Friday, April 18, 2008
RH Quaytman at Orchard, with Rhea Anastas and Amy Sillman
In the window at Orchard, RH Quaytman's photo (silkscreen?) on wood panel... a picture of a storefront flower shop window, in the storefront window of the gallery, a former flower shop.
RH Quaytman paintings - silkscreens and painted silkscreens on beveled wood panels, with slots in the back for hanging. You're welcome to pull out the paintings for study, and to hang them on the wall.
Most of them are tight oppy patterns and grids, with some silkscreened b/w photos, some text pieces, some combos.
That wall was bare. I selected and hung those two pieces.
Amy Sillman's portraits of people associated with Orchard.
Portrait of RH Quaytman, by Amy Sillman.
The storefront window piece is propped up by a view from the back of the gallery, at the center of which is the window the piece is sitting in. The faded lattice (from the flower shop days?) echoes the patterns and stars-of-david of the op paintings, which in turn reference the space's previous use as a minyan.
It's interesting that the flower-shop photo in the window is like a false front, a block, and the reverse side is an extension of the gallery space. Sorry, I can't explain well, but I like that spatial wormhole thing I am thinking. I guess it's like a mirror.
Activity at Orchard.
- The large piece partly visible on the left, by Quaytman, is an Orchard spreadsheet, listing all the gallery's financial data, including records of all sales and how the monies get divided/used. One of the members fronted the rent money for the entire three-year lease of the space, as a loan to the gallery, a percentage of which gets paid off each month from sales of work. Orchard members pay dues to offset costs. I don't know the terms, but the spreadsheet is layed out in a way that references Hebrew/Judaica, with some info on the right instead of the left, and partially utilizes a Hebrew font.
- The piece left of center is a silkscreened photo of the hall directly to it's right, overlayed by a dense star-of-david pattern; at the end of the hall you can see people studying Quaytman's rack of paintings.
- Amy Sillman is talking to someone, at right; the center table holds her portraits of Orchard members and associated curators, critics, artists. I don't think any of them were painted on-site, she said that the people have come to her place or she has gone to them.
- The case on the right contains a chronological row of Orchard reviews, from which Rhea Anastas has pulled excerpts in an effort to tell the story of how Orchard has been perceived. I didn't get the narrative arc that I think she sees, but this is an intensely hermetic show and it's like you sort of need to be a member to really get the perceived increasing lack of interest.
(maybe more later. really liked this show)