The DART Board: 06.19.2019

By Peggy Roalf   Wednesday June 19, 2019

Editor's note: This week’s “Over the Fold” feature,  Object Form: Thomas Stavovy, is adapted from an exhibition review by sculptor Marco Palli.

The Box | Thomas Stavovy, the current artist in residency in the Dumbo Sculpture Studio and Gallery of the New York Studio School (NYSS), recently opened his doors for The Dumbo Open Studios. This exhibition (which continues through June 29) explores the stated “Object Form,” revealing the artist’s interest in the “process of making,” as well as an unconventional approach to display or “presentation.” 

The predominant sculptural element is plaster that has been cast from reclaimed cardboard boxes. However, the artist also uses clay, paper, and found materials such as wood, paneling, wire, and conduit. Due to the constructive nature of these materials, which are more common at the hardware store than the artist’s supply store, one is instinctively provoked to question the “how was it made” aspects of the works. The materials do not always play a structural role—and the work offers abundant details that may pass unseen until they surprise you—some of which may be the result of structural plans that were left off halfway into the making, as well as details that have been carefully orchestrated from the very beginning of the fabrication.

In a side gallery, the artist displays a variety of works at varied scales: small and medium-sized, along with “The Minotaur” (left), a larger work standing directly on the floor. Mr. Stavovy has placed this grouping close to the walls in a semi-circular arrangement, in which the viewer could place her/himself in the center of the assembly surrounded by the works. This “inversion” of order, in terms of presentation, contributes to understand the artist’s dialogue between objecthood and personhood. 

The smaller pieces present something that feels personal and intimate, perhaps internal spaces, where the word “home” comes to mind, perhaps “aha!” moments, and even vast spaces contained in tiny models that feel monumental. While on the other end of the spectrum, the larger works reveal the artist’s focus on construction, together with a master workman-like dedication whose forbearance seems obsessed with absolute verticality and horizontality deemed evident in “The Minotaur.” Even when there is a diagonal element, or an arabesque component in dynamic instability, this element finds its significance in the vertical and horizontal parameters established elsewhere in the work.  Thus, here lies a reaffirmation of the tradition within the artist’s work, no matter how deconstructed the horizontal and its chum perpendicular may appear, the king remains king: the box. 

The artist’s constructive rigor and engagement with gravity can be compared to that of the builders of the ancient pyramids. However, while the pyramids were meant to last for eternity, these works by Mr. Stavovy seem to be meant to exist only for the present. 

The cumulative effect of contemplating these works, internalizing their material characteristics and process, together with the juxtaposition between intention and accident, make Mr. Stavovy’s work hard to define, label, or compare. The rigor to which these objects have been subjected, paired with their apparent transience, transports the viewer to a place apart from anecdote. This body of work connects to the tradition of Arte Povera, offering the viewer an opportunity to travel to a place out of time, urging to engage the work intellectually, apprehending the physical truth embodied by the object. 

Object Form: Thomas Stavovy, presented by the New York Studio School of Sculpture, Drawing and Painting/Dumbo Studios, 20 Jay Street #307, has been extended through July 29th, 2019. To schedule a visit please email Photos and text © copyright and courtesy Marco Palli


This Week in New York City and Beyond

Continuing: New York Academy of Art Summer 2019 Exhibition |  curated by Ben Davis, Peter Plagens, and Christine Wachter-Campbell. New York Academy of Art, 111 Franklin Street, NY, NY Info

Continuing: The Pride Sale Exhibition, through June 20. Swann Galleries, 104 East 25thStreet, NY, NY Info

Wednesday, June 19

Begins today: LMCC River to River 2019, numerous venuesthrough June 29. Select features: The Reflection Project with Yoko Ono, Yoko Ono's Add Color (Refugee Boat), Pam Tanowitz's Time is forever dividing itself toward innumerable futures, NIC Kay's pushit!!, and Tribeca Art+Culture Night. All River To River events are free. Info

Opening: Collision/Coalition presents commissioned works by Oscar Murillo at The Shed, NY. 545 West 30thStreet, NY, NY Info

Pride party: LGBTQ & Friends | We Contain Multitudes,7-9 pm. Live music, curator talks, wine bar and spoken work curated by Nuyorican Poets Café. The Morgan Library and Museum, 225 Madison Avenue, NY, NYInfo

Artist talk: BAM and Aperture present: Ethan James Green| Young New York. A conversation withDara Allen, Marcs Goldberg and Matt Holmes.Moderated by Michael Schulman, 7:30 pm. BAM Fisher Fishman Space, 321 Ashland Place, Brooklyn, NY Info

Thursday, June 20

Happening: Tribeca Art + Culture Night, 6-9 pm.Exhibitions, Tours, Workshops, Live Performances & Talks @ 25+ different Tribeca venues. Info

Launch event: BravinLee Editions, in collaboration with Perrotin Gallery, present Cercles fractionnés (tapis) by Argentinian artist Julio Le Parc, 6-8 pm. Perrotin Bookstore, 130 Orchard Street, NY, NY Info

Julio Le Parc,  Cercles fractionnés (tapis), this week at Perrotin Bookstore

Opening: Poster House, the first poster Museum in the United States opens with a survey of the works of Alphonse Mucha.

Opening: Muscle Memory | Jeanne Ciravolo, Melanie Klimjack, Luke Seward, 

and River Somam; Summer Longing Never Fades | Tommy Kha, Elissa  Medina, Joe Nanashe, 

and Ruben Natal-San Miguel,  6-8pm. LMAK Gallery, 298 Grand Street, NY, NY Info

Opening: Circles and Squares | 41 Artists, 6-8 pm. Rick Wester Fine Art, 526 West 26thStreet, #417, NY, NY Info

Joseph Burwell | (decrypted) micro-myths, 6-8 pm. Miyako Yoshinaga, 547 West 27thStreet, NY, NY Info

Opening: Ellen Burnett | Dream House, and other stories, 6-8 pm. Viridian Artists, 548 West 28thStreet, NY, NY Info

Opening: Bard x HGG | curated by Stephen Shore, 6-8 pm. Howard Greenberg Gallery, 41 East 57thStreet, NY, NY Info

Opening: Allen Frame, Suddenly, 6-8 pm. Gitterman Gallery, 41 East 57thStreet, NY, NY Info

Opening: Lobster Dinner | Small works by 40+ artists,7-9 pm. Trestle Gallery, Sunset Park, Brooklyn, NY Info

Christine Osinski, from Summer Days, Staten Island, at Joseph Bellows Gallery

Friday, June 21

Opening: Green Zine and Photo Book Fair, 6-8 pm; fair continues Saturday and Sunday, noon to 6 pm. Baxter St at CCNY, 126 Baxter Street, NY, NY Info

Performance: Laura Ortman,7 pm. Biennial artist, a White Mountain Apache, celebrates the summer solstice in an installation created for the Hess Family Theater, closing on Sunday. The WhitneyMuseum of American Art, 99 Gansevoort Street, NY, NY Info

10-year Archway Anniversary Party: Art All Night: Light Years; Casey John Opstad sculptures; United Photoville artists; Gallery Cubed; food, drink and more all on the house. 80 Pearl Street, Brooklyn, NY Info

Saturday, June 22

Artist Talk: Cathie Bleck | Immersion,(organized by Sloan Fine Art)4 pm. Bert Greene Fine Art, 8 A. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL Info

Sunday, June 23

Closing: Elaine Reichek | Sight Unseen. Marinaro, 1 Oliver Street, NY, NY Info

Closing: Dance with Me | 20 women, curated by Kyle Staver. Zurcher Gallery, 33 Bleecker Street, NY, NY Info

Monday, June 24

Christine Osinski | Summer Days, Staten Island. Joseph Bellows Gallery, 7661 Girard Avenue, La Jolla, CA Info