© Meridith Pingree

Meridith Pingree: Worm Decoy, 2005
Power door lock actuators, hand-dyed fishnet stockings, toy motion sensors, wire, tacks, and wood; 38" x 72" x 12"

Set It Off

Anna Amadio
, Maria Bussmann, Monika Goetz, Olen Hsu, Meridith Pingree, Christoph Schreiber

James Nicholson Gallery is pleased to present its inaugural New York group exhibition "Set It Off." The exhibition features six emerging New York-based artists working in sculpture, drawing, installation and photography. This is the debut New York gallery exhibition for most of the artists.

Monika Goetz's site-specific installation transcends the boundaries between drawing and sculpture. Goetz makes a ragged cut through a large sheetrock wall, revealing a cool glowing light emanating from within it. This glowing horizon line can be perceived as an uncanny force lurking behind the gallery walls or as a symbol of optimism and inspiration. As the white light radiates from the white wall the viewer's perception is challenged to distinguish between what is tangible and what is ethereal.

Meridith Pingree's interactive sculptures similarly confound the viewer's expectations by physically tracking human presence within a space using homespun, reactive mechanisms. Employing sensors to detect people's energy and movement through a space, Pingree creates works that respond to the viewer. Like an aura camera or a mood ring, these pieces detect unseen aspects of our energy and display it quasiscientifically, painting an unconventional, intricate representation of a space, people, and time.

Olen Hsu builds weightless constructions - seemingly on the verge of melting - in paper, latex paint, porcelain, string, cloth, and tape. His installation produces faintly audible sound and makes references to obsolete, invented, or fragmented instruments: wilting music stands, a shell of a concert grand piano hanging from a single hook on the wall, and horns of various sizes gathered in bundles. The collection of these toneless, muffled objects evokes a profound sense of mystery and wonder.

Maria Bussmann's enigmatic drawings on long paper cash register rolls were created as part of Exit Art's "Praying Project" performance weekend in April 2005. During the course of an entire day, Bussmann sat at a table and "performed praying" by making seemingly endless drawings of litanies - a series of liturgical prayers, some of them hundreds of years old. For Bussmann, the focus on something beyond our figural imagination that is embodied in prayer corresponds to her ongoing interest in expressing typically invisible and unseen subjects - such as thoughts - in her drawings.

Anna Amadio's large-scale, brilliantly colored drawings simultaneously reveal and conceal the images, clippings, and copies she uses as creative source material. Amadio first creates templates made of hardened glue that are placed under the paper. Using felt-tip and color pencils, she rubs the paper with rapid, almost dizzying strokes in a frottage technique. Initially, the drawings appear to be free, unorganized compositions, and only gradually do the interlocking layers become legible. Like differently remembered versions of a scene, fragmented situations appear: birds startled by a storm, figures chopping wood, a jungle, chairs flying - all in vibrating structures and strong, glowing colors. Amadio's work brings together the controlled methods of detailed drawing with the free, expressive movement of action painting.

Similarly, the photographs of Swiss artist Christoph Schreiber appear both recognizable and yet eerily peculiar. In his work, Schreiber uses digital techniques to manipulate everyday settings to create an unfamiliar reality. By altering commonplace situations in almost imperceptible ways, Schreiber creates an anxiety in the viewer who experiences a reality somewhat amiss. As he subtly composes his landscapes, Schreiber forces us to question what we assume about our environments.

James Nicholson Gallery was founded in 2003 in San Francisco with an initial focus on photography and video work. With the gallery's move to New York the program is expanding to encompass artists working in all media.

Exhibition: October 6 - December 3, 2005
Gallery hours: Tues-Sat 11 am - 6 pm

James Nicholson Gallery
547 West 27th Street, 2nd Floor
USA-New York, NY 10001
Telephone +1 212 967 5700
Fax +1 212 967 2769
Email mail@nicholsongallery.com