara Hatton Gallery, and Redsaw Gallery.

Dave McDermott, born in 1974, Santa Cruz, California, now lives and works in New York.  He received his BFA from the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, and earned his MFA from Parsons School of Design in 2007.  He has had solo exhibitions at Grimm in Amsterdam, Duve in Berlin, and Royale in San Francisco.  His work has been included in group shows at BAM, Marvelli Gallery, On Stellar Rays, Oliver Kamm, and Taylor De Cordoba in Los Angeles.

Ian Pedigo, born in 1973 in Anchorage, Alaska, currently lives and works in New York.  He studied at the International Sommerakademie fur Bildende Kunst, in Austria, and received his MFA from the University of Texas.  He has exhibited in solo shows at Klaus Von Nichtsaggend Gallery, Rokeby in London, The University of Gothenburg in Sweden, Cardenas Bellanger in Paris, and Pianissimo in Milan, Italy.  He has been included in group exhibitions at LM Projects, Bronx River Art Center, Ideobox Artspace, David Shelton Gallery, Daily Operation, and Galeria Perdida.  Ian also received the Emerging Artists Fellowship from Socrates Sculpture Park in 2006.

Mary Simpson, born in Anchorage, Alaska in 1978, works and lives in New York.  She earned her MFA in Visual Arts from Columbia University, and completed an Independent Study program at the Whitney Museum.  She was awarded the Herbert S. Germaise Endowed Fellowship Award and LeRoy Neiman Center Print Fellowship from Columbia University.  She has had solo exhibitions at the Seattle Art Museum, and Gallery 4Culture in Seattle with selected group exhibitions at Rachel Uffner Gallery, Socrates Sculpture Park, Art in General, Fisher Landau Center for Contemporary Art, Saint Cecilia Parish, and Almine Rech Gallery in Belgium.

Hannah Whitaker, born in 1980 in Washington D.C., currently lives and works in New York.  She earned her Bachelors degree from Yale University, and her Masters degree from ICP/Bard College in New York.  She has had solo exhibitions at Kumukumu Gallery, The Wild Project, and Y Gallery.   She has been included in group exhibitions at Casey Kaplan, ICP Education Gallery, Work Gallery, Tobacco Warehouse, Roos Arts, and Andre Schlecthtriem in New York; and Pepin Moore, M+B Gallery, and Cherry and Martin in Los Angeles.