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  JO NIGOGHOSSIAN, DAVID SCANAVINO  
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  OCTOBER 28, 2010, 7–9 PM  
     
     
   
  PHOTO BY SAM FALLS  
     
 

The works by Jo Nigoghossian and David Scanavino are installed at West Street Gallery in such a way that they share a space and even touch, but they are not the result of collaboration. In this site-specific commission, the works’ overlapping formal vocabularies make for an elaboration of the complexities of the relationship between figure and ground and a critique of the autonomy of the art object.

For untitled (one square ft.) version 3 (all works, 2010), Scanavino covers the apartment space with a generic linoleum tiled floor, patterned such that no like colors abut. The artist has previously installed the floors in a monochrome, in combination with a one-by-one linoleum cube, to test the endurance of trompe l’oeil in the official idioms of process art and minimalism. His six-colored floor installation here is a study in shadow and depth. The artist has put untitled (New York Times) October 18 – 24, 2010 in the gallery organizer’s bedroom. This ongoing series sees the artist pulping one week of a newspaper, using its proportion of ink and blank newsprint to set the work’s color and maintaining the size-ratio of the pages, and installed on the wall at the depth of a linoleum tile. The artist applies the material with his hands to suspend the role of the index in this work.

Jo Nighossian’s sculptures depart from what she called the “stubborn survival” of materials, the nature of which she suggests to be anthropomorphic and empathetic. Neither miniature nor massive but alluding both to nature and to monument, Nigoghossian’s sculptures are weighty and fragile, and small but relatable. The artist begins by combining construction materials into singular, gestural forms and then adds layer upon layer of material to test the constituents’ endurance and fix them in place. Suede Fringe sees the artist using the eponymous material to decorate a twisted metal rod; gendering the object enunciates the inherent violence of their fabrication and disuse. Wig and Some Bars deploys the slapstick humor of embellishment. The artist has stuffed concrete with fake hair to give it material weight; heavy but lurching forward, it seems dragged across the space of the gallery.


Both artists live and work in New York.