Curatorial Program has been in existence for three years,
having shown more than two hundred artists chosen by over
thirty individuals in the role of curator.
Our primary goal is to fill a perceived void of critical assessment,
free from the commodification and promotion necessary for a
commercial gallery and without the hierarchical structure crucial
to a museum in its much larger role. We endeavor to be an intermediary
between the idea expressed by the artist, placed into some
context by a curator, allowing the years of work to be seen
in an objective (or even subjective) role, providing the viewer
a greater opportunity to be more fully involved in the ideas
behind the shows and the work involved.
In keeping with our general practice of asking notable individuals
to assist in helping us make programming choices for our summer
schedule, we invite persons who by the nature of their position
are exposed to new work by artists on a self-initiating and
regular basis. We ask them to recommend an artist who, though
perhaps not yet ready for representation, could benefit greatly
from the opportunity we offer: a one-person one-week show with
endorsement and documentation in a maintained space without
economic or political agenda.
This years three for three selections support
efficacy of that process, and we look forward to continuing
our practice of mounting idea-based shows accompanied by essays
by the curators.
We appreciate the enthusiastic response and support of our
efforts from the community.
Founder and Director
After moving to New York only nine months ago, I am still
in the process of examining the methods by which people
maximize their creative output while living in a city of
distraction. The constant temptation of a seemingly limitless
supply of cultural offerings necessitates a high degree
of self-discipline. I often feel locked into mortal combat
with short attention span syndrome (SASS), a psychological
affliction that soon ought to find its way into medical
journals, if it hasnt already.
The artists in the 343 program at Apex are in a challenging
position: a window of opportunity has been opened, but only
for a brief length of time. How do you best utilize the four
days in the spotlight? I am slowly learning that people who
know how to make New York work for them are always ready
for their moment of truth. Given the chance to display the
fruits of their oft-hidden efforts, they will react without
a trace of hesitation. The depth and maturity of the work
here, as well as the enthusiasm with which these three compelling
artists greeted the offer of a show, has helped me to understand
the rules of the game. Survival in this town requires an
engine that never ceases to idle.
343 being a summer show, I immediately thought
of Darryl Graffs new Found Drawings when
I was asked to participate. First of all, these drawings
are funny, I mean really funny. If you are visiting this
exhibition or reading this catalog, you are most likely someone
who has an idea of what an ordeal artists have to go through,
and I am certain that you will find yourself chuckling out
loud or nodding your head mumbling,
yes. Secondly, some of these are really touching.
Like some of Darryls sculptures, these pieces make
us somewhat melancholy. Lastly, summer being the end of the
season for the artworld, I thought it appropriate for us
review the season through Darryls eyes.
If you get a chance, you should check out Darryls sculptures,
they are truly wonderful. But for now I wanted to share with
you something lighter, something perfect for the summer.
June 1997, New York
Hello? Hi. Okay, who am I speaking with? Michelle.
Michelle. And your birth date? July 25, 1969. Okay, and how
can I help you, Michelle? Whats your question for me?
I guess Im curious about how long Ill live. Ha,
youre so young, what are you worried about that for?
Its something you think about. Ha, oh my goodness,
well, lets see what I can get. How old will I live
to be? All right, I cant give you a specific age, but
I can let you know old, okay. Can you say how someone dies?
Well, actually I dont like to look at that kind of
stuff, you know what I mean? Let me see, you get the hanged
man, thats a card of time. Youre going to live
to an old age and also it looks to me like when you finally
do pass, youre gonna live somewhere else. Like where?
Like where are you calling from now? From Brooklyn. Okay,
so you live in New York. Now, so lets say for example
youre going to move to California and then youre
going to spend your days there. Youre not going to
live in Brooklyn all your life is what Im saying. Oh.
Its like you might decide, oh, I want to get out of
here, I want to move to California and thats where
youre going to stay and live and have the rest of your
life. When am I gonna move to California? Well, Im
just giving California as an example. Oh.
In Michelle Hines work she is both believer and an
example of a believer, she embodies simultaneously both the
image of desire and desire itself. In this excerpt from Psychic
Readings, as in all her work, she is searching for
the definitive truth in a world that can only deliver a partial
Canadian-born artist David McMurray (28 years
old) talks about his sculptures in terms of "dumb building."
His Pipes are very finished, polished objects, yet they seem
less like actual things then attempts a at things. David
talks about "suggestions"
rather than "concrete meaning", He talks about
why his pieces, which are attached to the ceiling of his
studio, do not seem to hang as much as they seem to be confined
from the top.
We have been in the studio several times in the last year
and are excited about the work (mostly tubular shafts wrapped
in plaid fabric with two fluid, bulbous swellings protruding
from each end). Pushed to the ceilings, exposed from the
bottom, they clearly intimate a certain sexuality-- something
undeniably male. We have talked about the very charged coding
system of plaid, and how the implications always seem gender-coded "male"--
prep school uniforms, lumberjack shirts, golfer's pants.
We never think of catholic school skirts. Maybe the uniformed
surface is more culturally identified with the masculine.
Maybe the plaid formally references geometric abstraction.
It could be that the fiberglass and the titles (Pipe) remind
us of surfing. These are just a suggestions . David's studio
is in Portchester, NY, and when we visit, we have a lot of
driving time for talking. The conversations range from art
to dietary advice. And in fact, David has helped us lose
a good deal of weight. We are not exactly sure what this
suggests, probably it is just an attempt at a suggestion.
Jessica Fredericks and Andrew Freiser