The mood was joyous last Friday at David Krut Fine Art in NYC, as artists, art lovers, and law students (who had been present at the New York City Bar for the launch of the new book Art and Justice from David Krut Publishing) gathered for the opening of â€œWith Hidden Noiseâ€. The show, organized and curated by Phil Sanders, and inspired by the Marcel Duchamp work of the same name, drew an enthusiastic crowd. Featured artists Alex Dodge, Glen Baldridge, Joseph Hart, and Tatiana Simonova were in attendance among an eclectic mix of quests that included noted sculptor Chakaia Booker.
By turns sly, dark, perverse, and wistful, the show includes silkscreen, lithograph, and woodcut prints, unique collages, original drawings, and multi-media sculpture. Although not able to attend, Jason JÃ¤gelâ€™s gouache-and-pencil works drew plenty of attention with their splashes of color and cartoon-like figures. Alex Dodgeâ€™s wickedly tinkering skeletons, rendered in layers of oil wash on canvas-stretched silkscreen linework, generated much commentary, as did Glen Baldridgeâ€™s glittery print with â€œThe Endâ€™s Not Near, Itâ€™s Hereâ€ written out in bullet holes. Quieter, but just as absorbing were Joseph Hartâ€™s tactile collages in intaglio, gouache, and gold leaf. Tatiana Simonovaâ€™s delicate puffs of graphite on a vast sheet of paper had viewers spellbound. Not least were the works of Phil Sanders, the most prominent of which were two sculptures, one a small box, and the other a boat emerging from the gallery wall. Made of burnt wood, porcelain coins, and sand, Insurance and Liminal Point chronicle the journey of life from the white coins given in trust at birth, to the spent coins given to Charon, the boatman, to ferry a soul to its final rest.
Smiling and surrounded by well-wishers, Sanders related the origins of the showâ€™s name and theme. â€œWith Hidden Noiseâ€ is taken from the name of a famed 1916 readymade collaboration between Marcel Duchamp and friend Walter Arensberg. Duchamp presented Arensberg with a ball of twine clamped between two steel plates and asked that he place an object in the coil and tighten the screws without revealing whether the choice was a coin, a nail, or a diamond earring. Duchamp himself never knew what Arensberg had placed in the twine, a secret that has been passed from curator to curator, and continues to mystify everyone who handles the object with a hidden noise.
Citing the collaborative aspect of the original With Hidden Noise, Sanders described the process that led to the show as â€œdemocraticâ€, saying that, in lieu of commissioning or gathering work with a specific idea in mind, the theme was developed through a series of e-mails between the participants about the common ground they shared. Though the many of the works were not prints, Sanders felt that all of the artists had utilized the combination of technique and exploration essential to a printmakerâ€™s approach.Â The importance of Duchampâ€™s With Hidden Noise, he said, lay in an appreciation of the work â€œwithout having to understand exactly what the work isâ€. Without a doubt, this essential part of the Dada spirit is alive and well in this exciting group of fresh and established voices.
â€œWith Hidden Noiseâ€ will be showing at David Krut Fine Art, located at 526 W26th St #816, through April 4, 2009. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday 10 00-18 00, by walk-in or appointment.