A one night show last Saturday in a studio turned gallery on Morgan Avenue featured works with a focus on time, metaphysics, space and energy. Matt Jones put the exhibition together with the intention on transforming a vacant studio into a gallery, curating an exhibition and getting people to start talking about art. Mission accomplished. From a vitrine filled with Beuysian ephemera to a gunmetal grey space craft made of wood, The Final Frontier's galactic center drew a packed house on Saturday April 21st at 340 Morgan. Complete with guards to control the crowd and to reposition Tatiana Berg's mobile sculpture to various points in the gallery, the exhibition presented some 38 artists and was hung floor-to ceiling, most works two dimensional but with a healthy contingent of sculpture. The Atlantic Conference began as a kind of artist collective which now operates as a publisher of artist books and editions. Kadar Brock, one of the originators of The Atlantic Conference, showed the additive counterpart to his scraped paintings, his work in the show was dirtier and more rough than many of his recent efforts highlighting the experimentation and freedom which exist within artist run spaces. The original aim of the Atlantic Conference was to serve as a creative incubator for emerging artists and held forums and discussions in studios around Brooklyn. The dialogue that started with the AC's inception continues today with exhibitions including The Final Frontier. Eric Wiley, Jones' apprentice, sat good humoredly for an impromptu critique of his painting before the opening.Part improvisation, part curation, The Final Frontier offered emerging artists the opportunity to show work alongside Harmony Korine and Brock Enright among other well established painters, sculptors and multi media artists. Enright's magma-like volcanic Jason mask wall sculpture loomed over the show, the iconic black eye holes like craters on a freaky lopsided planet. Mark Gibson, longtime friend and colleague of Jones showed a dyptich of drawings with two pairs of eery eyes gazing at each other above mountain-like terrain. The celestial or otherworldly were present in many works while a pervasive sense of humor lingered in the air. An extension of the show was the poster, which listed all of the artists on the verso. Each artist was asked to write their "Top 5" art heros...a daunting task which according to Jones pushed the artists into making a statement about their engagement in history. The choices were sometimes telling and sometimes perplexing but with names like Albert Pinkham Ryder, Gucci Mane and Liz Taylor being thrown around, something unexpected was sure to happen.
Guy Richards Smit
Artists included in The Final Frontier:
Guy Richards Smit
The Final Frontier was on view April 21, 2012
Click here to get the full color catalogue with a press release by Tali Autovino