Curated by Dan Nadel
January 12 to March 3, 2019
Eva Presenhuber, 39 Great Jones Street, New York, NY 10012
Opening on Friday, January 11, 6 to 8 pm
Ellen Berkenblit, Huma Bhabha, Joe Bradley, Joan Brown, Steve DiBenedetto, Carroll Dunham, Christopher Forgues, Jason Fox, Mike Kelley, Takeshi Murata, Gary Panter, Sarah Peters, Laurie Simmons, Kyle Staver, Alan Turner, Michael Williams
I See A Darkness
Well, you’re my friend
That’s what you told me
And can you see what’s inside of me?
Many times we’ve been out drinking
And many times we’ve shared our thoughts
But did you ever
Ever notice the kind of thoughts I got?
Well, you know I have a love
A love for everyone I know
And you know I have a drive to live I won’t let go
But could you see it’s opposition comes rising up sometimes?
That it’s dreadful and position comes blacking in my mind
And that I see a darkness?
Well, I hope that someday, buddy,
We have peace in our lives
Together or apart
Alone or with our wives
That we can stop our whoring
And pull the smiles inside
And light it up forever
And never go to sleep
My best unbeaten brother, this isn’t all I see.
O no, I see a darkness.
Did you know how much I love you
Is a hope that somehow you
Can save me from this darkness?
Will Oldham, 1999. Used with permission.
The best way through this exhibition is by looking at the art and reading the lyrics above by Will Oldham. I’ve organized this thing with very particular modes and works in mind: Myth-making; emotive figuration; idol worship; humanism and its defects. There is also a sprawling and sometimes gnarled network here: Each artist is connected to at least one other, and usually more, by friendship, inspiration, and influence.
Moreover, I’m nearly always involved in wanting the art to touch me and to, in turn, give it a place to go –inside of me, or you. Minds in which to dwell. I want a sense of beings in these rooms – beings you can talk to. So, where you sense the connections, believe me, they are there. And if you don’t, please drop me a line and we can chat: email@example.com.
A few ways in: Gary Panter’s drawing of a gentle metaphysical picnic, which I used as a map; Ellen Berkenblit’s striding familiar offering hope; Jason Fox’s eternal hulk bridging mud and cosmos. Laurie Simmons’ action figure, on the brink of saving or suiciding. The amorphous figure of refusal by Mike Kelley, who I miss all the time.
Try that. And please don’t forget to go to the basement.
*poster by Joe Bradley