For Its 2020 New York Edition, SPRING/BREAK Will Take Over Ralph Lauren’s Former HQ With an Ode to Excess
Curators will go wild with the broad theme of consumerism, close to the birthplace of American advertising.
The roving SPRING/BREAK Art Show is on the move yet again. For the ninth edition of the beloved, curator-focused fair, artists will present their works within the former Madison Avenue offices of classic American fashion brand Ralph Lauren.
Fair founders and directors Andrew Gori and Ambre Kelly pounced on the space—provided courtesy of SLGreen and Atlantic Production Center, a new facility supporting art and cultural events at 625 Madison Avenue—because it seemed perfectly suited for this year’s consumerist-driven theme, “IN EXCESS.”
“The seed of American advertising was engendered on Madison Avenue,” Gori told Artnet News. “No better fit for our theme existed.”
That theme, of course, is both weighty and topical. “All of us are deeply entrenched in dread about the future of the political landscape—anyone who is following the election cycle is considering the potential of two billionaires [Donald Trump and Michael Bloomberg] facing off in the presidential race,” added Gori. “And then there’s the realization that excess and commodities are resulting in climate change.”
The husband-and-wife duo came up with the idea over the summer, appreciating that it was a concept that could be expressed both visually—with heavily embellished works in hyper-saturated, almost garish colors—and thematically, with artworks that express nuanced concerns about consumerism and other cultural excesses.
The concept got a test drive this past weekend at the fair’s sophomore outing in Los Angeles, which featured 50 curatorial projects staged within a former textile manufacturing space in the old LA Terminal Market, now called ROW DTLA.
There was Benjamin Cabral’s neon- and sequin-accented display of hand-beaded paintings and sculptures, curated by Lauren Powell—the figures’ wonky faces belying the work’s seemingly cheerful aesthetic, and speaking to the challenges of growing up with a mother undergoing years of cancer treatment.
Assaf Shaham’s “Taste of the Wild,” curated by Seymour Polatin, paired the artist’s mannequin sculptures with a year’s worth of processed foodstuffs—each bearing an expiration date for a consecutive day in 2019, highlighting the flagrant wastefulness of the food industry.
A different sort of excess was present in Marina Heintze’s “Kama Shooter,” created by collaging the circular forms of shooting targets onto images of couples caught in various erotic poses. Curated by Leila Jarman, the works simultaneously glorify and critique sex and violence.
But perhaps most on the nose was the IV Gallery’s sold-out presentation of paintings by David “Mr Starcity” White. Titled “After Party,” it consisted of a series of portraits, each one memorializing a friend of the artist’s who was lost to drug or alcohol abuse.
Hung on bright blue walls, the installation was enlivened by empty liquor bottles and a mirrored table with a massive pile of what appears to be cocaine, a stark warning about the dark side of Hollywood’s seemingly glamorous nightlife.
In New York, Gori is particularly looking forward to a booth curated by painter Julie Curtiss of surrealist work by Margaux Valengin that explores historic themes.
“Julie showed at SPRING/BREAK 2017 and has had a monumental ascent in the art world since then,” said Gori. “We really love it when artists put forward another artist—it was the sculptor Hein Koh who curated Julie’s work and helped her cement her own name with her own work. It’s inspiring that Julie is now doing the same thing.”
It should be intriguing to see how the SPRING/BREAK’s newest site will affect the look and feel of the fair itself. The nomadic event has staged previous editions in a series of unconventional venues, including St. Patrick’s Old School in Soho; the decommissioned post office on West 34th Street; the old Condé Nast offices at 4 Times Square; and 866 UN Plaza, the former home of the Finnish and Liberian Embassies.
See the list of the curators for SPRING/BREAK’s 2019 New York edition below.
Abigail Ogilvy Gallery
Alessandra De Benedetti
Andrew Cole + Grace Lerner
Anna Cone + Victoria-Idongesit Udondian
Anna Zorina Gallery
Anthony Haden-Guest + Jicky Schnee + Nin Brudermann
BRIC Arts Center
Cade Tompkins Projects
Cami Ledy + Tyler C. Reese
Casey Droege + Corey Escoto
Christine Park Gallery
Clare Kambhu + Kyle Utter
Courtney Childress + Eliot Greenwald
Danni O’Brien + Kenzie Wells
Dave Schnell + Tahl Mayer
The Directed Art Modern
Dominic Terlizzi + Christine Stiver + Thomas Dahlberg
Elisabeth Ivers + Ann Toebbe
Elliott De Cesare
Emily McElwreath + Evan Pepper
Jac Lahav + Eli Bronner
Jacob Rhodes + Rachel Frank + Kristen Racaniello
Jane Ursula Harris + Liz Collins
Jenny Mushkin Goldman + Monica King
John Cheim + Stephen Truax
Kari Adelaide + Vanessa Albury + John Brooks
Kate Bae + Rachel Sydlowski + Kirstin Lamb
Langer Over Dickie
Lizzie Renfrew Vogt
Madeleine Bialke + Ali Rossi
Marie Salomé Peyronnel
Marisa Newman Projects
Megan C. Austin + Ashlie Flood
Megan Maguire Steele
Mindy Soloman Gallery
Min Sun Jeon
Monica King Contemporary
Nadia Tahoun + Rachel Bass
New Art Projects
New York Artist Equity
River House Arts
Sarah Fuhrman + Chris D’Acunto
Yen Yen + Rachel Gisela Cohen
The SPRING/BREAK Art Show NYC will be on view at 625 Madison Avenue, New York, March 4–9, 2020.
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