This is an archive of the ArtCat Zine, 2007-2009. Please visit our new project, IDIOM.
A Muzzle of Bees
Curated by Tom Brauer
33 Bond - 33 Bond St, New York NY
6 September - 13 October 2007
The press release of A Muzzle of Bees, a group show curated by artist Tom Brauer currently on view at 33 Bond, promises to offer strategies to “fight loneliness, isolation, and seclusion” — all topics related to the titular Wilco song and the 2004 album on which it was released. Some artists in the show do this better than others, but all seem to take an introspective approach, seeking out answers to the aforementioned loneliness from the insides of their studios, within the comfortable perimeters of studio practice. Lisha Bai, for instance, turns to art history and industrial processes with her clever sculptural installations, one a clear acrylic rectangular box filled with layers of dyed sand, the other a checkered floor mat. The latter piece in particular is a success, at once employing a sort of easy Bridget Riley reference while subverting the preciousness of the historical work by the fact of its material composition: linoleum — an inexpensive material commonly found lining the floors of pre-50s offices and kitchens, and sometimes entire lower-income apartments. Installing this it on the floor of the gallery itself, Bai invites viewers to step all over the work.
Karla Wozniak’s work depicts a dull Fulton Street mall billboard painted in an expressive style that does more to transcend the advertisement’s shallow promises of mobility and freedom of (tele)communication than its own dated design. Nathan Redwood’s painting meanwhile shows a surreal, desert landscape in skewed perspective and molten gold seering from the ground. Tom Brauer’s mixed-media drawing depicts a blue map that is more fantasy than reality, its medley of seemingly found materials rising off the carefully worked and composed ground.