In THE DOMESTIC ARTS BUILDING - Main Gallery (through September 22, 2013), GFS showcases Pepón Osorio's Where the Me Becomes We. Osorio is best known for multimedia works that combine elements of popular culture, domestic life and performance in order to address political and cultural issues concerning Latino and other immigrant communities in the United States. Moving to New York in 1975, Osorio spent five years as a social worker in the Bronx and, influenced by this experience, became interested in how art can effect social change. Using a visual vocabulary that incorporates the colorful plethora of pop cultural knickknacks associated with a Latino aesthetic of embellishment and decoration, his work points up how issues of race, class, and economy affect the value that we place upon objects and images.
In the MUSEUM BUILDING - Main Gallery (through October 6, 2013), GFS showcases Jason Peters' Less Than <> More Than. Peters' site-specific installations are the products of a systematic process involving in equal measure the conceptual, the formal, and the physical. He approaches each space with several possible concepts knowing that fabricating the work on site might alter how he assembles his materials into forms. In the large-scale environment that Peters created for the Museum's south gallery, the original purpose of his commonly manufactured and found materials are almost obscured as they seem to defy gravity and multiply through some bizarre organic force. Recycled metal chair frames entwined with the glow of standard lighting provide viewers with delightful surprise encounters that challenge perceptions and expectations and invite them to experience the space in new ways.
In the DOMESTIC ARTS BUILDING - Mezzanine Gallery (through September 22, 2013) GFS showcases Jonathan Shahn's Heads in Wood and Plaster. Since the early 1960s, Jonathan Shahn has been exploring the human figure through drawings and sculptures. In this exhibition, his heads in two materials - wood and plaster - and related drawings brilliantly illuminate Shahn's artistic range. The carved wood heads, embellished with marker or white-out, have classical, timeless quality. The molded plaster heads range in size - many are quite small - and the artist has used paint and other substances to articulate their surfaces. Many of the plaster heads and a few of the wood heads are encased in boxes and list from above, adding drama to their appearance. Shahn's heads concisely capture the manifestations of demeanor, expression, mood, and features revealed by his subjects, whether real or imaginary.
In the MUSEUM BUILDING - Main Gallery (through October 6, 2013), GFS showcases Jo Yarrington's The Leap. Like Peters, Yarrington was invited to create a site-specific installation for the Museum Building. Yarrington covers the north end of the building's 144 windows with overlapping transparent photographic images - from the New Jersey State Fair 100 years ago and from the building's renovation and re-purposing 20 years ago - through which is seen the site as it appears today. Sunlight passing through the windows ignites these images, creating ever changing projections into the building interior. The gallery is transformed into a place of wonder, hovering between interior and exterior, past and present, real and imagined. The title, The Leap, was inspired by a photograph from the Fair of a daredevil act, which Yarrington sees as a metaphor for the courage required, specifically of the artist and generally of humankind, to take enormous risks, to leap into the unknown toward a vision of what might be, which has brought about humankind's greatest achievements.
In THE EAST GALLERY, Ming Fay's Canutopia, a massive mystical, visionary garden utopia, remains on view through July, 2013 and is the premier exhibition in the new 7,500 sq. ft. space.
IN THE MEADOW
For its second major exhibition, The Meadow features two bold and engaging exhibitions; one a sumptuous feast and the other a fantastical tapestry of "mythic" proportion.
THRE3 will feature three of the large steel sculptures of Arcs and Indeterminate Lines by Bernar Venet, winner of the International Julio González Prize for the year of 2013; Patrick Strzelec's BALL JOINT shows together for the first time six of his industrial but metaphorical metal forms; and the whimsical and thought-provoking large-scale sculptures in Robert Taplin's Further History of Punch, to complement Taplin's Punch in The Museum Building. These include "The Young Punch Goes Shopping with His Mother" (2010), and "Punch is Homeless" (2012), a major new outdoor work commissioned for this exhibition.
MYTHOS: Visions from Mythology and Legend reveals the explorations by eight artists into human imagination and mythmaking to explain our universe, condition, and plight. Representing a wide variety of mythological themes and sculptural mediums, Mythos contains over 20 works by Dana Stewart, Michele Oka Doner, Nina Levy, Bruce Lindsay, and Marsha Pels. A companion exhibition in The Museum Building includes two models for major works - Athena Tacha's "Labrynthos," a site-specific earthwork sculpture based on the archetype of the labyrinth and Bruce Lindsay's "Sisyphus," an earthen sculpture and figure based on the myth of the doomed king - as well as interpretive materials for Carlos Dorrien's "The Nine Muses," on view in the park.