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Indepth Arts News:

"FOUR AT THE START curated by Alice Aycock"
2009-07-05 until 2009-07-26
Salomon Contemporary
East Hampton, NY, USA United States of America

Salomon Contemporary is pleased to present FOUR AT THE START featuring Vito Acconci, Laurie Anderson, George Trakas and Jackie Winsor, curated by Alice Aycock. The title of this exhibition references the start of the careers in the early to mid ‘70s of these four prominent artists. The work presented by each artist marks a pivotal juncture in his or her career that made an indelible mark in the art discourse at the time. Collectively these are all considered breakthrough pieces and exude a rawness that was new by challenging the accepted doctrine of minimalism at that moment in history. The works engaged in a style that bridged sculpture, architecture and the environment with a heavy emphasis on content and process.

Included in this exhibition are photographic documentations of Duets on Ice, a very early piece by Laurie Anderson first executed in 1972 in Rome. One of her most-cited performances, Duets on Ice involved her playing the violin along with a recording while wearing ice skates with the blades frozen into a block of ice; the performance ended only when the ice had melted away. For this exhibition George Trakas will reconstruct an installation, drawing on ideas from 1970s works exhibited at the spaces like the legendary 112 Greene Street. A structure that appears to be unfinished extends out from the interior to exterior space, and allows time, weather and nature to take over. The rain and weather conditions cause the piece to shift and change, gradually morphing in to a new piece. Construction and transition become Trakas’ sculptures. Instead of a slick, finished, fabricated end-product, the process and the work-in-progress become the piece. His sculptures are not static, they are events – they are unpredictable and chaotic.

Jackie Winsor’s work is linked to Minimalist sculpture, yet it’s separated by its organic, handmade quality. Brick Square, 1971, included in this exhibition, consists of bricks stacked 15" x 50" x 50" forming a chimney shape. It is geometric but unrefined. Winsor’s laborious handmade constructions place it among the more metaphorical works made by post-minimalist sculptors working during the late 1960s and 70s. In a reference to her 1979 retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, Winsor has said “What my work is about is putting things together…. I’m interested in what is holding them together.”

The artists included in this exhibition have all gone on to have long-term established art careers. The pieces in this exhibition are believed to be pivotal, breakthrough works, and are today considered emblematic of their revolutionary styles.

The art world was a very small place in the early 1970s. We worked as much for each other as we did for a small circle of critics. There was an intensity about everything we did and things happened very fast. Word got around quickly. I was feeling very constrained by the reductivism of minimal art. The world kept coming in, invading my brain – way too many thoughts to keep out or box in. All four of these artists opened up the box – took a walk in the world. They engaged the complexity of the world. They made their work as an experimental act – to find things out. They were four at the start of everything else. - Alice Aycock

Jackie Winsor
Burnt Piece

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