On View June 20 – July 14, 2019
Curated by Will Hutnick
Lobster Dinner presents the works of over forty contemporary artists working across drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking and photography. While technically the exhibition is a “small works” show, featuring work 12 inches and under, the works included are certainly not defined by this limitation. On the contrary, many of the works feel expansive and ambitious, despite the physical constraints of being “small”.
Oftentimes, works of a more intimate scale can have a novelty factor surrounding them – look how tiny! I want to put that in my pocket! – or are viewed as sketches or preparatory drawings for larger works – stand-ins for works to come in the future. That is definitely not the case here: loud, ferocious, hilarious, and declaratory, the works in Lobster Dinner shed the stereotype of preciousness. They are fully realized ideas, entities, and objects in their own right, not just little pockets pointing to another thing that is physically larger, but individual, weird galaxies in and of themselves. They pack a punch.
Take Gracelee Lawrence’s External Chamber of Acute Sensation, which at first seems to function as a celebratory banner of sorts. Upon further inspection it reveals an outstretched arm tangled with a pair of hands from another individual. A stranger? Are they beckoning us closer? Is it a secret handshake? A sexual handshake? Mel Arzamarski’s The Ocean features intertwined hands with flaming fingernails and is similarly discomforting, eerie, foreboding and ultimately encouraging. Both works look like they could have been taken straight from the opening credits of an episode of “Black Mirror”, with those sickly mint hands welcoming and proudly communicating a hidden alliance or a forgotten code, proclaiming “Welcome to the show! Come hither, if you dare…”
Stacy Petty’s Pumpkin Twist occupies a parallel ambiguous mental and physical space. A seemingly recognizable and friendly landscape has a darker, extra-terrestrial quality to it, with something unnerving which looms in your immediate space. Katie Holden’s Open Search playfully mimics the display screen on an iPhone, albeit one in a quasi-hallucinatory state with emoji rainbows framing the top register of the screen. Alejandro Macias’ A Color That Can Only Be Obtained Through Mixing II is a MadLibs-type approach to portraiture, in which the top half of an individual’s face is sliced and replaced with seemingly abstract lines in primary colors against a pea green background. Are these lines identity markers? A generic pattern that is a stand-in for the self?
Breanne Trammell’s SPRTS, a colored pencil drawing featuring a brown bear holding a blue balloon on a blue sweatshirt, sums it up: “If It Weren’t For Volleyball I Couldn’t Bear It!” Replace “volleyball” with your choice of activity/distraction/altered mental space, and you’ve got yourself a lobster dinner for one.
LOBSTER DINNER FEATURES WORKS BY:
Kayla Plosz Antiel, Davis Arney, Mel Arzamarski, Geoff Booras, Gabe Brown, Trey Burns, Jonah Burstein, Douglas Cantor, Max Colby, Sue Danielson, Adam Easton, JP-Anne Judy Giera, Häsler R. Gómez, Katie Holden, Mary Laube, Gracelee Lawrence, Michael Siporin Levine, Beth Livensperger, Taylor Loftin, Alejandro Macias, Max Manning, Alex McClurg, Elias Necol Melad, Nadia Odlum, April Dawn Parker, Laura Payne, Stacy Petty, Colin J. Radcliffe, Jenna Ransom, Allison Reimus, Isaac Roller, Rocco Ruglio-Misurell, Andra Samelson, Giovana Schluter, Chrissy Scolaro, Emilie Selden, Emanuela Harris Sintamarian, Anika Steppe, Taro Takizawa, Dominic Terlizzi, Breanne Trammell, Joy O. Ude, Becca Van K, Lauryn Welch, Curtis Welteroth, Aaron Wax, Tom Wixo
Will Hutnick is an artist and curator based in Wassaic, NY. He received his M.F.A. from Pratt Institute (Brooklyn, NY) and his B.A. from Providence College (Providence, RI). His work has been exhibited most recently at LVL3 Gallery (Chicago, IL), Vox Populi (Philadelphia, PA), Paradice Palase (Brooklyn), Geoffrey Young Gallery (Great Barrington, MA), DEMO Project (Springfield, IL), Tiger Strikes Asteroid (Brooklyn), The Java Project (Brooklyn), Providence College Galleries (Providence, solo) and Pratt Institute. Hutnick has curated numerous exhibitions at SPRING/BREAK Art Show, Ortega y Gasset Projects, Trestle Projects, Pratt Institute (New York and Brooklyn) and Hamiltonian Gallery (Washington, DC). He has been an artist-in-residence at Yaddo (Saratoga Springs, NY), DNA Gallery (Provincetown, MA), Wassaic Project (Wassaic, NY), Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT) and a curator-in-residence at Benaco Arte (Sirmione, Italy) and Trestle Projects (Brooklyn). Hutnick is a 2017 Martha Boschen Porter Fund grant recipient from the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation as well as a 2015 grant recipient from the Foundation for Contemporary Art. He is the Co-Director of Ortega y Gasset Projects, an artist-run curatorial collective and exhibition space in Brooklyn, and is currently the Residency Director at the Wassaic Project, a nonprofit organization that uses art and art education to foster positive social change.