Jason Mones, All The King's Men, oil on canvas, courtesy Curbs and Stoops Active Space
Goodbye Space Shuttle
Curated by Jason Mones
Curbs & Stoops Active Space.
566 Johnson St., Bushwick, Brooklyn
Opening party: July 29 from 7-10pm
Goodbye Space Shuttle opens one week after NASA’s space shuttle mission touched down for the last time. A group show curated by Jason Mones, Goodbye Space Shuttle takes place in the Curbs & Stoops Active Space in Bushwick, Brooklyn. The show is a late summer homage to the space shuttle era and to the visionary realms it opened up, both in space travel and in the American consciousness. With the space program’s end, something has been taken from us, and we can’t help but feel saddened at its loss. The economic, environmental, and geo-political confusion of the past few years adds an interesting undercurrent to the decision to shelve the space shuttle, the golden glory of the American space exploration era.
Beth Livensperger, Archer, oil on canvas, courtesy Curbs and Stoops Active Space
The work of the twenty contemporary artists in Goodbye Space Shuttle acknowledges this sadness. The show calls up a common thread of anxiety that nonetheless captures a beauty unique to the spirit of the times. The worry and urgency of the collective works perhaps has something to do with how the people in them interact, and how the unpopulated pieces render our world. Matthew Capuzzuto’s sparse and disquieting comic strip panels return to anonymous, recyclable units. Taylor Baldwin’s sculpture, Ghost Blight, contains objects from rare raw materials such as extinct heart pine, antique flooring nails and burnt wood harvested from the site of a murder/arson. One of Sakura Maku’s paintings, Bather and Stoner, has a man and a woman twisting their feet on a beach and looking off at some point in the distance. Her use of color has their bodies looking warm, but something about their eyes suggests a curious disconnect between the two people. Beth Livensperger’s paintings often denote scenes of arranged objects and of isolated, geometric moments. The shapes and layered perspectives show fragmented people moving in a richly colored space. Here too there is a notion that something oddly captivating about the relation of the figures to each other.
Goodbye Space Shuttle is a joyous tribute to the future, to the same urge that drove man to explore space in the first place, to the motivation that drove a couple kids from bottle rockets to real ones. To those secret kernels of knowledge you hold tight til they pop, to the thrust of what it is to be human that exists in the hothouses of artistic vision, in the depths of the stained studio, at the lonely drafting table. Something the odd man Kurt Vonnegut once told someone else was "Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why." Goodbye Space Shuttle is a celebration of that amber, a pause to recognize and revel in a beautiful moment in history. Each human poised on an edge, on the cusp of something greater. Like Vonnegut said, “Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.”
Participating artists include Taylor Baldwin, John Bianchi, Matthew Capezzuto, Jane Corrigan, Bill Donovan, Jen Durbin, Sue Havens, Alexis Knowlton, Andy Lane, Beth Livensperger, Sakura Maku, Brian Maller, Vasken Mardikian, Jason Mones, Wilfredo Ortega, Jen Schwarting, John Silvis, Lee Vanderpool, Peonia Vázquez-D’Amico, and Letha Wilson.
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