Of the many summer exhibitions which recently opened in New York, “Someone has Stolen Our Tent” at Simon Preston Gallery stands out. A screen by Damien Roach floats at the entrance, filtering the exhibition through rose (or red) colored lenses, an apt introduction to the perceptual shifts occurring throughout the show.
For this exhibition, curator Paula Naughton (who has worked predominantly with video and works on screen) chose to show sculpture, photographs and paintings. The work by artists Steven Baldi, Frank Heath, Zak Kitnick and Damien Roach may be still objects, but they suggest kinetic force fields and temporal possibilities beyond their physical forms. Baldi created a poster announcement for the exhibition and painting of the same design. Partway through the show, a new painting with the same information will replace the previous one. Frank Heath’s sculpture of a plastic sorting tray (used at banks) is bisected in two, with one part sent to (and returned from) a defunct bank address, connecting notions of the obsolete and unusable object with art. Zak Kitnick’s organizational systems turn the minimalist grid on its diagonal. The pattern suggests functionality without offering a way to decipher its purpose and behaves as a filter for viewing other images, similar to Damien Roach’s floating screens. A second piece by Roach, a two-way mirror, hangs in the middle of the gallery obscuring two of his own photographs and reflecting Kitnick’s work (and the viewer’s own distorted image).
“Someone has Stolen Our Tent” is puzzling and witty show that offers clues with each inspection. The exhibition runs June 21 – August 4th at Simon Preston Gallery.