Guild and Greyshkul: Stan Vanderbeek
September 13, 2008 through October 18, 2008
Skip the beginning and head straight to the back room for the earliest works of Stan Vanderbeek at Guild and Greyshkul. The back room has quiet moments with early paintings that are startlingly fresh and are deserving of a show on their own. They lean against the wall closely on a multilayered shelf avoiding sparse abstract trends. Arguably the most efficient and convincing works are computer prints in the south corner of the first room. Dimly lit, and mild next to the projection space these pieces hold energies not seen anywhere else in the show. Stan's elusive 'realized' the show claims, maybe implemented by the subversion of computer technologies to articulate poetry. The show is loaded but cleanly sectioned by a progression of investigations with language and image codes from the 60's to 80's. There is fortuitous timing with an impending financial collapse, endless war, and political pitch all resonating with the image choices of Stan's Dada fueled films and collages. By looking at Stan's past, viewers could envision how things will look in our future. Stan's effort was towards the powers of mass communication and philosophies grounded in these goals necessitated new media experimentation such as fax machines and algorithms of early computers. Stan incorporated now championed obsolete medias with fresh utilitarian ideas. This September he evokes optimism and employs time sensitive relationships through media dissemination, and pedagogical practices. The patriarch of the Guild and Greyshkul Gallery once ran an overhead projector with impromptu sketches, now next to a looping film reel and table full of Kodak carousels complete with aged tan tape labels. This menagerie of robotic filters keeps a steady pace of refreshing images on the east wall. The compact cohesive unofficial retrospective fills all holes and has something for the masses. Stan's legacy and name continues in his infallible influence over his children, Sara and Johannes. They display his work after a summer taking inventory of the Estate. Inventory surfaced links to John Cage, and a note from Ray Johnson who was a likely influence in Stan's trajectory. Those curious about Stan's life and Estate can view his work at the archive online.