Press Your Space Face Close to Mine
July 1 – August 13, 2017
Don Van Vliet, AR Penck, Dieter Roth, Sadie Benning, Barbara Rossi, Robert Williams, Richard Hawkins & Elijah Burgher, Gary Panter, John Wesley, Karl Wirsum
Opening reception Saturday, July 1 6-11pm
The Pit is pleased to announce Press Your Space Face Close to Mine, a group exhibition curated by artist Aaron Curry. The exhibition features a selection of paintings, artist books, sculpture, and installation by a cross generation of artists.
For the exhibition, Curry’s first curatorial project, both gallery spaces have been utilized. Curry has curated a group exhibition in The Pit and has created an immersive and interactive installation in the Pit 2. Press Your Space Face Close to Mine brings together a selection of eleven artists whose practices encompass visual fine art as well as other aspects of creative output such as artist books, zines, music, comics, set design, graphic design, and more. All of the artists included have an interest in community building and share a mutual DIY attitude. The artists selected for the exhibition and their various scenes and projects have had a direct impact over Curry, either on his own visual language or his concept of what it means to be an artist. In addition to his own sculpture and painting practice, Curry is also the founder of Bad Dimension Press, a publisher of artist books and editions, and has produced projects by several of the artists in the exhibition as well as Curry’s own artist books.
Sadie Benning was one of the founders of the feminist post-punk, electro clash band Le Tigre and is a visual artist working in video art, painting, and drawing. Robert Williams began his career working with Ed “Big Daddy Roth” on Rat Fink surfboard/hot rod/skateboard graphics as well as underground comics such as the famous Zap Comix group from the Bay Area. Barbara Rossi and Karl Wirsum were members of the Harry Who artist collective from Chicago well known for their cooperative mentality in organizing art exhibitions at alternative spaces and printing zines to accompany their projects. Rossi and Wirsum were also teachers of Curry’s at The Art Institute of Chicago. Perhaps the best example of an artist’s ability to cross-pollinate and work in multiple fields of creative output in the exhibition is Gary Panter. Panter began his career in the 70’s LA punk scene creating iconic logos and show fliers for the Screamers and Slash Magazine, before going on to work as a cartoonist for avant-garde comics magazine RAW and numerous other titles. He has won multiple Emmy’s as the art director for Pee Wee’s Playhouse in the 1980’s. He has created a show for Cartoon Network called Pink Donkey, designed numerous album covers for bands, while actively playing music in numerous groups and maintaining his painting and print-making practice.
A visual conversation surrounding all the works in the exhibition is in the use of line. The use of line is at times a demarcation of space or definer of form, at other times symbolic or archetypal, or as interstitial space. Many of the compositions in the exhibition make reference to subcultural iconography such as cartoons, comics, science fiction, punk, skateboard cultural, and zines creating a dialog with Curry’s own visual vocabulary where similar references are often found.
In The Pit 2 gallery space is an installation by Curry. The space will be covered with his screen-printed patterns on cardboard and at the back of the gallery will sit an antiquated vending machine, The Mold-A-Rama. The Mold-A-Rama creates blow-molded plastic souvenirs, and grew to prominence in the 1960’s. Bad Dimension Press has acquired one of these machines and uses it to produce limited edition plastic editions by artists. For Press Your Space Face Close to Mine, attendees will be able to buy a token from the Pit’s zine shop, feed it to Mold-A-Rama machine, and watch it cast and produce a limited edition plastic sculpture by Aaron Curry.
A limited edition t-shirt designed by Aaron Curry will be available for purchase in The Pit’s zine shop, and online shop.
Aaron Curry (b. 1972, San Antonio, Texas) will be the subject of an outdoor solo exhibition at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, Massachusetts, from July 2017 to July 2019. Other recent solo exhibitions of his work have been held at the Rubell Family Collection, Miami (2014); CAPC Musée d’Art Contemporain de Bordeaux, France (2014); Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York (2013); and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta (2012).
The opening reception for Press Your Space Close to Mine will also be The Pit’s annual summer party. The party will feature live music by Gary Panter’s band Twigs of Sister Tomorrow, Curry’s band Soquel Curry, DJ sets, the release of a new limited edition sculpture by Erik Frydenborg, the release of a new Risograph printed artist book by The Pit’s co-founder Adam D. Miller, full bar, food trucks, and more.