Monday, April 25, 2005

Artspace - Plant Zero - Solvent Space

Went down to the Plant Zero complex this weekend. Plant Zero is the name of an arts complex which contains artist's studios, a cafe, a performance space, and a couple of non-profit galleries - Artspace and Artworks. The Katherina Grosse show is right next door in Solvent Space.

I was with my mom and we didn't spend a huge amount of time there - no notes or anything - so just consider this a "what's going on at Plant Zero" post. Anybody who has spent more time with the current exhibitions is very very welcome to post an impression in the comments.

Katherina Grosse at Solvent Space - This was a disappointment. Her lecture was so good, maybe my expectations were too high. The photographs of all the installations on her website are way more beautiful and exciting than what is happening here. I wonder if it is because the space is so industrial? Most of her best work seems to have been done in grande old rooms or really nice fancy spaces with white walls; Solvent Space is cinderblock and pipes and garage doors.

I'm a little suspicious now because I can see how some corners or pockets might photograph well. Is that the way it usually is? The documentation is more interesting than the piece? I look forward to seeing the photos of this show. Again, I wasn't able to spend a lot of time there so maybe a second viewing will be more rewarding. The show runs until July, I'll definitely go back.

Joan Gaustad at Plant Zero - In this case I was surprised because the work is so much more interesting than the announcement cards I've seen. Electric sexualized figure drawing/paintings on pink grounds in the Plant Zero ramp space.

I know Joan but had never seen or heard about her work before so this was a nice surprise - I was prepared to dislike it too because last time I saw her she said she'd heard about the awful things I'd written about the Adaptation Syndrome panel discussion. Whatever!

James Dustin, Chris Semtner, Jane Vaught and Etta Edwards at Artspace - First off, Artspace is a refreshing, clean, light-filled, art space. Nice space, artspace. This is where the radius250 show will be!!!

The smallest gallery is featuring a memorial mini-retrospective of the work of Etta Edwards - nine works created over a sixty year period. Only two are dated: Paper Mill is a 1967 woodcut and Balloon #1 is a silkscreen from 1978. I love seeing this type of thing - evidence of a lifetime's devotion to art. Thank you, Etta, rest in peace.

My visit was so quick it wouldn't be fair to the other artists to say anything about the shows - here's the press release. You can also check out Dustin's impressive website.


Anonymous said...

Solvent Space is currently a mixed bag. I think the building desperately needs to be toned-up to match up to the expectations that the surrounding Plant Zero development thrust upon it - they both were former industrial facilities, but only Plant Zero fits as a space to view art. The upshot? Solvent Space was a gift to the school and is only entering its first season of operation... I think that as we see more ideas coming together about this space, the general feel of its shows will improve. Personally, I think it needs a helluva lot of attention to paint, lighting and fixtures... I don't see how anything can look good in there, as it is.

If we can't get the gallery experience in there, can we at least bring the solvents back? I'm confused.

Anonymous said...

Yo Martin... SP.

Martin said...

Thanks, I'll fix it.

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