********* COVID-19 UPDATE **********
MARVIN GARDENS REQUESTS THAT ALL VISITORS MAKE AN APPOINTMENT PRIOR TO VISITING THE GALLERY. THIS IS IN AN EFFORT TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF VISITORS AND STAFF THROUGHOUT THE PANDEMIC.
FOR AN APPOINTMENT PLEASE EMAIL HANNAH@MARVIN-GARDENS.ORG – WE ALSO REQUEST ALL VISITORS TO PLEASE WEAR A FACE MASK
HIGH SOCKS, NEW JERSEY 1950
JULY 31 – SEPTEMBER 4, 2020
Marvin Gardens is pleased to announce the opening of High Socks, New Jersey 1950, This is the first solo show in New York of Paula Lawrie (b. 1945). Displayed is a suite of 36 original works on paper, accompanied by corresponding text weaving a narrative through the drawings. Marvin Gardens has collaborated with Pacific Books to release a book of these works alongside this exhibition.
In High Socks, New Jersey, 1950, Lawrie presents her own poignant and evocative glimpse into what it meant to be growing up as a female Jewish child in 1950s New Jersey. The work details her everyday encounters with anti-Semitism, and her search for answers from these confusing and isolating experiences. What emerges is an emotional and tender story that is at once the story of a child trying to makes sense of a bewildering world, and a woman trying look back and retrieve some wonder apart from the pain.
Through the architecture of the narrative, a surreal landscape pours out. Abundant details of shading, pattern, and abstraction of figures coalesce into visually inventive and emotive characters. The emotions expressed by these drawn characters are readily identifiable, resonating with the viewers on multiple levels. The story ends with Lawrie in high school, having moved from New Jersey to New Haven, Connecticut where she finds a community that is a little more accommodating, though not without its own betrayals. A key difference in the new town is her own maturity, having grown into and realized the power of her own agency.
Although actively making work for the past 30 years Paula Lawrie has managed to remain hidden in plain sight. In the 1980s and 1990s she actively exhibited in cafes along the West coast, sometimes at a speed as great as two shows per month. In 1993, she took up a position as artist-in-residence at the Mission Science Workshop, San Francisco, where she made a small number of educational zines. Lawrie continues her inventive and prolific output of drawings and paintings to this day in Berkley, California.
For additional information or to schedule an appointment to view the exhibition please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
JULY 31 – SEPTEMBER 4, 2020
Marvin Gardens cordially invites you to take an appointment to see the first show in our new project space, Best Western, adjacent to the main gallery. Throughout the Covid-19 lockdown this spring, Dan Mandelbaum continued to work at home with what spare materials were at hand, creating soft sculptures. Stylistically, they are similar in form to his ceramic work: Aztec sculpture meets modern animation, with numerous embedded references to the CoBrA movement. In his ceramic work, the material is built first over several days, and the glazing happens at the end of the process. However, in the new soft sculptures with the predetermined pattern and coloration of the fabric itself, the “finish” or “patina” comes first, and the form is arrived at through cutting and sewing.
On view in the first room is a large group of soft sculptures that Mandelbaum installed by piling them in a corner, taking advantage of another aspect of the language of their softness, similar to how stuffed animals get piled up in a child’s room. This logic of installation also eschews more traditional methods of exhibiting in a “white cube”. Similarly, in the second room one is confronted by a large group of sizeable ceramic sculptures. The new larger scale is impressive, but one also notices that they are looking at and engaging with a crowd. Once again, this is a gesture against a clean gallery display, and perhaps an engagement with how we have been seeing and participating in groups of protagonists more recently on the streets and in the news.
To make an appointment to visit or for more information please send an email to: Hannah@marvin-gardens.org
PREVIOUS EXHIBITION: (ONLINE ONLY)
ONLINE APRIL 5 – March 31, 2020
We find ourselves in difficult times, standing side by side in consciousness though not in body. Together in solidarity, surveying this new and shifting landscape evolving in front of us, one that is still very strange and morphing every day. As many of us are finding opportunities for slow and quiet reflection, we are also turning to many familiar forms of technological connectivity in new levels of focus. In this context I feel it is important to take this opportunity to share artwork that is particularly adept at bridging the gap into the personal and private space through electronic forms. Miná Minov has been operating in this space throughout his career in his video works. Long one of my favorite living artists, he speaks to human boundaries in faceted ways, many more than can be articulated in this short space. From the depths of friendship, it’s my pleasure to share with you a selection of his video works on our website.
(film still from “I Flew” North Sofia, 2015)
A decade ago I was fortunate to meet Miná through accidental circumstances on a trip to his hometown of Sofia, Bulgaria. I needed a place to stay for an additional month and he generously set me up to live in his studio. Over the course of that next month we hung out leisurely, bonding through humor, music, and eventually artwork. We hiked in the mountains bordering the city, ran from wild dogs, shot a few of videos, and spoke of future plans. We were in our late 20s.
During this time I had a close view on the artist’s process. Miná slowly develops an idea and tests materials, often building a crude construction to perform a pared-down physical task. Much time is spent in quiet contemplation punctuated by functional questions. Eventually this culminates in video documentation and usually very minimal editing in postproduction.
Miná’s video works unfold mutually between viewer and performer. At times the shadow of a tripod may intrude into the frame, at another time the tripod itself, and on a special occasion, Miná himself might turn and look at the camera. This gaze is not that of a performer but of a comrade discovering the moment with you, acknowledging that you are both playing this game together. Within this exchange, the works also seem to ask that ever-pertinent perceptual question: “How much do we change what we observe merely through the act of observing it?”
At a time when we have been forced to retreat indoors and slow down our lives, Miná’s videos feel particularly viewable. His practice and oeuvre can continue undisturbed despite a world currently in lockdown. With an environmentally neutral practice, Miná thoughtfully constructs filmic situations using whatever materials are at hand. This often leads to an Arte Povera-like aesthetic. Homemade mechanical contraptions, antique pulleys, and reclaimed seatbelt harnesses and handlebars attached to crudely built platforms give the filmed image an activated sculptural quality, as well as an immediate artifactual presence.
Far from home, sitting in self-isolation in London during this global pandemic, and now feeling the pain of this infection inside my own lungs, I find myself prone to see these works with a more dramatic and humanist tone. From then to now, Miná remains steady, undisturbed, plodding forward as the same wandering poet I first encountered. He presents us with videos that have human parameters, their duration and speed determined by the capacities of the human body. These reflexive parameters picture moments of our selves, exploring through physical limitations, and somewhere within these limitations we have a path to find experiences that will continue to indicate to us incremental notions of who we are.
April 5, 2020 – London
VIEW FEATURED WORKS:
we recommend full screen viewing
moved by (tree), 2013
face cradle, 2011
untitled (sail), 2009
untitled (fall) 1, 2019
untitled (fall) 2, 2019
moved by (over), 2014
scene #8, 2010
i flew, 2015
video documentation of untitled installation/performance in the exhibition ‘да починеш в почивен ден’ at one night stand gallery, sofia /14-09-2017