Gavin Brown Enterprise
620 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10014
September 14 – October 14
Gavin Brown’s enterprise is presenting Ignorant Transparencies, the gallery’s first solo exhibition with Norwegian artist Bjarne Melgaard. Melgaard cannot stop. He is the most prodigiously compulsive, excessively promiscuous exhibitor working today. In the past 24 months alone he has staged 7 exhibitions – at Maccarone (2011; After Shelley Duvall ’72), Ramiken Crucible (2012; Ideal Pole; baby tigers), ICA, London (2012; A House to Die In; with Snøhetta), Luxembourg & Dayan, NY (2012/13; A New Novel; doll houses and Proenza Schouler), Venus Over Manhattan, NY (2013; Gang Bust; black W. Copley, black Allen Jones, Big Fat Black Cock, Inc.), Rod Bianco, NY (2013; Mary Boone paintings), and White Columns, NY (2013; Sverre Bjertnæs, including an incredible ‘interview’ on film). His oppressively constant creation becomes instantaneous, lionhearted fulfillment, no matter how amoral or antisocial the art. Questions of taste and quality become slippery and messy, in an all-out irrational, anti-narrative pathos.
Like his Pepto-Bismol-hued alter ego, the Pink Panther (a perfect embodiment of the Norwegian’s ongoing berzerking of aesthetic cancellation), Melgaard is simultaneously the fearsome predator and also the uncool loser – don’t forget that relentless erzatz-jazz theme tune to accompany this vision of the horrifying loneliness of our existence.
In a startling and depressing downward spiritual development, we have moved from William Blake’s encounter with cosmic fearful symmetry – our original, earliest other – to Bjarne Melgaard (in his words a “45-year old worn-out faggot”). Melgaard makes a perversion not only of the notion of an artist, but also the artist’s relationship with the physical ‘natural’ world – in his hands now an irrelevance, invisible and grotesque. In Melgaard we find complete alienation and extreme asymmetry.
Melgaard’s starkly anti-aesthetic and anti-formalist art offers a new, more complicated, last-chance idea of beauty, one always on the precipice of breakdown and shame. In a crescendo of paint, dolls and crystals, at Gavin Brown’s enterprise Melgaard will present his most ambitious, tragic and unwieldy exhibition to date – Pink never felt so dismal.