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Powerful Creator and Truthful Speaker

MARCH 7 - 31, 2013 
Guest Curator: Katy Cowan


This show focuses on revealing the mechanics of artistic conventions through the acts of play, explanation, humor and re-contextualization: a painting is made in two decisions, a joke is told, a sculptureʼs materiality calls into question the effectiveness of illusion, and a cigarette butt is plucked off a studio floor and remarketed as spectacular. Displayed in the uniquely small dimensions of Proxy Gallery, artworks gain new significance, become props, and highlight the illusory potential of gallery environs.

Paul Cowan's work smartly employs gesture in a quick way and considers the extent to which an idea must be executed in order to be understood. Here, his work consists of two gallery walls coated with paint infused with an essential oil. This act is decisively executed, jokingly masked, and a literal marking off of territory.

Scott Cowan's audio piece—a joke explained but never actually told—calls attention to the end goal by disclosing only the periphery. A joke’s explanation reveals the contrivances involved in the structural building of a social construct, while obfuscating its purpose.

Chelsea Culp and Ben Foch's Burger, reveals the illusory qualities of material and distrust for cultural norms. In the context of Proxy Gallery’s dimensions, theirs is a nod to the absurd scale shifts of Oldenburg's soft sculptures. The humor grows menacing as the viewer realizes that the trompe l'oeil of concrete and spray-paint are not

Alec Egan's work is the translated remnant of his performative studio practice. A used e-cigarette-butt, covered in the oil paint from his paintings, is exhibited as a sculpture. Well lit and professionally placed, the gallery spaces' miniscule size permits this work to be glorified in a humorous way.

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