Lost in Music

Sean Duffy · Dzine · Erik Hanson · Nadine Robinson · Jude Tallichet

The last decade has seen a resurgence of artists working with music as inspiration, both metaphorically and conceptually.  The five artists in Lost in Music draw on the history of popular music, experimental sound and installation art.  This exhibition reflects a generation of artists seeking to move freely between disciplines.

Sean Duffy’s work, rooted in California conceptualism and indebted to the Los Angeles entertainment industry, synthesizes cultural critique, formal concerns and a range of media to engage audiences.  His JCCC installation Waiting is a conversation between three similar objects and a potential conversation between three visitors to the gallery.  Viewers are invited to sit at one of three benches and play any of seven albums provided.  96 low wattage speakers are spread out over the ceiling, their cables forming a web of tangled wire that mirrors the confused, yet somewhat organic nature of the sound presented, as well as the barrage of anonymous music which we encounter daily. 

Chicago-based artist Dzine creates abstract paintings that deal with themes of sound, color, line, poetry, and identity.  Dzine has worked for years straddling the boundary between art and music and continues to collaborate with an international roster of DJs and musicians.  His paintings are comprised of abstract, biological, morphing forms that vibrate with intense color. Dzine’s most recent work incorporates tiny glass beads to give his work a layered and vibrant jewel-like effect.

New York-based artist, Erik Hanson refers to pop songs and albums as personal markers, as well as the source for making sculpture.  In the installation My Love Life, Hanson combines the music that he associates with past and present lovers, whom are represented by park signs.  The recorded music that was influential to him during the time of their relationship is represented as birch logs made of records instead of wood at their core.  Intentionally hand-crafted, Hanson’s work attempts the full embodiment of a song’s personal and collective nostalgia.  Hanson will be in residence at the gallery creating an accompanying large scale (12 x 40 foot) wall mural.   

Known for her large-scale sculpture and sound installations, New York-based artist Nadine Robinson has situated herself at the crossroads of the modernist canon and the African American hip-hop aesthetic.  She works within a sleek and minimal vocabulary, combining hip-hop sounds, DJ equipment and unconventional materials in a way that challenges our definitions of painting, beauty and social class in post-industrial society.  Big Baby Blue, Version Three is an interactive work which functions as both a sound system and a minimalist painting.  Baby Blue refers to the color used on the landmark Sugar Hill Records label, which produced the first hip-hop record. 

New York-based artist Jude Tallichet builds sculptures, and in some cases monuments, to architectural forms that incorporate sound or music – infusing icons of modernism with humor or subversive intentions.  Here, Tallichet presents a new, silent, illuminated sculpture that hangs high from the ceiling: an upside down, pink pearlescent snare drum-set.  Gendered more female than male, the drum-set (based on her own) also functions as an exalted abstract form reminiscent of early Constructivist or Kinetic sculpture.  The form performs visually without being heard. 

Essays by Doug Harvey, James Yood, Lia Gangitano, Paul Laster and Matt Freedman.