Left: Photo by Etienne Frossard
Right: Swimming in pink gave birth to the moon (when the heart's prisms were beyond enuf) | 2016 Ink, graphite, colored pencils, metallic enamel, photo transfers

The Moon
Jarrod Beck

Smack Mellon is pleased to present Jarrod Beck’s text, collaborative performances, and astounding site-specific installation, The Moon. For the duration of the exhibition, a 60-foot-diameter, handmade paper moon will hover over the gallery floor and reach upward into the coal trough ceiling infrastructure.

The Moon began as an epic poem, begun in the summer of 2014. Themes include environmental devastation, the AIDS epidemic, and queer collectivist anarchism. During this exhibition, The Moon will also live as a massive sculpture, the site for readings from the original text, and the context for a series of dance performances in collaboration with choreographers Abigail Levine and Danny Dolan. Together, the sculpture, text, and performances form a complete constellation.

As a sculpture, The Moon is a giant sphere of cast abaca paper pulp whose shape dissolves as you walk around it. Juxtaposed with Smack Mellon’s looming concrete and steel, the textured moon crust appears simultaneously at home in the space—perhaps growing from the industrial infrastructure—and wholly trapped, seeming fragile and compromised. The Moon text is a narrative describing the day the earth stops orbiting around the sun and begins to revolve around the moon (the book will be available beginning February 1, 2017). As performances, the piece exists in two forms: as a movement and sound collaboration with sculpture’s physical geometry, and as a deeper exploration into the text, giving dancers (in the roles of queer anarchist-geo-archeologists) an opportunity to study the moon and unpeel it, layer by layer.

“My works are about making a mark, putting a foot down. They are about being here, but not trusting that space, and they are about the projected and the imagined, a HEREAWAYFROMHERE.” –Jarrod Beck

Jarrod Beck has created installations for Socrates Sculpture Park, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Wave Hill, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Siena Art Institute, Rhode Island School of Design, Stony Brook University, and Provincetown Art Association and Museum. In 2011, his play Manhattan Man, His Sleeping Wife was performed at the Instituto Cervantes in New York amidst his installation Duende. Beck occupied the Cape Cod National Seashore in 2012 with the first in a series of processions and installations called Cinerum. In 2014, The Anti-Defamation League commissioned Broken Open in Omaha, Nebraska, and Beck won the Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award for Uplift. In 2016, a monograph about his project, Balance, hosted by The US Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela, was published by FAU Editions. His drawings are in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art. Beck's recent collaborations include a series of prints and a score for sculpture created with the choreographer Will Rawls, an installation for performance artist John Kelly's Love of a Poet, and a series of prop-sculptures for the choreographer Jon Kinzel. In has been a visiting artist at Dieu Donné Papermill and UrbanGlass. Beck received his MFA from the University of Texas at Austin and his Master of Architecture from Tulane University. He currently lives and works in Ulster County, NY.

A special thank you to the generosity of 160 supporters through Kickstarter that made The Moon possible!


ruby onyinyechi amanze

Smack Mellon is pleased to present STAR FISH: new large-scale, dimensional drawings by ruby onyinyechi amanze. The work is part of an ongoing, non-linear narrative where aliens, hybrids, and ghosts reside in a magical world of constructed realities, memory, and make believe.

Within the drawings, amanze places equal weight on her figures and the spaces they inhabit. Characters fluidly navigate their self-imagined, chimeric universe positioned between nowhere and everywhere. It is a space where land and sea invert, time travel occurs daily, and flying and walking are interchangeable. There is an overlapping, pseudo-collaged aesthetic to her drawings where there is no beginning or end, first or last, present or future. Instead, all the elements come together in a playfully ambiguous now.

Mimicking the spatial freedom within the drawings, amanze mounts her paper to multiple planes, flirting with the architecture of the gallery and propelling the drawings away from the wall, into the viewer’s space. Drawing from her background in textiles and printmaking, amanze's drawings reflect a fragmented and layered material sensibility that is highly intuitive in its process. Likewise, a video is projected onto a multi-dimensional surface, reinforcing the fractured nature of the slow-moving images and further complicating their relationship to any concretely defined space.

ruby onyinyechi amanze was born in Nigeria in 1982. She immediately relocated to the U.K. where she spent the next thirteen years before moving to the U.S. amanze earned her BFA from Tyler School of Art, and her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. In 2012-2013, amanze was a recipient of the prestigious Fulbright Scholar Award at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. She has since held notable residencies at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (NYC), BRIC Arts (Brooklyn, NY), and the Fountainhead Residency (Miami, FL). Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, in venues including The California African American Museum (Los Angeles, CA), the Contemporary Art Museum (Raleigh, NC), the Drawing Center (NYC). Her work is in the permanent collection of The Studio Museum in Harlem (NYC). She currently resides in New York where she is an Artist-in-Residence at the Queens Museum and in the Drawing Center’s Open Sessions Program. She is represented by Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg and Capetown, South Africa.

Special thanks to the Foundation for Contemporary Arts and Goodman Gallery.

These exhibitions are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, New York City Council Member Stephen Levin, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and with generous support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Gilbert Mackay Foundation, Select Equity Group Foundation, Iorio Charitable Foundation, and many individuals and Smack Mellon's Members.

The Smack Mellon Artist Studio Program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, New York City Council Member Stephen Levin, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, the National Endowment for the Arts, and with generous support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Lambent Foundation, The Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund of The New York Community Trust, Jerome Foundation, Gilbert Mackay Foundation, The Robert Lehman Foundation, The Greenwich Collection Ltd, Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation Inc., Select Equity Group Foundation, and Smack Mellon's Members. Smack Mellon's programs are also made possible with public funds from The Roy and Niuta Titus Foundation, Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc., and Exploring The Arts.

Space for Smack Mellon's programs is generously provided by the Walentas family and Two Trees Management.



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