Get a Rope
curated by Kathy Grayson
(Terence Koh, Dash Snow, Ry Fyan, Aurel Schmidt,
Slava Mogutin, Patrick Griffin, Nico Dios, Aaron Bondaroff)
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If picante sauce commercials have taught us anything, and they have, it's that Texans know the real spice when they taste it, and won't hesitate to string up effete East Coast imitators. But not everything from the Big City is processed, easily consumed pap; some of New York's artists are making work that's fresh, chunky, immediate and authentic enough to satisfy even the grimiest Texan palate.
Curator Kathy Grayson brings a Downtown NYC insider's perspective to CTRL with a show comprising many of that scene's luminaries, some of whom also have a personal connection to Houston. Patrick Griffin grew up in Houston, and met Dash Snow here, a teenager in exile from misdeeds in Manhattan. Dash's grandmother, Christophe de Menil is still involved with the family’s museum in Houston. Terence and Slava are titillated by Texas.
Beyond their social lives, what connects these artists is a direct, down-and-dirty style unencumbered by the stereotypical New Yorker's urbane subtlety. Aurel Schmidt makes meticulous trompe-l'oeil drawings of dissolute, strung-out monsters emerging from arrangements of cigarette butts, flies, maggots, condoms, birds, snakes, cobwebs and the like. Dash Snow's photographs are romantic, repulsive and lucid documents of the downtown scene he helped to start. Slava Mogutin takes tender and dirty pictures of boxers, strippers and fetishists: bathroom-stall love poems. Patrick Griffin's painted re-creations of old thrift-store buttons are too gritty to be slick and too sincere to be pop. Impresario Aaron 'A-Ron' Bondaroff, whose lifestyle has been his job since the age of fifteen, has literally made his life a style, publishing his complete autobiography on a series of T-shirts. Terence Koh's celebrated practice conjures a stark and seamy opulence that runs roughshod over distinctions of class, taste, genre and gender. Xu Han Wei, yin to Terence's yang, is a more mysterious but equally versatile talent.
Several of the artists will be traveling to Houston to make site-specific pieces, to come home or to gawk. A zine documenting the exhibition and the surrounding shenanigans will be available.
Dash Snow has had solo exhibitions at Rivington Arms in New York, Peres Projects in Los Angeles, and Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin. His work was included in the 2006 Whitney Biennial, Day For Night. He has been featured in publications including Art Review, Frieze, NY Times, The Guardian and Berliner Zeitung. Show is represented by Peres Projects, Los Angeles/ Berlin.
Terence Koh has exhibited widely and internationally, including solo exhibitions at The Whitney Museum of Art; MUSAC, Spain; Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, and Kunsthalle Zürich. His work has been reviewed in Flash Art, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, ArtForum, Frieze, and many other publications. Koh is represented by Peres Projects, Los Angeles/ Berlin.
Aurel Schmidt was born in B.C. Canada and has exhibited widely. In addition to solo exhibitions at Deitch Projects in New York and Peres Projects in Los Angeles and NYC, she has shown internationally at museums and contemporary art spaces. Schimdt is represented by Deitch Projects, New York.
Ry Fyan's work has been included in shows at Rivington Arms and Deitch Projects in New York and Peres Projects and Lightbox Gallery in Los Angeles, with a recent solo exhibition at Perry Rubenstein Gallery in New York.
Slava Mogutin’s work has been exhibited internationally, including solo exhibitions at RARE Gallery and Envoy Gallery, both in New York, and has been published in The New York Times and The Village Voice. SUPERM, the multimedia art team he cofounded with Brian Kenny, has exhibited in New York, Los Angeles, Moscow and Berlin, among many other international venues.
Xu Han Wei has performed at Peres Projects in Berlin and Los Angeles, and has shown with Asia Song Society (ASS) in New York. Her exhibition at ASS was featured recently in the New York Times.
Patrick Griffin recently had a solo show at Journal Gallery in Brooklyn. His work was also included in the It Ain't Fair at O.H.W.O.W. in Miami during Art Basel Miami Beach.
Nico Dios's work has been exhibited at New Image Art gallery in Los Angeles and The Proposition in New York, and reviewed in The New York Times.
Kathy Grayson is an artist, curator and gallery director at Deitch Projects, NYC. She has curated exhibitions at Peres Projects, Berlin, Andreas Melas Presents, Athens and Max Wigram Gallery, London and Deitch projects, New York.