Michael Horne
The Arts Scene

Gathering at the Green Gallery

The opening of Gavin Brown show was followed by partying at Circle A.

By - Jan 12th, 2014 11:35 am
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The projector (l) immerses the gallery attendees into a domestic scene that wraps around the room and undergoes subtle changes. Photo by Michael Horne.

The projector (l) immerses the gallery attendees into a domestic scene that wraps around the room and undergoes subtle changes. Photo by Michael Horne.

The Green Gallery East was filled to capacity Thursday, January 9th, 2014, for the first solo show in over a decade by New York gallerist Gavin Brown, who represents such major artists as Alex Katz.

It took place just days after Green Gallery East owner John Riepenhoff had a show of his own in New York, where his artists David Robbins, Emily Sundblad and Paul Druecke will have a spot at the 2014 Whitney Biennial, co-curated by Michelle Grabner.

Yes, gallery owners can be artists, too.

Brown’s show was announced in February, 2013, but he would only say then that he planned to produce a work of art that would be projected.

This meant that the glass-fronted wedge-shaped gallery, a former Adelman drive-through drycleaner’s shop, would have to be sealed up against the light and to provide a surface for the projection. Riepenhoff’s crew solved that problem with an interior drywall wall that has the advantage of insulating the space during this cold weather. It will be removed at the end of the show, March 2nd, 2014.

While the fixed projector plays its scene on the north wall of the gallery, the rotating projector spins toward the viewer in this image. Photo by Michael Horne.

While the fixed projector plays its scene on the north wall of the gallery, the rotating projector spins toward the viewer in this image. Photo by Michael Horne.

A pedestal in the center of the room held two projectors — one fixed, and the other rotating counterclockwise. The projections were of nearly full sized domestic scenes — no people. These rooms spun round and round the gallery, sometimes overlapping, with occasional dialog and music in the background. At one point the projection was accompanied by many, many minutes of fire alarms or smoke detector signals, a bit hard on the ears in the whitebox gallery. People of a certain height (4’-7’’) might also find the harsh glare of the rotating projector’s lens a bit hard on the eyes as well.

But this mattered not to the mostly young and enthusiastic audience. Plus, for escape, the back room of the gallery offered a sparse gathering space for networking, conversation and carbonated beverages.

The mixed-media environment seems to be a natural adjunct for this sort of interdisciplinary art form — in which audience participation in the form of simply being there in the midst of things is part of the show.

Carl Bogner (r), Senior Lecturer at the UWM Peck School of the Arts and director of the UWM LGBT Film/Video Festival while UWM Inova artist Robert Arndt (l), whose Enacting Acting opened that night, looks toward the camera.  Photo by Michael Horne.

Polly Morris, Executive Director of the Lynden Sculpture Garden converses with Carl Bogner (r), Senior Lecturer at the UWM Peck School of the Arts and director of the UWM LGBT Film/Video Festival while UWM Inova artist Robert Arndt (l), whose Enacting Acting opened that night, looks toward the camera. Photo by Michael Horne.

And there many in the audience, including Polly Morris of Lynden Sculpture Garden. I thank her for helping to identify some of the many people there who contributed to the scene. Riepenhoff, Druecke and Gavin Brown, the artist of the day, headed her list. Matthew Higgs, director & chief curator at White Columns in New York, who has known Brown since they were students together in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, joined the scene.

Sara Krajewski, director at Inova, who had her own opening up the street, collegially invited Green Gallery attendees to Inova. Deb Brehmer of the Portrait Society was in the house as was, Carl Bogner of the UW-Milwaukee Film Department, who presented a Divine Gay and Lesbian Film Festival last fall. John Riepenhoff’s brother Joe Riepenhoff gave his fraternal support.

The projector takes center stage at the Green Gallery East for the Gavin Brown installation. Photo by Michael Horne.

The projector takes center stage at the Green Gallery East for the Gavin Brown installation. Photo by Michael Horne.

Other “artists/gallerists/filmmakers/writers” included Nicholas Frank, Frankie Latina, Randy Russell, Cody Frei, Ashley Janke, Eddie Villanueva, Keith Nelson, and Shane Walsh and David Robbins. Kat Murrell, TCD art writer, was there, perhaps gathering impressions for an upcoming review.

Lynden employees Miguel Ramirez, a recent MIAD graduate and Braden Baer, a MIAD senior, were accompanied by what Morris called “a boatload of MIAD students and recent grads.”

It was a Happening.

Afterwards, the party resumed, minus the projection, but in other respects the same, at Circle A with DJs Matthew Higgs and Spencer Sweeney.

The projection will be on display through March 2nd, 2014. Contact the gallery for hours and details. 1 414 226-1978. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GreenGalleryEast

Categories: Art

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