Goulding the Lolly at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in New York
Goulding the Lolly is a group exhibition showing (closes 30 July 2016) at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in New York. What follows is a text by the curator of the exhibition, Brian Belott.
I always loved copying paintings as a student; children’s art, Morandi, Guston, Van Gogh, Matisse, and so on. Copying a painting is like playing Mozart on the keyboard, and even when played badly, it is enough of a thrill. I imagined one day that I would curate a show with a handful of friends and ask them to impersonate or copy each others’ artwork. Rivalries would spark, unexpected roasts would come to a head, and scissors between peers would paper cut through any crossovers.
I have decided to avoid this peer pressure cooker for the time being. Hence, this show: why not attempt versions of good old master turfs? Updated notions rumble through the heap. Facsimiles of historical works from the canon can do so much more than the peanut gallery punching bag; it assassinates the ego. An artist can have their own meditations on something either irreplaceable or played out.
In the studio everyday, I’ve been listening to Glenn Gould playing his version of Bach, shining a flashlight on how wild Bach actually is. The “Goldberg Variations” is akin to the cosmic tornado of John Coltrane, or the volcanic licks of Jimmy Hendrix. They all seem to be talking in tongues, delivering an inhuman message from a far greater invisible source. What I realized was that half of what I was enjoying was actually Glenn Gould’s performance and personality penetrating the music, which includes his strange sighs and mummy murmurs.
He was channeling Bach yes, but it was so indelibly “Gould” that it was like no other Bach recordings ever made; neither clichéd, locked inside an aesthetic nostalgia nor academic numb dust.
I invited a number of artists whom I admire to take on this proposition and suggested that they approach it in any way they see fit. Water McBeer Gallery has made a miniature version of the GBE Grand Street space that will act as a key, so that these newly “Goulded Lollies” can be likened to their monumental originals by the viewer.
Artists include: Darren Bader, Yevgeniya Baras, Gina Beavers, Katherine Bernhardt, Bobo, Melissa Brown, Nicholas Buffon, Alex Chaves, Angela Dufresne, James Benjamin Franklin, Billy Grant, Jesse Greenberg, EJ Hauser, Jamian Juliano-Villani, Josh Kline, Christopher Knowles, Ajay Kurian, Eric Mack, Water McBeer Gallery, Annie Pearlman, Scott Reeder, Tyson Reeder, Spencer Sweeney, Torey Thornton
Gavin Brown’s Enterprise – 291 Grand Street, third floor, New York
30 June – 30 July 2016