Ever Baldwin, Jennifer Carvalho, Elizabeth Englander, Genevieve Goffman, Danielle Gottesmann, Austin Harris, Jacob Jackmauh, Bradford Kessler, Viktor Timofeev, Alix Vernet, Jean-Pierre Villafañe, Lulu White
Curated with Anna Espínola Lynn

Artist Liaison: Tania Fer

Apr 27 - Jul 28, 2024

Thomas Hart Benton, Chris Dorland, Jacob Jackmauh, Tim Lyons, Elbert Joseph Perez, Nora Maité Nieves, Rachel Rosheger, and Viktor Timofeev
Curated with Tania Fer

Jan 27 - Mar 23, 2024

    In Wichita, Kansas during the summer of 1946, a young boy named Bruce sat in a darkened theater waiting for a film to start. Before the feature began rolling, however, a very different image was projected on screen—a mushroom cloud exploding through the skies. What Bruce and many cinema-goers across the United States were watching was a news clip of footage from Operation Crossroads, the US Military’s atomic bomb tests which had just been detonated underwater at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean. As he sat gazing at the macabre image of radioactive plumes rocketing from the seas, funneling toward the natural clouds, and swirling around the skies, he became mesmerized.

    Thirty years later, the boy, by then known as the enigmatic artist Bruce Conner, returned to the footage to produce the short film CROSSROADS, 1976. Culled from the filmstrips shot by 700 cameras at the test site (at the time, purportedly half of the world’s supply of film was on hand for the event), Conner’s more than half-hour elegiac compilation of footage embraces the atomic sublime in all its abject terror while also slowing the frames down to a hypnotically patient pace as the atomic explosion camouflages itself into the swirling clouds above the atoll, permanently and tangibly injecting into the existing atmosphere a loss of innocence born of human-wrought chaos in the sky.

    The exhibition Cumulonebulous conjures up a new cloud classification, one unlike the dozens of extant varieties identified in nephology, the branch of meteorology focused on clouds. The term splices the dense-looking structure of cumulus clouds, the puffy universal symbol for “cloud” whether in a toddler’s drawing or in an emoji proffered by big data, with the vaporous veil-like cloud cover of a nebulosus that rejects visibility. Departing from its closest relative the cumulonimbus, the familiar anvil-shaped storm cloud that can tower tens of thousands feet tall and produce hail, thunder, and lightning, the cumulonebulous carries the threat of immense ruin but eschews such recognizable and predictable forms, instead manifesting unexpectedly in supercell weather systems and global software breaches.

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Ever Baldwin, Bradley Biancardi, Frances Cocksedge, Noel de Lesseps, Andie Dinkin, Annie Hemond Hotte, David L. Johnson, Em Joseph, Meaghan Elyse Lueck, Tim Lyons, Alissa McKendrick, Connor McNicholas, Viktor Timofeev, Jean-Pierre Villafañe, Bradley Ward, Lulu White
Mar 11 - May 26, 2023

"24/7 is inseparable from environmental catastrophe in its declaration of permanent expenditure, of endless wastefulness for its sustenance, in its terminal disruption of the cycles and seasons on which ecological integrity depends... The scandal of sleep is the embeddedness in our lives of the rhythmic oscillations of solar light and darkness, activity and rest, of work and recuperation, that have been eradicated or neutralized elsewhere."

-Jonathan Crary
(24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep)

Circadian Gardens considers the contemporary moment of intense disruption in the once-natural patterns of sleeping and waking, of bleeding between night and day, of camouflaging the artificial and the organic. The exhibition presents sixteen artists who observe the material presence, historical circumstance, and sociopolitical impact of the flora around them.

Gregory Klassen
Oct  1 - Dec 13, 2022

Presented with Max Lawton 

Care and Maintenance of the Intermediate Block presents a suite of drawings in charcoal and pastel by artist Gregory Klassen. Created in response to and as illustrations for writer Vladimir Sorokin’s book Their Four Hearts (translated by Max Lawton), the body of work envisions a world in parallel to Sorokin’s words, which tell of four characters’ lives unfolding violently as the fallacies of the Soviet Union unravel around them.

Presenting dozens of drawings by Klassen—from single page portraits torn from a spiral sketchbook to large-scale scenes on multiple sheets of paper, and including both drawings from the three dozen published in the book alongside more from the nearly 200 in the series —the exhibition pans across a literary and historical timeline of civil and ethical decay. “His illustrations,” Lawton writes, “allow the reader to pretend they are entering into a storybook-world instead of the aberrant flesh-libido of the Soviet system.”

Radiating the dark angst and violent whims at the crumbling of the Soviet Union, Klassen’s mark-making builds up the frenetic ethos of Sorokin’s story of structural decomposition without autocratic artifice. Conceptually, historically, and visually, Klassen’s drawings exist in orbit with the works of artists who served as soldier-witness to and searing critic of collapsing empires, including Otto Dix, George Grosz, and Max Beckmann from Weimar Germany, but also Alfred Kubin and his nightmarish scenes of state authority and human depravity in Austria-Hungary at the turn of the twentieth century. Klassen, reckoning with the heaviest socio-political implosion at the turn of the twenty-first, similarly focuses his eye on the degeneracy of anti-humanist society in which any person’s fate is a roll of the dice.

Lawton deciphers the drawings with a fitting alchemy of sacerdotal terms and sacrilege: “Greg’s drawings are the rosary beads of Sorokin’s world, as they represent the power and beauty of art in even the most wretched corners of human history (and are any of its corners not wretched?!). In that sense, as an artist, Greg is the only one of the novel’s hearts to remain as such––to not have become a die as the other four do at novel’s end.”

Visualizing all of the objects, all the places, all the people, Klassen’s drawings for Their Four Hearts renders a kaleidoscopic encyclopedia of images that make the story visible without abridgment, facing every page and the painful, ecstatic nihilism exposed therein.

Chris Dorland, Essa Grayeb, Exene Karros, Jean-Marie Simon, Viktor Timofeev, Matt Town
Mar 6 - May 1, 2022

Hell March centers on the sublimation of conflict into civilian life.

Pursuing an idea of visual brinkmanship and belligerence that permeates everything from mortal materials to ubiquitous icons and antagonistic algorithms, the exhibition finds its footing in the theories of Harun Farocki, Hito Steyerl, and Paul Virilio and presents the works of six artists wrestling with cultures of violence and structures of media.

Presented in the exhibition are paintings reckoning with order and disorder in both digital and analog realms by Exene Karros, Chris Dorland, and Viktor Timofeev, whose two channel self-playing computer game Twodom is also on view. Essa Grayeb’s film The Return of Osiris and photographic contact prints made from television screen exposures reconstruct the public memory of former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser and his resignation address following the 1967 Six-Day War.

Matt Town’s Depressions sculptures—vacant gun cases hand-made in walnut and velvet from tracings of gun collections known to the artist—are exhibited along with the artist’s film MISSING GUN (found). Photographer Jean-Marie Simon’s images from the Guatemalan Civil War of soldiers, rebels, and the public living between them explore both individual and collective traumas when the borders of warfare are unwound.

In concert, the works within Hell March consider the unavoidable spectacle of combat.

Cooper Campbell
Sep 19 - Oct 24, 2021

Presented with Octagon / Moira Sims

Presented as both an exhibition of artworks and as a book that compiles original writing and archival images, Instruments represents Cooper Campbell’s research into the practice of valuation. In tandem with the release of the book, the exhibition takes place at eyes never sleep, an apartment exhibition space on the Upper East Side of Manhattan founded by Colin Ross, an associate director at a gallery on Madison Avenue. The decision to situate Instruments in an art dealer’s home was an intentional one; Campbell has embedded these works within Ross’s domestic space to invoke an appraisal of the art industry’s participants themselves.

The title Instruments is derived from the term’s financial definition: monetary contracts between parties that can be created, traded, modified, and settled. Campbell’s interests in the monetization of art have urged him to examine the art market’s role in the accumulation of wealth. An analogy to alchemy is present in Campbell’s research—what is the definition of value, and how does one issue, institutionalize, or otherwise invent value from raw material alone?

Within the contemporary art world, creating a limited edition of a replicable art object is a widely accepted practice. The sales structure of nineteenth-century French Modernist Auguste Rodin’s artworks set a legal, financial, and cultural model for dispersing the concept of an original work of art, a precedent that remains a fundamental component to today’s art industry. After Rodin’s death in 1917, the French government inherited his intellectual property rights, formed Musée Rodin as a governing body of his estate, and began to posthumously produce Rodin’s sculptures in editions of twelve. By implementing traditional casting and scaling methods to replicate the same object in multiples, it became possible to profit numerous times from the sale of what was, in essence, the same artwork. Mid-century financiers were particularly passionate about collecting Rodin’s works, and Campbell’s essay illuminates unmistakable parallels between Rodin’s market structure and the world of securities trading. In tracing this contour, Campbell finds both markets to be realms impacted, commingled, and determined behind the scenes by the influence of singular individuals and private third parties.

To illustrate the phenomenon of valuation, Campbell has rendered disparate financial devices as his own artworks. Collectively these instruments question the systems of value creation, and the blurriness surrounding originality. Multiple systems are considered: spot prices (the constantly shifting values of copper, nickel, and tin on the commodities market); numismatic value (a coin collector’s valuations based on a coin’s rarity and historical importance); contractual value (a consignment, an IOU, a promise); novel value (an original versus an edition versus a copy); and retail value (the number on a price tag), amongst others. His interrogations of these orders of value take the form of material interventions, such as a nineteenth-century ormolu vase displaying a bouquet with gentian (a French flower used as a barometer for bitterness); and a surmoulage (an unauthorized cast of an original authorized casting) of Rodin’s Definitive Study for the Head of Balzac, 1897 with the casting sprues still attached to the work.

Both in concert and in conflict, the objects within Instruments gesture to cracks and circularities within the logic of value.

        -Octagon + eyes never sleep

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