Sunday, June 5, 2011

Asher Penn, "2005," at Ground Floor Workshop, Brooklyn

Installation view of Asher Penn's "2005" at Ground Floor Workshop, Brooklyn, New York, June 3, 2011.

An Inspectah Deck T-shirt: Gang Starr, "Above the Clouds" (featuring Inspectah Dek), 1998

New York–based artist Asher Penn is one of today's most interesting — some might say most flagrant — appropriators. He has used magazine images in paintings, adorned portraits of Kate Moss with Rorschach blots, and bedecked skateboards with Diane Arbus photos. (A show of those latter works was canceled after Arbus's estate objected.) In his latest exhibiton, at Williamsburg's Ground Floor Workshop, Penn steals from more low-key sources. One wall of the unusual corridor space is lined with extra-large T-shirts — thrift-store finds — hanging on long wood dowels, a method of presentation borrowed from Hermann Nitsch, who often hangs his effluvia–soaked robes in the same way after performances, Penn explains in the press release. Along the other wall are crayon rubbings the artist made against a stretch of sidewalk carved, in long, bold strokes, with the number "2005." "My first guess was that someone graduating from High School did it," Penn writes. Attacking his paper with bright patches of color, he captures one anonymous gestural act in the process of creating another, a copy as mysterious as its original.

Free Bert: Hockey player Todd Bertuzzi, who was suspended from the NHL in 2004 for punching an opposing player, Steve Moore, from behind.

Asher Penn, "2005"
Through June 19, 2011
Ground Floor Workshop
327 Grand Street
Brooklyn, New York

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