Monday, February 15, 2010

Margo Mensing

Elizabeth Bishop Project

Margo Mensing, It's Not Unusual, at The Art Center Gallery, through March 27th.

Each year - since her 63rd year - Margo studies the work and life of an individual who died at her current age... and spends the year creating artwork responding to and inspired by that person.

This year is her Elizabeth Bishop year, for which Margo has been writing and sending letters... written mostly on the inside of cardboard packaging... quoting Bishop's poems and own letters, connecting Bishop's words to the lives of friends and family to whom the letters are sent. The 'letters' pictured above have been borrowed back for the exhibition, some are color photo-copies, and a few are letters to Margo in return, also written on recycled packaging.

NA 708210 EFT 41875, from the Donald Judd Project.

NA 708210 EFT 41875 is the name of the color, selected from over three hundred red paint chips, which best matched the red in a photo of Donald Judd's untitled 1962/1987. Originally constructed of painted Douglas Fir and plywood, copied here in willow by John McQueen.

Judd Project objects were all fabricated by others, to Margo's specifications.

Donal Judd Project - machine embroidered t-shirts, contracted out to a shop in Tibet.

Specific Object

Margo found the perfect mug on a 2001 residency in Australia, a Bundanoon Pottery mug... so six years later it was an ideal specific object to re-fabricate for the Judd Project. Student potter Teddy Kunhardt was commissioned and together they made twelve, but in the end only six were decided to be close enough. Now Margo is safe if she ever breaks or loses her Bundanoon Mug.

Margo Mensing

Joan Mitchell Project, for which Margo spent last year knitting Joan Mitchell paintings into socks, which were then distributed to friends and family... and she can't stop, she is still knitting Joan Mitchell paintings into socks.

Really cool. Margo is welcoming people into the gallery to make work or develop a collaborative project.

On the back wall are Ian and Monica Berry's photographs of Ian's pair of Joan Mitchell socks, all taken in Miami during Art Basel. On the floor behind Margo you can glimpse part of a sculpture made by Victoria Palermo. Anyone can come... e-mail the gallery for info.

Margo and Barbara
Margo and Barbara Garro studying Barbara's portrait of Jacqueline Kennedy.

Judd fabricator John McQueen is collaging a Joan Mitchell painting, from recyclable packaging only, color-matching and shape-cutting piece by piece... it's gonna take FOREVER.

Walt Disney Project - Walt Disney as a cute stuffed character... primary technicolor, Dumbo ears and Mickey hands, filming.


Chris said...

I think this is a very unique and interesting project- thanks for posting about it.

C.H. said...

great post -- so interesting I clicked through to the gallery page and read the press. Under 'Morbidly curious or inspiration' there's a list of famous people and their age of death. 2011 is my year of the Presley!