Everything One in the Disc of the Sun, sacrifical gold cow, Christopher Chiappa, Windshield Wiper, 2005-2008, 35 x 17.5 inches, Volvo stationwagon rear windshield wiper and Xaviera Simmons, Landscape Beach, (Density), 2005, DVD, Installation view at Kate Werble Gallery. Photo: AFC
Typically decapitated gold cows with erections aren’t really my thing, but I have to admit I found the connection between that, and Xaviera Simmons video Landscape Beach, located immediately in front of the animal at Kate Werble Gallery enjoyable. Certainly the unexpected implied narrative that the bathers arranged to reference traditional landscape painting might somehow arouse and behead a cow has some humor to it.
I spoke to Kate Werble, the gallery’s owner yesterday who tells me the inagural summer show will rotate work through out the month. I have mixed feelings about this, since I like the show as is, and frankly it’s hard to promote an exhibition knowing it will look different in two to three weeks, though it’s not like sharing the love amongst the artists in her stable is a bad thing.
In experiments that didn’t work out as well as I might have hoped, I took a few pictures of the show with my new phone. The camera isn’t all that great, but it does a reasonable job at communicating why I think it’s worth it to go out to the West Village and take a look at the exhibition. A few highlights below.
The title of this photograph pretty much explains its interest. There’s an understated elegance to it that formalists can’t help but respond to. Stettner’s piece is a real highlight in the show.
I’ve seen similar scrapbooks, but so what? It suits the show — oddly matching Anna Betzebe’s hanging wool piece below, and it’s not bad. Also, there’s a rather compelling narrative behind the work, which was developed for a residency in a tower in Northern Ireland. A cast of related characters interact with the townspeople, suggesting at times dangerous undertones. Also, one fellow wants to finally experience a real Guinness beer.
Betzebe’s giant wool hanging inspired by old timey portrait frames and mirrors at first glance may seem a little hippy or sentimental, but it’s a little too large and abstract to maintain those connotations for any length of time. The more you look at this piece the better it gets.