When that ultimate Mediterranean light fell on the world around me, I could see it was supremely beautiful; but when it touched me, I felt it was hostile.
–John Fowles, The Magus
“The human frame. There is a moment for every visitor to Today’s Weather, Ian Lawrence Campbell and David Muenzer’s collaborative show at Sit and Read, where the image before one’s eyes — Campbell’s glowing grid of pastels-on-found-Polaroids, or any of the duo’s cunningly reworked found oil paintings — glimmers for an instant like a glitch in perception. The show’s serenity suddenly gives way. Then it’s back with its rocking chair, eclipses of fruit, windswept landscapes. The pictures are clearly vintage and also clearly, mysteriously, vastly improved. No ghost is required to do the housekeeping, the artists have stepped right in.
Campbell began playing with this concept of improving found pictures when he started applying pastel to old baseball cards, and with practice he was transforming figurative imagery, ending with or discovering incredible color fields. His colorful gestures released innate colorful gestures. Soon the artists, old college friends whose friendship has been marked by aesthetic experimentation, were shopping at flea markets, thrift stores, and other spots of abandonment and commerce, looking for paintings that could be duly transformed, improved, renewed. The main criteria for choosing a piece to work on, was seeing value in it. Value meant both future potential and past almost-ness: the chosen paintings shared the mark of a trained or at least talented hand run amok. Muenzer explains: usually the problem was excess.
Dedicated to the improvement of these pictures, Campbell and Muenzer gave themselves over to the laborious task of matching colors, feelings, textures, remaking the paintings in the paintings’ own images. It was a perfect fit with Kyle Garner of Sit and Read’s reclaimed, refashioned furnishings. When Garner asked Campbell about showing in the furniture-showroom-turned-rare-book-room-turned-project-space-and-gallery, Today’s Weather came quickly to mind. Today’s weather hasn’t been forecast, isn’t on the screen. Or it has already been forecast a thousand times, night after night. Face to face. Oil on oil. There’s a point where even light eats away at the ancient frame.” – Ari Messer
Thursday, September 1st (6-9pm)
Sit and Read
236 Grand Street
Brooklyn New York