January 15 – March 18, 2000
Nicholas Lowie and Sheridan Lowrey created a single installation of two exhibitions that were each comprised of a series of sculptures that collectively offer a subjective history of twentieth century western art and product design. Characterized by the combination and awkward proximity of unique artwork and iconic examples of 20th century product design, this piece has the unusual necessity for one title in two parts. Together, the titles imply that two exhibitions have merged into one, exemplifying a larger cultural phenomenon of the collapsing of the moment of image production, its reception, and dissemination (as happens, for example, in cyberspace). The installation takes on a complicated role as a site for the convergence of art history, contemporary art as appropriation, conventions of exhibition and display, and debates surrounding 20th century architecture. Indeed, the artists feel that, “the impulse to name the project as an exhibition, installation, sculpture, or architecture is challenged by the work itself…a reading of the project forces a critical reevaluation of the cultural definitions of those terms.”
According to the artists, “The objects have multiple narratives, most obviously as both noted designs and artworks; but they also host multiple authors — combinations of a cheesegrater, table, and chair are shared among four artists. Additionally, the objects are models of the images and texts, and vice versa. As Levine’s Black Newborn ‘casts Duchamp’s and Brancusi’s stories together,’ or as her Chimera: After a Broken Leg employs the Eames’s splint for a leg broken by Duchamp’s Trap, this project combines and extends the conceptual narratives of the artists shown by allowing all their concerns for the relationship between artwork and base to encompass the dilemmas between art and text, quite literally evidencing the fact that reproduction and criticism are the supports upon which sculpture sits, and vice versa.”
Nicholas Lowie and Sheridan Lowrey are practicing graphic designers and teach architecture and related subjects at various institutions.