Joel Swanson and Laura Shill
On the occasion of the 57th Venice Biennale
Palazzo Bembo, located off the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy
Presented by Black Cube Nomadic Museum.
Saturday, May 13th – Sunday, November 26th, 2017
Free and open to the public.
David B. Smith Gallery is proud to support artist Joel Swanson in a two person exhibition, Personal Structures, in Venice, Italy, occurring concurrently with the 2017 Venice Biennale. Presented by Black Cube Nomadic Museum and curated by Cortney Lane Stell, Swanson is exhibiting alongside Denver artist Laura Shill, as the two examine the concepts and cultural uptake of gender and language. Personal Structures, located in the historic Palazzo Bembo, recently called “a nimble counterpoint to the more top-heavy parts of Venice’s Biennale” in an article by Terence Trouillout for artnet, marks the debut of Colorado artists in Venice for this renown cultural event.
Have you ever been writing a word and for a brief moment it looks strange? It seems to almost lose its meaning? This happens to me when I write the word “what.” I stare at the word, sound it out, but it just seems foreign. Technically, this phenomenon is known as aphasia, the condition when someone loses the ability to understand language, typically due to some type of brain trauma. There is something so vulnerable and terrifying about losing our primary mode of communication, but it also allows us to see and experience the world without this wrapper of words and language. This is what Paul Valery means when he says, “To see is to forget the name of the thing one sees.” Perhaps my work might induce a brief (and non-violent) moment of aphasia in its viewers; that it might offer a fleeting but significant experience where we see through, or perhaps beyond language, and help us experience the world in a different way. – Joel Swanson, from interview with Stephanie Edwards.
One night pop-up exhibition and reception
Friday, April 28, from 7 – 9pm
Free and open to the public / Artist in attendance
David B. Smith Gallery is proud to present its first one night pop-up exhibition with Denver artist Megan Gafford, titled Traces. In the entirety of the main gallery are two separate yet conceptually intertwined installation works, Hormesis and Subatomic Chorus.
Hormesis, the title of one of the pieces, is also the name of the hypothesis that asserts that low doses of radiation are healthy. This is a controversial theory, as some scientists believe that any amount of exposure has the potential to cause serious genetic harm. Hormesis exposes viewers to low doses of gamma radiation emitted from live uranium ore, enabling one to observe the imperceptible. Included in the installation is a particle detector housing uranium, where the rock’s radioactive decay creates visible condensation trails in an alcohol cloud; making visible the history of each particle’s path through space and time. Along with the machine, a video projection of the phenomenon magnified offers an intimate view of the subatomic world.
Also featured in Traces is Subatomic Chorus, an ominous grouping of five handmade Geiger counters that chirp every time they detect background radiation, as if singing together in a choir. These machines are sensitive enough to detect low-level radiation that is constantly present in the environment, which originates from outer space, uranium in the earth, and the residual radiation from nuclear bombs. Subatomic Chorus draws attention to the invisible, subatomic world that impacts our DNA in ways in which are not fully comprehended by modern theory and technology at this time. Scientists are still debating whether low-level radiation is helpful or harmful. Subatomic Chorus compels viewers to confront the unknown.
Through the introduction and exposure to the world of subatomic processes constantly occurring inside and around us, Gafford renders the fantastic intelligible. Acting as opposing yet harmonious forces in Traces, Hormesis and Subatomic Chorus actively create and monitor radioactive events, drawing attention to the uncharted space between scientific theory, proven fact, and enigma.
“To maintain the lively exhibition schedule at his eponymous gallery, David B. Smith travels the country, checking out cutting-edge artists in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, even Boulder. He’s always looking for new talent for his aesthetically tight exhibitions, and his current offering, Range, is proof of that. New Yorker Penelope Umbrico uses iPhone apps to riff on the history of landscape photography as inspired by the work of the masters of that medium. The resulting digital photos infuse the original black-and-white views of the mountains made with film with colors from computer codes, in the form of shooting stripes or bars in toned-up shades, running right through the scenery. This show is part of the Month of Photography; at other times on the exhibition calendar, you might encounter interactive installations, or paintings that rise a foot off their surfaces, or sculptures that light up, or any number of imaginative takes on contemporary conceptual art.”
The gallery is proud to announce the Getty Museum’s acquisition of Christopher Russell’s Explosion XXXI for its permanent collection. Russell will also be included in a group exhibition at the Getty’s Center for Photographs from February to May 2018 featuring the work of six contemporary artists who interaction with paper is an integral part of their practice. Other artists in the exhibition include Thomas Demand, Matt Lipps, Daniel Gordon, Soo Kim and Christiane Feser.
The Warhol presents the seventh iteration of the Exposures series: Remains by Adam Milner. Remains, a new work made expressly for The Warhol, presents an installation of fragmented bodies made up of casts, mementos, and detritus from our everyday lives. Working within a social and performance practice, Milner creates collections and archives that blur boundaries between private and public, the intimate and detached. This Exposures project is incorporated in the museum galleries, and Milner excavates both his personal life as well as the museum archives collection to assemble site-specific works that reveal a deep desire to understand where a body begins and ends, who has control of it, and how we can better empathize with non-human bodies. Comprised of numerous small objects—a wisdom tooth from an ex-boyfriend cast in silver, objects from Andy Warhol’s personal archive and life, fingernails from a stranger—the artifacts add up to bodies, in the way an archaeologist might reconstruct a figure with excavated bones and fossils. Milner’s work, while deeply personal, ultimately deals with broader notions of exchange and desire. His installation is exhibited on the 3rd floor near the museum archives collection and Time Capsules.
In conjunction with his exhibition at The Andy Warhol Museum, Remains, Adam Milner was recently profiled by The Glassblock. This artist talk not only highlighted his most recent exhibition and the act of choosing mementos from his and Andy Warhol’s lives for this exhibition, but also delved more deeply into his artistic practice and process of collecting. The article and video of his talk can be found here.
Milner was also invited to contribute to The Warhol Blog. In his entry, Milner recalls his process of selection and personal connections to the archival artifacts included in Remains. Full blog post can be read here.
Exposures artist Adam Milner discusses his installation Remains with Jessica Beck, The Warhol’s associate curator of art. Milner’s installation juxtaposes found mementos and detritus from our daily lives alongside unusual objects mined from the permanent collection. Displayed in archival vitrines, Milner’s work highlights the seemingly arbitrary nature of Warhol’s collecting habits and the challenges and failures of the archive to accurately represent the life of the artist. Milner discusses the development of his practice and his work in various media including paintings, drawings, and archival installations. Remains is on view on the museum’s third floor near the archives collection from November 2, 2016 – January 15, 2017.
Solo exhibition micro/macro from Michael Theodore at the Galleries of Contemporary Art in Colorado Springs, September 9 through November 19, 2016. Artist lecture will be held Thursday, November 3, 6:30 pm. And the performance, Psychoangelo, with Glen Whitehead & Michael Theodore will be Thursday, November 6, 7:30 pm.
More information on the exhibition and these events can be found here.
Jason Middlebrook’s solo exhibition Drawing Time received reviews from both Westword Magazine’s Michael Paglia and Interview Magazine’s Armchair Traveler.
Michael Paglia’s review “Jason Middlebrook’s Drawing Time Dazzles at David B. Smith,” can be read here.
Also included in Interview Magazine’s weekly Armchair Traveler, Drawing Time was listed as an international ‘must see.’ The exhibition was included alongside three great exhibitions including Claudia Comte at Musée Cantonal Des Beaux-Arts in Lausanne, Switzerland, Frank Stella at Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden, and Tal Streeter at Storm King Art Center in New Windsor, New York. The featured article, Armchair Traveler: Zig Zag, can be found here.
In March 2016, Adam Milner was included in a group exhibition, Fung Wah Biennial, at Flux Factory, New York City. He was also included in reviews of the Fung Wah Biennial in Art in America, Hyperallergic, and The Gothamist.
Milner recently completed a two-month residency at Casa Maauad in Mexico City. His resultant solo exhibition, A History of Man, his first international solo show, opened August 18, 2016. Images of the exhibition can be seen here.