OPENING RECEPTION: June 29 | 7-9PM
ON VIEW: June 30 - August 6, 2017
CURATED BY: Elizabeth Ferrer, VP of Contemporary Art
BRIDGES is a solo exhibition of work by noted Brooklyn-based artist Sam Messer. The exhibition reveals the breadth of Messer’s body of work and includes large-scale paintings of New York City’s iconic bridges, portrait drawings, and animated videos from Messer’s Years of the Cock, comprised of one video made daily in response to President Trump’s first 100 days in office. While the Years of the Cock videos provide trenchant commentary on politics of the moment, for Messer, the bridges have both physical and metaphorical appeal: “They are succinct and quite beautiful, and bring people together,” he explains.
Messer is an artist best known for his sustained series of paintings in collaboration with writers like Paul Auster, Jonathan Safran Foer, and Denis Johnson. If this body of work represents a departure for Messer, it is above all, a turn to the political—a desire to focus his artistic talents on responding to our current political climate. The pieces in this exhibition are varied: paintings of New York’s bridges, sketches of a wide range of people in Messer’s sphere, a series of video animations on the Trump presidency, and evocations of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. The through line? A desire to speak about community, democracy and embracing humanity.”
ABOUT SAM MESSER
Sam Messer received a B.F.A. from Cooper Union in 1976 and an M.F.A. from Yale University in 1982. He is represented by Nielsen Gallery, Boston, and Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Los Angeles. His work may be found in public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Art Institute of Chicago, and Yale University Art Gallery. Mr. Messer has received awards including a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation grant in 1984, the Engelhard Award in 1985, a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant in 1993, and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1996. He has recently collaborated with Paul Auster on The Story of My Typewriter, and with Denis Johnson on Cloud of Chalk. He was appointed senior critic at Yale in 1994 and in 2005 was appointed associate dean and professor (adjunct). He also serves as director of the art division of the Yale Summer School of Music and Art in Norfolk.
ASSOCIATED PUBLIC PROGRAMS
June 29 | 7-9PM: Opening Reception - free and open to the public!
July 12 | 7PM: In Conversation: Sam Messer and Garnette Cadogan
The artist sits down with essayist and journalist Garnette Cadogan to discuss his life, art, and walking.
July 19 | 7PM: Drawn Together: An Evening of Portrait Drawing
Bring your pencils and sketch book for an evening of community portrait-drawing night where participants are both the artist and subject of one another’s drawings. Sam Messer and other professional artists will take part.
July 26 | 7PM: An Evening with Vernon Reid
An evening of music with the Grammy-award winning guitarist, songwriter, photographer, and composer, Vernon Reid. Messer is a long-time collaborator with Reid, a Bed-Stuy native and founding member of Living Colour.
August 2 | 7-10PM: Summer Art Social
Celebrate the summer with BRIC's contemporary art program during our fourth annual Summer Art Social! Open studios, performance art, art-making, tasty treats, music by DJs Adam R and Oscar Nñ from Papi Juice and more!
The 3,000 square-foot Gallery in BRIC House has soaring 18-foot ceilings that permit major exhibitions focusing on emerging and mid-career artists and curators.
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