Despite the success of last summer’s six-part, art-shuffling exhibition, “Future Developments,” David Petersen insists his small, white-box gallery isn’t really suited to group exhibitions. Not enough room to really breath, maybe.
But it seems appropriate if the pieces the gallery’s current group exhibition practically rub up against each other like pages in a zine. “Windows” was organized by Brooklyn-based artist Adam Marnie, who also publishes F Magazine — a biannual “magazine as exhibit, or potential exhibit,” as Petersen put it — and also curates a series of group shows that, like the magazine, typically riff on a theme or dynamic.
“It’s kind of like a traveling roadshow, in a way,” Petersen said.
In the case of “Windows,” riffs on ways of seeing and perception — and the ways framing and context can change the meaning of what is seen — run through the photographs, sculptures, paintings and other works.
In one piece, Rose Marcus layers photographic images to evoke layers of history — in this case, a modern New York City park that, according to legend, was the site of Manhattan’s “purchase” from its native inhabitants in 1626.
Aaron Aujla’s small oil painting of an apartment interior warmly illuminated by the sunlight angling through a window contains a mysterious vertical strip that seems to depict a different apartment, but maybe the dangling light fixture and the darkened hallway beyond it are the reverse view, reflected in a mirror.
In Raina Hamner’s surreal colored-pencil drawing, a pair of eyes are reflected in a pool of tears, and disembodied lips and fingers are similarly doubled. A border of theatrical masks and Betty Boop-style cartoon faces (each with a darker skin tone than the original Betty, a character likely inspired by African-American performers) amplify its artful campiness.
On the gallery’s floor is a found-object piece by the New York City artists known as NOWORK, who purchased a roughly 3-foot-tall leather-skinned model elephant from a shop in their neighborhood. Blackened and torn after years on the street, it’s presented as it arrived, in its shipping crate. The crate is frame of sorts for an object abruptly transformed into art, but it also resembles a cage.
Where: David Petersen Gallery, 2018 Lyndale Ave. S
When: Through June 17