Anti Heroic, Fall 2011 Critical Inquiry Colloquium
Saul Chernick, Desktop 2013, 2010
Courtney Smith, Sept. 20
Matthew Rich, Sept. 27
Saul Chernick, Nov. 15
The anti-hero is generally considered to be a protagonist whose character is, in some regards, conspicuously contrary to that of the archetypal hero and, in some instances, its antithesis. Some consider the word's meaning to be broad enough to encompass the antagonist who (in contrast to the archetypal villain) elicits considerable sympathy or admiration. We have invited four artists to participate in the Fall 2011 Critical Inquiry Colloquia who represent the anti-heroic in variety of ways. These artists engage in art practices that could easily be marginalized or constrained because of their content, medium, or scale. Whether dealing with the everyday, domestic or the personal, these artists reflect the broad range of artists working today.
Courtney Smith’s conceptually incisive sculptures transcend their Minimalist roots by delighting in the intellectual practice of conjugating order and disorder. Feminine in their attention to pattern and repetition, but fearless in their constructive rigor, these works achieve a co but intelligent sensuality. Known for her complex pieces of deconstructed/reconstructed furniture, Smith works in two seemingly disparate directions. In some of her sculptural work she breaks down whole furniture pieces into a myriad of modular parts, which then serve as building materials; in other works she introduces uniform, fixed constructions as newborn objects of furniture. The resulting works stand in opposition to one another, in color, form and concept, but come together to compose a hard-edged, chimerical world of domestic equipment. She is represented by G Fine Art in Washington and Roebling Hall in New York.
Matt Rich lives and works in Boston, Massachusetts. Mid-20th century abstract painting as well as in the everyday accident influences his cut-painted-paper work. He has had solo exhibitions at Project Row Houses in Houston, Devening projects + editions in Chicago, the Suburban in Oak Park, IL and samsøn in Boston, MA. In 2010 and 2009, Rich has participated in group shows at Galerie oqbo in Berlin, BravinLee Programs in New York, Baer Ridgway in San Francisco, Park Life in San Francisco, White Flag Projects in St. Louis, and Dolphin Gallery in Kansas City. He was a finalist for the 2010 James and Audrey Foster Prize at the ICA, Boston (announced in Dec. 2010) and his work is on exhibit at the ICA through Jan. 2011. Matthew Rich has received fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Terra Foundation for the Arts and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. He is represented by samsøn in Boston, MA, and Devening Projects + Editions in Chicago.
Saul Chernick, Ars Gratia Artis (Detail), 2010
Chernick’s images evoke the sensation of looking at something from an earlier time but there’s no attempt at historical accuracy. These are pictures made with the sensibility of an invented past as could only be imagined in the present. Just as the color and texture of a period film can date it more closely to the decade of it’s making rather than the era it portrays, Chernick’s images bare a timestamp that will inevitably grow more apparent with age.
Through projecting contemporary ideas, aesthetics, and experiences through the lens of traditional methods and motifs he aims to link past and present by revealing enduring commonalities. He is represented by the Meulenstee (formerly Max Protech) Gallery in New York.