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Through a rectangular, cut-out window, two weathered objects emerge from and crumble back into the undefined, dusty, red earth environment that makes up Nancy Evans dioramic installation in the Proxy Gallery. The huddled, troubled forms eventually reveal themselves as two small shoes that take on greater size and metaphorical weight when positioned within the cramped, altered space of the gallery. Phantom limbs, bodies, past lives, and lost identities are all conjured up by these simple shoes anti-monumentalized in this faux desert landscape.

Singled out from a sea of desert detritus, the shoes were in the latter stages of a hyper-accelerated deterioration process when Evans cast them and created foam, urethane, and dirt replicas. Playing with the tradition of bronzed baby shoes and their sentimental resistance against the passage of time, the piece carries more weight suggesting the futility of human efforts against brute natural forces. “The desert takes you into this other place, a place where everything just falls apart, and I wanted to utilize that in my work.”

Nancy Evans

FEBRUARY 1-28, 2019

Five gouache-and-ink drawings on paper consisting of patterns of patterns cover the “walls,” “floor” and “ceiling” of the Proxy gallery, or the 5 visible planes. The drawings are not symmetrical and they are not the same on the 5 sides. Inside each square is another pink square with patterns turned 45 degrees. The patterns on the pink square are not continuous with the black and while patterns around them, and there is no outline marking the edges of the pink square. In other words, the pink is not an overlay or color filter, it is not a collage of another drawing, it is done on the same piece of paper as the rest. 

Friends Andrade and Weston have distinct bodies of work but have also frequently collaborated over the years since their graduate student days in the mid 2000s. In this case they started with separate pieces of paper, each made their marks and then they exchanged the sheets. 

It would be a mistake to say that the drawings take up all the “space” of the gallery; rather, they take up all the planes: In a sense, they arethe gallery. One can quickly see that the patterns of patterns are not repeating, thus starting a conversation about printing and reproducibility. The handmade unique work resists reproduction and commercialization while teasing the eye and the brain.  The material size and scale of the gallery and the photographic representation add to the work a 2D frontality and an optical element of flatness. In the photograph, the empty air space disappears and the whole frontal view becomes onedrawing, onedesign.

Can abstraction have a narrative?  The work of Andrade and Weston would argue that yes, it has an open visual narrative. The comic empty tubes and fat boxes, the zig-zags and curlicues, the distorted checkers, allow ideas of exit and entrance, of decoration and labor, of the personal and the historical dimension of the drawings.

Michelle Andrade and John Weston

March 1-31, 2019

Proxy Gallery contains photos of fragments of photos taken from an undisclosed fashion magazine. The photos have been manipulated: the artist has hand-drawn a black outline around the letters of the word “tragedy,” and a decorative pattern in the photos has been intensified in yellow and aquamarine enamel lines in a herringbone pattern. The photos themselves are split into 2 levels: the large photo is pushed back and the small one, a closeup, stands about an inch forward and isolates the word “aged” from Tr-aged-y. On the corner of both fragments is a fragment of a fashion model’s manicured fingers.  

For Vallée, the role of writing is to emphasize design as a fiction that is all around us and constructs our reality. Fashion is high design both in the clothing and in the photograph itself. 

The word tragedy in isolation might refer to something tragic -aging? or, as in Greek Tragedy, it may stand for theatrical action, for fiction. The installation suggests that some mythic tragedy is happening outside the frame of both the photographs and the gallery itself.  Elaborating on the dialogue between fiction and truth, Vallee brings design forward and leaves the female body in the margin and in the background, in such a way as to call attention to its presence and absence.

Lulu Vallée

April 1 to 30, 2019
Reception for the artist: Sunday April 14, 2019, 2-5 pm with special cello performance by Hazel Escott at 3 pm.

This was a year spent on the floor
Arguing with myself
Confronted with great images and specters unresolved

This was a year of old flames

This was a year of bones, hips, knees, toes
Bowed backs, bad leans
Loaned lives and medicinal drinks
Of vertebrae settled improperly
Jaw clenches and hard ears that bend acupuncture needles

This was a year of shit artwork
Really bad artwork
Unfinished artwork
Artwork eaten by moths, roaches, fleas

 This was a year that lasted more than 365 days


 The artist has been working on drawings over the past year. A selection of them are mounted on plywood and mahogany panels and affixed to Proxy Gallery’s “walls” “floor” and “ceiling” by hinges.  The viewer can interact with the installation by moving panels to see the different drawings and writing. 

An important element of the installation is that, although the drawings appear to be preparatory sketches for actual banner installations, they are never meant to transition from the physical wooden “pages” framing the gallery like flaps of a box. The drawings are done in pencil in a deliberate “artless” way, some representing banners, placards and quoting heroic/anti-heroic triumphalist words such as environmental impactand backwards writings or puns on words such as GARB - AGE, hand-le and hand. 

Some of the banner drawings are diagrammatic, while others exist somewhere between writing and poetry. The drawings, under the collective title Banner Year, are collected into a digital artist’s book. This book will be accessible by a USB memory drive given out at the closing. The artist’s book can also be acquired by request over e-mail. 

Several operations and exchanges take place here: The “book” does not really exist in physical paper form, while the gallery itself (empty in its central space) assumes the form of a book, with its barndoor wooden flaps acting as pages that move with metal hinges. It is perhaps Blumer’s materialist proposal against digital ubiquity, or maybe a literalization of “reading” an installation and figuring out its relation to its specific form.

Henderson Blumer

May 1 to 31, 2019
Closing reception for the artist: Thursday May 30, 2019, 6-8 pm.

Wael Marcos and Jon Key

June - August, Guest Curator: Kali Nikitas

Natassa Pappas

June - August, Guest Curator: Kali Nikitas

Jan Wouter Hespeel and Randoald Sabbe

June - August, Guest Curator: Kali Nikitas

Hazel Mandujano

June - August, Guest Curator: Kali Nikitas

Karen Carson

November 1-December 15, 2019

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