Friday, April 29, 2011

Bits and Pieces @ Tempus Projects

Tempus Gallery, Side View
Driving slowly up Florida Avenue, past the theaters converted into churches, used-car dealerships, boarded up places and small restaurants, I blink and pass Tempus Projects before turning around and parking. The gallery is a converted garage-to-gallery space on 5132 Florida Ave, behind a T-shirt printing business.  It describes itself on its website [Link] accurately as a "conduit in the art community". This Bits and Pieces exhibit was a rarity for a gallery, in that nothing was priced for sale. It was composed of part of two fairly eclectic collections of work from 1979 to 2010,  owned by two USF assistant professors who also happened to have curated the show, Gregory Green and Neil Bender. This was announced as a "Supertest" exhibit. This is a non-profit group whose Board of Directors is composed mostly (3/4ths) of USF assistant professors, including one of the curators.

AT has been to & reviewed another Supertest event, The Refractory, back in Oct 2010. See here: [Link].

Unknown, 19th c. anatomical engraving

This exhibit had no discernable overall concept or cohesive idea besides belonging to and being curated by two USF assistant profs, the Supertest branding, and the broad range of objects  from mere antique curios, like a 19th c. anatomical drawing (?), at left,  art by little-known artists to a few by famous ones. Nor was there any way to tell what pieces belonged to what collection unless one spoke to one of the principals. This gave the exhibit a disjointed , foggy quality, which could be said (in a moment of overreach) to be akin to hypertextual reading. 

A few highlights...

Tim Rollins and K.O.S., Untitled, which I forgot to photograph, was an interesting work to see. The extraordinary Mr. Rollins and his Kids Of Survival -- high school students from PS 52 in the Bronx that had been written off by the system -- collaborated in minimalist art works  that combined lessons in reading, writing and art making, often using collaged pages from texts on canvas. They had a lector reading the text in question while the art was made. And they exibited in galleries, asserting their work as fine art.  Superb stuff that should be more in use today, maybe digitally. Rollins was told the kids were academically at risk, but he had faith in them and himself, and would not let any label determine their fate.

On the first day of class he told them: "Today we are going to make art, but we are also going to make history."

And they did. Rollins eventually moved the project out of the school and into a variety of spaces. After teaching all day, he would meet with the KOS, and produce art into the night. To this day there are KOS workshops and members working in Philadelphia, Memphis, San Francisco, Seattle and NYC.  [Link].

Tony Tasset, Untitled (Event Photograph) 1992, Type C print

On the left is the image of a photograph by Tony Tasset, Untitled (Event Photograph). It looks like a man and a woman in what appears to be meat by-products. Mr. Tasset is a multimedia artist who has worked in video, bronze, wax, sculpture, photography, film, taxidermy and more. He was awarded a Guggenheim in 2006. He received his MFA from AIC, lives in Chicago and teaches at UIC. You can see more of his work here: [Link]  
He is known for a sly sense of humor in his art, and for mining popular culture for his work.

Todd A. Young, Old Mickey, 1998

Old Mickey, by Todd Ayoung depicts the familiar Disney character grown old, still perky and coy, but looking wrinkled, ears torn, tail down to a thin shred, in a word: decrepit. Why would anyone pull Mickey out of mythic time and show him as a Sr. citizen? To show how the memories of our childhood
fare as we age, or as a comment on how he has overstayed his time, perhaps a mirror for ourselves, or like so many who come to Florida do so as Sr. citizens. By Dorian Gray-ing a youthful iconic character his range of meanings is shifted.

Frank Moore, Untitled, watercolor, 1997

  A gorgeous small watercolor of a landscape with a knotted ribbon across it. I'm not sure which Frank Moore this is

Joseph Lupo, "You", pencil on paper, 2001

 Every time we do a financial transaction, we leave behind and take with us a record of it, in the form of a receipt. This is one of a series titled "Receipts" Joseph Lupo did in various media, including graphite, etching, and silkscreen. This is a relatively early one of an evening of drinking with a friend. He is a Chicagoan who is currently teaching printmaking at West Virginia University as the Print Program Coordinator.

Richard Kern, Submit to me Now, Super 8 to video, 1987
There was a Richard Kern Video, Submit to me now,  playing. [Link]

Tempus Gallery may be the only dog-friendly gallery in the area.

Outside, one of Warhol's screen tests played.

Nan Goldin, Untitled, 1992, Type C print

This was a great photo from Nan Goldin, a 5x7, which means it was early in her meteoric career, of one of her friends putting make-up on. [Link]

It was a somewhat odd, but very interesting exhibit. Congratulations to Tempus, Supertest, Neil Bender and Gregory Green.


  1. "Old Mickey", drawing from 1998 is my Todd Ayoung not Todd A. Young.
    Todd Ayoung

  2. Much thanks for typo correction!

  3. Great looking urban art. I am so glad to get a peek at it!