Derek Weisberg: Saving | Face - A Series of Psychological Portraits Conveyed Through Sculpture
Lyons Weir Gallery
By JILL CONNER APR. 2014
Role reversal, especially role-play, utilizes curiosity to enhance perception. In April, Gagosian Gallery curated a solo, pop-up show of new bronzes by Urs Fischer. The blue-chip gallery went beyond its staid comfort zone, to Delancey Street, and installed some of the artist’s new work within a gutted, graffiti-covered Chase bank. Fischer’s casts were downtrodden gray when seen under the dull office light, masquerading as volumes of dense, wet white clay.
From May 4th to 6th, Lyons Wier Gallery in Chelsea will launch a solo, pop-up show of porcelain clay sculptures by Derek Weisberg titled Saving | Face - A Series of Psychological Portraits Conveyed Through Sculpture. Curators Akeem Duncan of Quiet Lunch Magazine and P.F. Dash of The Eastmen Collective spoke to Whitehot Magazine about their aim at continuing this phenomenon, as pop-ups continue to move eye-catching art beyond the standard one-month gallery show.
Conner: Your idea of a pop-up show within an established Chelsea gallery is very interesting. Could you elaborate on that a little bit?
Dash: The Eastmen Collective and Quiet Lunch chose to do a pop-up gallery in Chelsea and specifically at Lyons Wier Gallery for a couple of reasons: the most important one being, why not? Chelsea is one of the, if not the premier stage, for the art world today in New York City, and nobody does pop-up shows in Chelsea. Chelsea has developed a very regimented and conventional method of selling art and creating art experiences, because for the most part it works. What we’re doing is implementing another method that works but isn't being done in this community, all while being able to introduce artists that may not have been featured in that populace. It's about being on the cutting edge and shaking things up, "Why can't we do this?"
Conner: Why a gallery in Chelsea rather than an empty storefront?
Dash: Micheal Lyons Wier is a great guy who happens to like to try new things. He's fearless as we are in that sense. He takes risk because he cares. We've also done pop-up shows in the past and have been very fortunate to have some success. Those who follow us, and what we're doing, are continually asking, "When is the next show?" We've cultivated a community that is generally interested in what we are doing and it's exciting because people are getting excited about art again. And people are buying!
This is for everybody, not for a select few, that get to dictate what's cool, or what's art - we stay away from that game. We live in an era where the common person’s taste level and appreciation for aesthetics is heightening and expanding. This is a great time in the arts, one to capture while everyone else is consumed by nostalgia.
Conner: Is this exhibition of new work by Derek Weisberg the first in a series of pop-up shows planned for Chelsea?
Dash: Derek Weisberg is the first artist whose work we selected to feature at the gallery. We chose Derek because his work resonates with us - it's daring. He's using traditional materials for sculpting in a very untraditional way. He's breaking the mold (pun intended) he's doing something new - he's being an artist.
Conner: What do you find more suitable in the pop-upexhibition model than the one-month long, white-walled gallery exhibition?
Duncan: Although the traditional month-long model may serve other others well, pop-up exhibitions allow our audience to consume art in real time. And by real time, we mean at a pace that resembles the hustle and bustle of this wonderful city.
Sure, some works need time to be consumed, but selecting art on a 30- day timetable can make curating a rigid and routine process. There isn't anything rigid about art, so curating should be no different. Creativity strikes at a moment's notice--if you blink, you miss it. With this series of pop-up exhibitions, we can emulate the pulse of a creative community that is constantly expressing itself. We can also cater to a wider variety of tastes, and we can cover more ground conceptually. There are so many beautiful occurrences in art, and they all deserve their own place in the sun.
Lyons Wier Gallery 542 W 24th St
Opening reception: Sunday, May 4th 5-8pm
Sunday, May 4th, 12-8pm
Monday, May 5th, 11-8pm
Tuesday, May 6th, 11-8pm
Closing reception: Tuesday May 6th 6-8pm with performance by DECA
Jill Conner is an art critic and curator based in New York City. She is currently the New York Editor for Whitehot Magazine and writes for other publications such as Afterimage, ArtUS, Sculpture and Art in America.
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