Mixed Media Axle Contemporary’s not this, not that opens at the Railyard
You ain’t seen nothing yet
No texture, no brushwork, no drawing, no forms, no design, no color, no light, no space, no time, no size or scale, no movement and finally no object.
— from Ad Reinhardt’s “Twelve Rules for a New Academy”
The Seinfeld television series may be remembered as a show about nothing, but for a real show about nothing, come see (or not see, as the case may be)
not this, not that, the latest exhibition at Axle Contemporary. Axle curators Matthew Chase-Daniel and Jerry Wellman pose a challenge to the art-going public: A wooden frame surrounds the mobile gallery’s entrance, like a painting in a museum, but, as proscribed by artist Ad Reinhardt, it contains no objects. “For millennia, humans have struggled with the linguistic conundrum of describing what is inherently indescribable, in naming the unnameable,” the curators write in a statement. “As soon as words are used, meaning is lost. The same conundrum exists in science and art. This exhibition is a method of enquiry into this philosophical, scientific, religious, and artistic topic.” The accompanying catalog, approximately 240 blank pages with a front and back cover, is available for sale from a website created specifically for not this, not that (www.notthisnotthat2015.com). On the site, unlike inside the gallery, are images that relate to the exhibit’s theme, such as René Magritte’s painting The Treachery of Images, which depicts a pipe, underneath which is written “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” (This is not a pipe), along with an extensive selection of quotes on the topics of nothing and nothingness. Visitors are encouraged to leave comments about the exhibit, the quotes, and the subject of nothing. “I’m looking forward to seeing how other people participate and add to the dialogue,” Wellman told Pasatiempo.
Not this, not that opens in the Railyard shade structure by the Farmers Market Pavilion with a 5 p.m. reception on Friday, May 29, and is on view through June 7. Check Axle’s website www.axleart.com for updates on the mobile gallery’s daily location; call 505-670-5854. — Michael Abatemarco
not this, not that, installation view, 2015