“It’s gonna take a lotta love” is a group exhibition that explores ideas about inclusivity, authenticity, and commonality in an age of anxiety, isolated individualism, and virtually lived experience. The show is on view from March 7 – May 24, 2015, and is curated by Liza Statton and Terri C. Smith. A free public reception will take place on Saturday, March 7th from 6:00-8:00pm with member VIP reception from 5:00-6:00pm.
The artists in “It’s gonna take a lotta love” intentionally avoid many of the sensationalist strategies used by the culture and advertising industries, Rather than critiquing these methods of slick production, elaborate fabrication, and massive scale through ironic appropriation, they make art that focuses on the aesthetic and conceptual potential of the everyday.
These artists also share a type of tragic-comic vision of contemporary culture. Humor, joy, and melancholy, among others, mix easily in their work. Such emotional credibility creates a slippage between empathy and alienation. Some artists create this slippage by making and re-making objects using seemingly inconsequential materials.
Wayne White paints witty and sometimes biting phrases on found paintings of pastoral landscapes and rustic barns. Andy Coolquitt resituates familiar materials such as vinyl records, lightbulbs, synthetic shag fabric, and books-on-tape into installations that are inspired by functions and spaces outside of the gallery. His works articulate a tension between the familiarity of our real lives and the exclusive domain of the white cube gallery. Whiting Tennis creates drawings, paintings and sculptures that pit Modernist art’s fascination with pure form against an intentionally personal mode of a hobbiest aesthetic that wrestles with ideas of concealment and containment.
Other artists such as Jon Campbell, Stephen Vitiello, and Jeremy Deller create subtle interventions using everyday language and music. Deller’s poster “Attention all DJs” takes on the form of a handwritten sign with tongue-in-cheek instructions for DJs. Jon Campbell’s “four letter word flags” brightly declare words like “Yeah,” “Home,” and “Want.” By inserting his word flags between country, state, or corporate flags in a city, Campbell prompts passerby’s to ask if the words we all use are worthy of a public format usually saved for pagentry or branding. Stephen Vitiello’s sound works in “It’s gonna take a lotta love” appropriate commercial music from well known singers. With “Dolly Ascending” Vitiello slows down Dolly Parton singing “Stairway to Heaven” to the point where it sounds like choral music. In A.L. Steiner + Robbinschild’s “C.L.U.E. Part I” video two women perform dance infused movements in backdrops of natural and built environments, connecting color, action, attitude, and environment in a straightforward way that includes the audience in their choreographed antics.
Two of the exhibiting artists, Andy Coolquitt and Jon Campbell, have been commisioned to make new works for “It’s gonna take a lotta love.” In the gallery, Coolquitt, whose assemblages reconsider the materials we unconsciously engage with, will be creating a new mixed media installation entitled “oo oo.” Australian artist Jon Campbell has been commissioned to make new works for the exhibition. His gallery contributions include a “four letter word” mural and a set list painting, which is based on a Melbourne band’s 1984 performance. Campbell extends his painting practice into the public sphere with an ambitious installation in Downtown Stamford, his first in the United States. Campbell, who is interested in representing “the overlooked and undervalued,” will design and exhibit flags and banners with the words: Hold, Home, Look, Play, Want, and Yeah. The works will be mounted on existing flagpoles in public parks, at office buildings, and on construction fences throughout Downtown.
Getting There: Franklin Street Works is located at 41 Franklin Street in downtown Stamford, Connecticut, near the UConn campus and less than one hour from New York City via Metro North. Franklin Street Works is approximately one mile (a 15 minute walk) from the Stamford train station. On street parking is available on Franklin Street (metered until 6 pm except on Sunday), and paid parking is available nearby in a lot on Franklin Street and in the Summer Street Garage (100 Summer Street), behind Target. The art space and café are open to the public on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday: 12:00pm – 5:00pm with extended hours on Thursdays, 12:00pm – 7:00pm. Franklin Street Works does not charge for admission during regular gallery hours.