EXHIBITION #18: APRIL 16 – JUNE 5, 2012
“BRYAN NASH GILL: WHAT WAS WILL BE AGAIN”
A site-specific installation by the late Connecticut-based artist Bryan Nash Gill featured an eight-color, 122-square-foot woodcut print with applied monoprint that mirrored the gallery’s OSB particle-board floor. The piece, consisting of nine separate components printed from four woodblocks and four Plexiglas stamps, correlated with an eponymous project Gill created for Esopus 18, which was launched jointly at a reception for Gill on May 2, 2012. The title of the exhibition and project referenced the fact that Esopus Space, which staged 18 exhibitions and more than 30 events in its three years of existence, officially closed when Gill’s show ended on June 5th.
EXHIBITION #17: FEBRUARY 9 – MARCH 13, 2012
“WILLIE ALEXANDER: WALL WORKS”
An exhibition of never-before-exhibited large-scale collages by rock-and-roll musician Willie Alexander, whose five-decades-long musical career includes stints with The Velvet Underground, The Bagatelle, The Lost, and The Boom Boom Band. For the past 25 years, Alexander has used thousands of yards of packing tape to affix newspaper clippings, ephemera from concert tours, personal photographs, cat litter packaging, and virtually every other material to the walls of his house in Gloucester, Massachusetts. These “crazy quilts from a truly amazing creative consciousness” (John Jacob) were shown to the public for the first time at this exhibition, which represented Alexander’s New York debut.
EXHIBITION #16: NOVEMBER 2 – DECEMBER 15, 2011
“INGE MORATH: BAL D’HIVER”
“The Paris social season opened with a big, elegant splash last Tuesday. ESSOR, an association for the protection of France’s abandoned children, sponsored the Winter Ball, at which some of the most distinguished names in Europe amused themselves for the benefit of needy children.”
So begins Inge Morath’s description of the Bal d’Hiver, a dance on ice performed in 1955 by European royalty, in costumes donated by couturiers including Hubert de Givenchy and Christian Dior, and attended by an international roster of celebrities, from the Countess of Paris to film star Charlie Chaplin. The exhibition at Esopus Space consisted of fourteen large-scale prints from the acclaimed photographer‘s original series, which had never been exhibited or published. The exhibition accompanied a piece in Esopus 17 that featured even more images from the series, along with facsimile reproductions of Morath’s descriptive texts for Magnum Photos and a drop-out contact sheet from the photographer’s archives.
EXHIBITION #15: SEPTEMBER 15 – OCTOBER 18, 2011
“TAKE-AWAYS: REMOVABLE INSERTS FROM ESOPUS”
Every issue of Esopus has featured a range of removable inserts created to enhance the visceral experience of reading the magazine. These have taken the form of business cards, license plates, audio CDs, strips of film negative, pieces of correspondence, and even a 3-dimensional geometric model. A number of artists' projects in past issues have included one of these removable items—ranging from John Baldessari’s “Foot and Stocking Series, 2010” (a series of six 7" x 11.5" images in Esopus 14) to Richard Misrach's “Untitled, 2005,” a 16" x 35" poster from Esopus 5—effectively allowing readers to own and display works by both established and emerging artists that might otherwise be unaffordable for them. “TAKE-AWAYS” featured 136 inserts from all of the issues of Esopus published to date, including the hard-to-find first seven sold-out editions.
EXHIBITION #14: JULY 14 – SEPTEMBER 8, 2011
“OFF THE PAGE: WORKS BY ESOPUS CONTRIBUTORS”
The past 16 issues of Esopus have included contributions from more than 60 contemporary artists, ranging from iconic figures such as Ed Ruscha and Jenny Holzer to undiscovered talents like Mark Hogancamp and 13-year-old Alex Brown. For this summer exhibition, Esopus Space presented an exhibition of paintings, drawings, photographs, and mixed-media works by 13 artists who have contributed to the magazine over the past eight years.
Participating artists: Don Bachardy, Mary Ellen Carroll, Chris Doyle, Jeff Gibson, Mark Hogancamp, Michael Iskowitz, Gareth Jones, Ati Maier, Alex Masket, Doug McNamara, Richard Misrach, Juri Morioka, and James Pyman.
EXHIBITION #13: JUNE 2 – JUNE 30, 2011
“RAY AND BOB BOX”
An exhibition and event series related to a years-long correspondence between the legendary late artist Ray Johnson and Robert Warner, a subject explored in depth in Esopus 16. The exhibition included a series of two-hour performances at Esopus Space in which Warner archived the contents of 13 boxes given to him by Johnson in the early ’90s, and also featured a number of never-before-seen works by Johnson from Warner’s collection, a sampling of the two artists' correspondence, and a screening of videos of Ray Johnson by Nick Maravell on Tuesday, June 28, 2011, from 7 to 9 p.m.
With special thanks to the Ray Johnson Estate/Richard L. Feigen & Co.
EXHIBITION #12: MARCH 29 – MAY 10, 2011
“BONNIE LUCAS: COLLAGES”
Over the past 30 years, Bonnie Lucas has created an extraordinary body of work—ranging from paintings to sculpture to collages—exploring the psychological minefield of childhood. The exhibition at Esopus Space featured selections from two series of collages—one from the 1990s and another from the past year—evoking, in the artists’ words, the “sensual, beautiful delights and the strange pain of growing up a girl or boy.”
EXHIBITION #11: FEBRUARY 8 – MARCH 15, 2011
“ALEXANDER IEZZI: THIS IS NOWHERE”
Alexander Iezzi began collecting books of war photography as a teenager. “I was kind of obsessed with them, studying their images over and over,” he recalls. He was struck by how the endless repetition of certain types of images, whether from World War II, Vietnam, or even the Gulf War, seemed to reflect an inability on the part of humanity to learn from history. After Iezzi’s older brother returned from tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan several years ago, the artist started removing specific photo-reproductions from these books (as well as magazines like Life) and drawing on them with gouache and ink. “I wanted to respond to them in some way,” he says. “The idea was to tell the story of a mind going to war.”
EXHIBITION #10: NOVEMBER 11 – DECEMBER 16, 2010
“TV/VIDEO: WORKS BY ALEX BAG, DARA BIRNBAUM, AND JOHAN GRIMONPREZ”
A group exhibition featuring videos by three artists who are well known for their deep engagement with, and layered critiques of, the medium of television. The exhibition was held in conjunction with Esopus 15: Television, for which Bag, Birnbaum, and Grimonprez created artists’ projects.
Special thanks to Electronic Arts Intermix.
EXHIBITION #9: SEPTEMBER 16 – OCTOBER 28, 2010
“MARK HOGANCAMP: PICTURING MARWENCOL”
On April 8, 2000, Mark Hogancamp was brutally attacked by five men in his hometown of Kingston, New York. The assault caused severe brain damage, and after running out of insurance money, Hogancamp turned to art as a therapeutic tool. He constructed Marwencol, a fictional Belgian town built to one-sixth scale in his backyard, populating it with military figurines and Barbie dolls representing World War II personages like Patton and Hitler as well as stand-ins for himself, friends, and family. He used an old camera to capture staged events ranging from pitched battles between occupying German and American forces to catfights in the town bar. Hogancamp made his public debut in 2005 when “Marwencol on my Mind,” a piece featuring a selection of the artist’s extraordinary photographs and the inspiring story behind them, appeared in Esopus 5.
“Picturing Marwencol” included 43 photographs taken by Hogancamp over the past several years of his imaginary town. Depicting everything from erotically charged moments between lovers to vividly realized battle scenes, each demonstrates what critic Jerry Saltz called Hogancamp’s “uncanny feel for body language, psychology, and stage direction.”
EXHIBITION #8: JUNE 3 – JULY 15, 2010
“CLAYTON PATTERSON: PYRAMID PORTRAITS”
Esopus Space presented an exhibition of 44 never-before-seen photographs of the extraordinarily inventive drag queens who performed at New York’s legendary Pyramid Club in the mid-1980s.
The photos, which were taken by artist, documentarian, and social activist Clayton Patterson in the dressing room of the club in 1986 and 1987, chart the boundless creativity of these artists, who, with little or no money, managed every week to devise entirely new personas, each one more outrageous and compelling than the last. Patterson calls his subjects “availabilists” (after the term coined by performance artist and musician Kembra Pfahler) who utilized everything from shards of broken safety glass to abandoned lampshades to create the ultimate artworks of the period—themselves.
EXHIBITION #7: APRIL 29 – MAY 27, 2010
“ESOPUS 14: PROJECTS” (GROUP EXHIBITION)
In conjunction with the release of Esopus 14: Projects, which consisted of 12 artists’ projects, Esopus Space hosted an exhibition with work by all 12 artists featured in the issue.
Participants included: Erica Allen, John Baldessari, Suzanne Bocanegra, Jared Flood, Marcia Kure, Kerry James Marshall, Juri Morioka, John O’Connor, Roxy Paine, Judy Pfaff, Barbara Probst, and Fernando Santangelo.
EXHIBITION #6: MARCH 29 – APRIL 22, 2010
“Make-ready” is a general term that describes the process of preparing a press for printing. It is also used to define the waste-paper stock that passes through the press before color, registration, and ink density are adjusted and approved by the press operators. In order to conserve paper, printed sheets of make-ready from earlier runs are often fed into the press until the next form’s settings are correct, resulting in the arbitrary superimposition of disparate images on these sheets.
“ESOPUS MAKE-READY” consisted of a representative selection of nearly 50 of these waste-paper sheets collected from press runs of the magazine at Westcan Printing in Winnipeg, Canada. They are not only fascinating artifacts from the sheet-fed printing process; many of them are visually arresting collages created by the pressmen themselves. The exhibition also included a single-channel video featuring footage taken during the press run of Esopus 14 (view video here).
EXHIBITION #5: FEBRUARY 16 – MARCH 18, 2010
“THE ASSEMBLED PICTURE LIBRARY OF NEW YORK”
This collaborative exhibition and workspace environment organized by artists Robin Cameron and Jason Polan provided free and open access to thousands of images from the collections of Cameron and Polan. Visitors were invited to come in during gallery hours and use these images—which included manuscripts, advertisements, prints, original drawings, and more—as raw material for their own artworks, which were displayed on the walls of Esopus Space for the length of the exhibition. Polan and Cameron also created a limited-edition book featuring visitors’ artworks, The Assembled Picture Library of New York Book, that was available at the closing reception on March 18, 2010.
EXHIBITION #4: JANUARY 4 – FEBRUARY 11, 2010
“KELLY REICHARDT: THREE SHORTS”
A continuous screening of three undistributed short films by acclaimed independent filmmmaker Kelly Reichardt (Wendy and Lucy, Old Joy).
– PRESS RELEASE [PDF]
– BIOGRAPHY [LINK]
– DOWNLOADABLE FILM STILLS [JPG]:
–ODE (1999, 51 mins, color): 1 2 3
–THEN A YEAR (2001, 14 mins, color): 1 2 3 4
–TRAVIS (2004, 12 mins, color): 1 2 3
– EXHIBITION REVIEW FROM ARTFORUM.COM [LINK]
EXHIBITION #3: OCTOBER 27–DECEMBER 17, 2009
“SIDE BY SIDE” (GROUP EXHIBITION)
An exhibition featuring works from five artists—Jeff Gibson, Oliver Herring, Peter Krashes, Alex Masket, and Mickey Smith—who contributed to Esopus 13.
EXHIBITION #2: SEPTEMBER 10–OCTOBER 24, 2009
“DWIGHT RIPLEY: TRAVEL POSTERS”
An exhibition of 13 ink-and-colored-pencil drawings from 1962 by artist, poet, linguist, botanist, and arts patron Dwight Ripley (1908–1973). The works were first unveiled to the public in Esopus 11.
EXHIBITION #1: JUNE 30–AUGUST 22, 2009
“MICHAEL ISKOWITZ: SELF-PORTRAITS 1989–2009”
Michael Iskowitz, whose “A Doll House Society” project appeared in Esopus 12, applied the same probing intensity to this extraordinary series of 37 self-portraits executed over the past two decades.