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“Fragile” (online only)

November 12, 2020 – December 23, 2020

Featuring the works of Robert Barry, Jenny Holzer, Louise Lawler, Frank Poor and Haim Steinbach

Works In Exhibition

Who Says, Who Shows, Who Counts

Louise Lawler Who Says, Who Shows, Who Counts 1990 Set of 3 etching glasses with glass shelf & metal wall attachments

Edition of 50
Glasses: 8 x 3 inches each  (20.3 x 7.6 cm each)
Glass shelf: 14 x 4 1/2 inches  (35.6 x 11.4 cm)
Signed and numbered on accompanying certificate
(Inventory #31957)

Louise Lawler’s “Who Says, Who Shows, Who Counts” includes three wine glasses that can be used to drink wine from or they can be set on the accompanying glass shelf.  The phrases, “Who Says”, “Who Shows”, and “Who Counts” can be seen as statements, but also, punctuation-less, questions. The words have been etched onto the glass, just as how history is written is etched on our collective psyche.

As Lawler so succinctly shows, understanding the relationship between statement and question is an important step in making change.  Hopefully, the work explores this by having viewers reflect upon, question, and re-imagine the rules of the art world, and by extension, the larger world. Taking glasses, normally used in elegant settings, to question, push back against and perhaps help move people’s actions and assumptions is as relevant an action today as it was in 1990 when she created the work.

Louise Lawler was born in 1947 in Bronxville, New York, and lives and works in New York. One of the foremost members of the ‘Pictures Generation’, in 2017 she was the subject of a solo retrospective, “WHY PICTURES NOW”, at MoMA, New York. She has had additional one-person exhibitions at Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio; Dia:Beacon, New York; and Museum for Gugenwartskunst, Basel. She has been included in numerous group exhibitions, including at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; MoMA PS1, New York; MUMOK, Vienna; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and the Whitney Museum, New York, which additionally featured the artist in its 1991, 2000, and 2008 biennials.

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Money Creates Taste from Truisms, 1977-79

Jenny Holzer Money Creates Taste from Truisms, 1977-79 2004 Glass paperweight multiple engraved with the words "Money Creates Taste"

Edition of 90, 10 AP
3 x 3 inches  (7.6 x 7.6 cm)
Accompanied with a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist
(Inventory #31848)

“Money Creates Taste”, functionally, is a glass paperweight. It incorporates one of Jenny Holzer’s “Truisms” (1977-79), which she wrote to resemble existing truisms, maxims, and clichés. Each Truism distills difficult and contentious ideas into a seemingly straightforward fact. Privileging no single viewpoint, the “Truisms” examine the social construction of beliefs, mores, and truths all while questioning issues of fact, narrative and viewpoint.

The “Truisms” first were shown on anonymous street posters that were wheat-pasted throughout downtown Manhattan, and subsequently have appeared on T-shirts, hats, electronic signs, stone floors, projections and benches, among other supports. As for this specific piece, the words are etched in glass and get warped as one looks at them.  This visual alteration of the words gives a viewer a sense that the statement is not quite “true”. Furthermore, looking at the form of a paperweight, the text is actually meant to hold things down, which is not always a good thing.

For more than forty years, Jenny Holzer has presented her astringent ideas, arguments, and sorrows in public places and international exhibitions, including 7 World Trade Center, the Venice Biennale, the Guggenheim Museums in New York and Bilbao, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Her medium, whether formulated as a T-shirt, a plaque, or an LED sign, is writing, and the public dimension is integral to the delivery of her work. Starting in the 1970s with the New York City posters, and continuing through her recent light projections on landscape and architecture, her practice has rivaled ignorance and violence with humor, kindness, and courage. Holzer received the Leone d’Oro at the Venice Biennale in 1990, the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award in 1996, and the Barnard Medal of Distinction in 2011. She holds honorary degrees from Williams College, the Rhode Island School of Design, The New School, and Smith College. She lives and works in New York.

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Church Windows – Ward, SC

Frank Poor Church Windows – Ward, SC 2020 Poplar, house paint and inkjet print on glass

84 x 151 x 12 inches (213.4 x 383.5 x 30.5 cm)
(Inventory #31336)

“For many years now my work has evolved from photographic images taken on visits back to my native South from Rhode Island where I currently live and work. On one such trip in 2014, I found myself standing at the edge of a field in Ward, South Carolina, photographing an old church set into a grove of oak trees. After several years of revisiting this image, I became increasingly interested in the windows of the church. Those windows, through which light passed and was reflected, seemed to distill the information around and within the building. I built several models and eventually decided to reduce the fact of the building to four arched windows. The marriage of the frames and the images floating on the fragile surface of the glass is an attempt to re-animate, in the gallery, some of what I experienced in that field six years ago.
Frank Poor speaking about “Church Windows – Ward, SC”, 2020

The curator Lia Newman states, “distance, both in regard to time and physical location, plays an important role in Frank Poor’s creative process. He allows himself space from the site and the images before embarking on new work. Such distance often alters one’s understanding of reality … It is through the juxtaposition – and at times the dislocation – of image and form that Poor initiates a dialogue about memory; he notes that ‘memory exists somewhere between artifact and inventory.’ It is in this liminal space where artists such as Poor can create works that, though deeply personal and specific, become meaningful for a wider audience.”

Poor lives and works in Rhode Island. He has taught since he earned his MFA from RISD in 1992. Recent solo exhibitions of his works have been at the Grimshaw – Gudewicz Art Gallery, Bristol Community College, Bristol, RI, 701 Center for Contemporary Art, Columbia, SC, Van Every Smith Galleries, Davidson College, Davidson, NC, Artspace, Raleigh, NC, Newport Art Museum, Newport, RI, Welch Galleries, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT, Bryan Art Gallery, Coastal Carolina University, Conway, SC, Hamilton Gallery, Salve Regina University, Newport, RI, Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, Atlanta, GA and the CNN Center Gallery, Atlanta, GA. He won merit fellowships from the Rhode Island State Council for the Arts in 2013 and 2016.

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Turquoise Mirrorpiece

Robert Barry Turquoise Mirrorpiece 2020 Enameled and etched glass

Edition of 15
30 x 30 inches  (76.2 x 76.2 cm)
Signed and numbered
(Inventory #31686)

Known as one of the founders of Conceptual Art, Robert Barry, in the 1960’s and 1970’s explored sound waves, barely visible string, releasing inert gas into the atmosphere and announcing that exhibitions would be closed. The projects engaged issues of audience involvement, perception, spatial relationships and art world structures. Early on, Barry used written language as art, counter-point and explanation for his work. The use of language soon became his ‘signature’ medium. Barry’s works are, in one sense, austere. Clean words and surfaces provide visual allure. Reading the chosen words provides an opportunity to get into the works and to better “read” the art. However, no defined references exist in the works. One must be willing to question and explore the potential connections, both for the artist, but more so for the viewer. Each of the formal decisions Barry makes provides opportunities for more specific readings of the work, yet there is no one narrative or reference to be made. How the artist makes work that is powerful to look at, captivating to read in their specificity, introspective to explore and yet wide open, is a big part of why the work is so strong.

In the brand new “Turquoise Mirrorpiece”, Barry has dispersed words across, over and beyond the surface. The arrangements, juxtapositions, and proximities of the words give further opportunity not only to read the words but to read INTO the words, so as to think about what the relationships may be. The smooth quality of the glass reflects imagery and colors in the space, as well as reversing, repeating and spotlighting various elements of the room. How much is on purpose and how much is open to chance is forever unknown. The known, the unknown and the grey area between are key to equally examine in Barry’s work. In order to do this, one must also equally examine the general, the personal and the universal.

Barry’s first solo museum exhibition was in 1971 at The Tate in London and over the years he has proceeded to have solo exhibitions at the Stedelijk in Amsterdam, the Folkwangmuseum Essen in Germany, the former Museum of Conceptual Art in San Francisco, the Musée St. Pierre, Art Contemporain in Lyon, France, the Haags Gemeentemuseum in Den Haag, Netherlands, the Dum Umeni Brno in the Czech Republic, and the Kunsthalle Nurnberg among others. Group exhibitions with Barry’s work have taken place at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, Seattle Art Museum, Jewish Museum, Kyoto Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Modern Art in New York, among hundreds of others. His works are in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Panza Collection, Varese, Ludwig Collection, Cologne, Museum of Modern Art, New York, Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C., Musee National d’Art Moderne, Centre George Pompidou, Paris, Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Museum für Monderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt, Germany, Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, Los Angeles, and the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, among many others.


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Untitled (Halco and Tour d’Argent salt and pepper shakers)

Haim Steinbach Untitled (Halco and Tour d’Argent salt and pepper shakers) 1989 Stainless steel shelf; stainless steel, glass Halco salt shakers; silver plated metal Tour d'Argent pepper shakers

8 1/4 x 13 x 3 3/8 inches (21 x 33 x 8.6 cm)
Edition of 15
Signed, dated and numbered on reverse of mirrored shelf, all etched
(Inventory #29401)

Haim Steinbach is interested in the shared social rituals of collecting, arranging and presenting objects. For Steinbach, objects have a function similar to language.  People have feelings about objects, project emotions onto them and also communicate through these “things”. In his ‘display’ works, the artist uses the shelf as a device to highlight otherwise ordinary objects, allowing the viewer to consider aesthetic, cultural and social associations without prejudice or presumption. In “Untitled (Halco and Tour d’Argent salt and pepper shakers)”, Steinbach presents two pairs of functional salt and pepper shakers (one the inexpensive kind as made by Halco and the other, more “elegant”, manufactured by Tour d’Argent in silver). These two pairs are exhibited on a polished, mirrored stainless steel shelf. The shakers objects come from vastly different social and cultural contexts and are put together in a way that is analogous to the arrangement of words in a poem, or to the musical notes in a score.

Steinbach has said that his work is “about vernacular, which is a common form of language: things that we make, express and produce” and that it is “not only about selecting and arranging objects of my own choice, but also presenting the objects chosen by others”. He often refers to the structures he builds for the objects he presents as “framing devices”. Steinbach sets up comparisons within his work between ‘high’ versus ‘low’ culture, the unique versus the multiple, the personal versus the universal.


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