The Sketchbook Project Stops In Crosstown
The Sketchbook Project, a traveling, crowd-sourced exhibition of handmade books, stopped in Crosstown on Thursday afternoon.
This Friday at 6 p.m., Memphis-based sculptor and installation artist Jessica Lund will be giving a talk about her most recent show, "WREFORD," in the gallery at Crosstown Arts.
Attendees of the talk might hear stories about Lund’s former landlord (Wreford himself), or the resident apartment complex cat (Elvis), or about what it is like to live in an apartment that, according to Lund, “looked like a scene from Hoarders.”
Lund, who recently received her MFA from the University of Memphis, says that her interest is in how people relate to the spaces they inhabit; how architecture shapes people and their habits. Lund's concern is with mundanities of property: a neighbor who threaded his failing fence together with an old garden hose, or a weekly $2 fine levied on apartment residents who failed to correctly dispose of their trash.
"WREFORD" is a paean to life in a low-budget apartment complex. (Plexiglass sliding doors, whitewashed metal fences, hair-grain carpeting over cement floor. Rooms that have been vetted by flea bombs and laden with roach motels. For those with an architectural bent: last-ditch Corbusian modernism, rentable for $600ish bucks a month.)
The back wall of the show is composed of insulation, layered concentrically, a zen mounting of that sublime pink stuff usually only seen in half-lit attics. The wall works as a humorous backsplash for other elements of Lund's show, including an axial sculpture of plywood and intricately cut carpet samples, located center-gallery and looking something like an imploded building.
Lund’s show also conveys a sense of constantly being monitored through motion-censored lights, placed above a series of wall-mounted shoe box sculptures. It is a clever play on the practice of lighting individual paintings in a gallery from above. Rather than unobtrusive track lighting, Lund includes intrusive high wattage outdoor lighting; rather than paintings, small boxes coated in camo duct tape and mesh, arranged into pseudo floor plans.
Lund’s show is cleanly executed without losing a sense of the intuitive. It is successful at communicating the indefinable atmosphere of a place without sacrificing humor.
The talk, and following keg party, will be held at Crosstown Gallery from 6-9 p.m., Friday August 30th.Images: Katie McWeeney
Memphis art collector and business owner John Jerit has one of the most unusual collections of art in the country.
Jerit, whose company American Paper Optics, has a corner on the 3-D paper glasses manufacturing market, collects folk art. A lot of folk art— enough to cover the 20-ft high walls of his Bartlett office, to fill a large Memphis home, and to occupy several storage units.
"Folk art" is a blanket term for Jerit's collection. More correctly, he collects work by self-taught, visionary or outsider artists. It includes memory works (paintings based on artists’ memories rather than observation), wood carvings, tramp sculpture, trench art and handmade circus paraphernalia. A large part of the work is Southern, though some is from other corners of the country. A small amount is European.
Housed in this collection, alongside works that Jerit purchased for as little as a couple hundred dollars, are works by Henry Darger and Martin Ramirez. Darger and Ramirez are two of the best-loved (and, for a collector, most-sought) self-taught artists.
Images: Brett Hanover
Memphis has a new addition to its small but interesting constellation of house galleries. On every night except the last Friday of the month (e.g. Trolley Night), it is the home of painter Adam Farmer and roommates. On final Fridays, it becomes GLITCH.
I moved back to Memphis from a five-year stint in NYC at the beginning of July. While I was schlepping among the Brooklyn schleppers, attending storefront gallery openings and back room specialty cinema clubs, it seemed like everybody was talking about glitch art.
Glitch art is imaging created in a software malfunction. Has your browser ever frozen on a half-loaded image? Have you ever watched satellite television during a rainstorm? If so, you have seen glitches.
Glitch art plays out when artists insert different x-factors into an algorithm, creating visual effects that at rational variance with an initial formula. Artists intentionally jam data in different ways. The results look modernist (picture bar codes crossed with static? Maybe just picture static) but are post-modernist. Critics throw around the term “post-human.” There’s a definite lack of humanity in the pixellated, scratch-tape successes of the genre.
Glitch Gallery, this past Friday, was more psychedelic than post-human. The show/event, “Fur load” featured wall-to-wall murals, installations, projections, stuffed animal drink tables, and VHS viewing rooms. Two bands, Spoiler Alert and Leolin, played sets.