Curated by Jess Frost
Opening Reception: Thursday, July 28, 5:30 – 7:30pm
Davidson Contemporary Gallery is pleased to present Insider Art, a group exhibition curated by Jess Frost featuring painting, drawing, and sculpture. Insider Art is a play on the term “Outsider Art”, a genre that is typically attributed to self-taught artists who are not part of the artistic establishment. The artists in this exhibition, by contrast, support themselves and nurture their careers by working within the art world, supporting the establishment, so to speak.
While holding down jobs that range from Gallery Registrar to Senior Preparator at a major museum, these artists experience the nuts and bolts of a hermetic business from the inside out. Often considered more useful than a graduate degree, these positions offer artists exposure and experience, including fly-on-the-wall observation, hands-on fabrication, and a keen understanding of what is required to thrive as a successful artist.
Insider Art presents a range of works by six such artists, offering a view of the trajectories they take after work hours. In selecting the works for this exhibition, curator Jess Frost sought out artists who use abstraction with rough analogues to the real world and, more specifically, formal allusions to the cultural iconography that permeates both aspects of their professional lives.
Eric Brown’s source material is based in the two-dimensional plans of airport structures, runways, bridges, and highways. His attachment to this travel-specific imagery communicates a personal exploration of what it means to be “in constant motion, some place in between, coming from or going to somewhere else.” His sculptures, made in cast plaster and situated on salvaged rolling carts, “hint at flexibility, mobility and transience as they cantilever or teeter over their bases.”
The focus of Jessie Henson’s sculptural work is “the transformation of objects into something greater than their individual selves.” Her ethereal ink drawings, subtly embellished with gold and silver leaf, draw parallels to the tactility of her three-dimensional sculptures and installations.
Alexander Cheves’ work is based on “man-made, industrial structures and the landscape that absorbs them.” His paintings “migrate from the wall to the pedestal, selectively gaining mass during the journey – while sculptures are creeping up the wall, brazenly exploring what it means to be flat.”
Paintings on linen and paper by Christopher Saunders challenge the notion of landscape painting by focusing on the transient nature of memory or “the poetic possibilities of misrecognition.” The artist merges references culled from personal and found imagery into seamless layers of paint that are punctuated by extraordinary incongruities.
Sarah McDougald Kohn’s work seeks “to examine the boundaries that distinguish art from artifact and object.” Quasi-familiar objects composed of clay, woven string and similarly informal materials, are poetically composed atop rough-hewn wood wall mounts, examining “metaphors of utility”.
Björn Meyer-Ebrecht employs images and materials based primarily in modern architecture, often in the form of noteworthy books and architectural iconography. The artist’s sculpture, collage, and drawing exploit not only his subject’s historical authority, but also the three-dimensional forms themselves. He values architectural images “as an imprint of society, as a chair is the imprint of the human body.”
Insider Art curator, Jess Frost, has held a variety of positions in the New York art world for over a decade. She currently manages a number of private art collections and works as a freelance curator and art critic.
Founded in 2006, Davidson Contemporary is a new program and division of Maxwell Davidson Gallery.
Under the direction of Maxwell Davidson IV, Davidson Contemporary presents the work of both emerging and mid-career artists who work in a range of media: from sculpture and works on paper to new media. While the program represents artists from around the world, it puts special focus on artists from the United States and the United Kingdom.
For further information or images, please contact the gallery at [email protected] or 212-759-7555.
Gallery address: 724 Fifth Avenue (between 56th and 57th St.)
Gallery hours: Monday-Friday 10:00am – 5:30pm