June 4 - July 24, 2015
Opening reception Thursday June 4, 6 - 8 pm
303 Gallery is proud to present Design Office: The City Is A Garden, our first solo exhibition of new works by Kim Gordon.
In this new body of work, Gordon's primary concern is the radical change in the landscape of New York City over the past several years. For the past 20 years Chelsea has been a center of urban renovation, including the opening of the highline in 2009. Small parks appear randomly in the middle of a street. Outdoor sculptures often accompany the arrangements. The new lushness of New York would seem to reimagine NYC as a city for the people, as well as a more attractive landscape for new consumers.
Gordon's work upends this notion of beauty, exploiting its inherent artifice. New condo developments are named with boardroom idealism - The Rushmore, Fortress of Glassitude, Greenwich Lane - bestowed to evoke a desirable and ineffable lifestyle. The exhibition’s floor paintings repurpose these hollow slogans onto crumpled canvases, makeshift eponyms inscribed with black paint. The painting of the show’s title ”The City is a Garden” hearkens back to an East Village aesthetic found in the neighborhood’s funky community gardens. Here, at the entrance, it appears as an overturned emblem, the refuse of misappropriated ideas.
The garden is now controlled, a rendered design element in the slick blending of technology and luxury. Fake hedges installed in the gallery are the same ones used to form walls at public events and openings. Meant to create a sense of instant status, they promise a comfort zone of landscaping, an event, an evening of transformation. A series of more crinkly canvases hang on the wall, smeared with shiny paint and glitter, here to distract and bedazzle.
Using a variety of methods to work on canvas, Gordon utilizes direct application of paints, resins, glitters and fiberglass, as well as physical manipulation of the canvas and a playful irreverence in its presentation. Paintings are crumpled, overturned and flung; battle scars from past performances become gestural abstraction.
Kim Gordon has shown internationally including exhibitions at Künstlerhaus, Graz, White Columns and MoMA/PS1 in New York. Gordon’s upcoming solo exhibition at Benaki Museum in Athens in collaboration with DESTE Foundation will open on June 12th. Girl in a Band, a book of Gordon’s memoirs, was released in February by Dey Street Books. Is It My Body, a collection of her writings on art and performance, was published in January 2014 by Sternberg Press. A widely recorded musician, Kim Gordon is a founding member of Sonic Youth and performs as Body/Head (with Bill Nace.) 303inprint and Open Mouth Records will release a 12" LP record from a limited edition of 250 by Kim Gordon with cover art by Nick Mauss on June 24th.