PERMUTATIONS, NY – Two Rams Project

From June to July 2014, Coburn Projects and Two Rams presented its first group exhibition 'Permutations' featuring works by New York artists Alexis Dahan, Sam Fryer, Juliet Jacobson and Sameer Reddy.   

The artists in Permutations explore the infinite potentials that exist within defined systems. Each artist creates a rough set of parameters through which they explore the permutations possible therein. By allowing free will and chance to play a hand within what is pre-ordained, the work in Permutation mimic the circuitous relationship between destiny and choice. The works themselves were created in an open loop between painting, drawing, photography, and the performative act. As mediums bleed into other mediums, no artwork can be defined by such narrow parameters as painting or drawing. It's the acknowledgement of the interaction between disciplines that marks art of the 21st Century.

Alexis Dahan’s in-situ installation started with “Blue Puddles”, a public intervention Dahan did on may 25th, 2014. On a morning stroll in downtown New York, he dropped ultramarine dry pigments into the water puddles that had formed over the rainy night. Each of the temporary bright blue shapes that resulted were photographed an their location pinpointed on a map. For Permutations, Dahan has reproduced his itinerary on the gallery walls to create a constellation of street corners. Each point is linked to either a charcoal drawing of the corresponding shape of the sky viewed from the sidewalk, or a drawing made from carbon transferred footprints of passerby, or a photographic account of the “Blue Puddle” intervention.

Sam Fryer is an abstract painter. For the artist, paintings are breeding grounds for ideas. “It is essential that I cannot know what will come of an idea for a painting until I actually make the painting. Painting, for me, is active thinking. It is a learning experience that matures with each canvas. I am convinced that thought and feeling exist before the concepts, words and other conventional forms of expression we use to communicate them.”

Juliet Jacobson’s drawings are pictures of everyday sights and objects, like the sky, mirrors, or plastic bags. The drawings are carefully rendered at a scale relative to the referent. The artist emphasizes the blunt materiality of these subjects through detail and all-over compositions that push up flat against the picture plane. Differences unfold as subjects repeat in series. For example, Jacobson focus’s on how creases in paper produce a seemingly infinite variation. Though each sheet folds or crumples to produce a unique pattern, common traits emerge when many are viewed in a series. Seriality imparts identity within a discrete group and yields an affinity of part to whole. A sheet of paper might have an ephemeral life as refuse or recycling, but may also carry ideas across centuries thereby collapsing time and space. These drawings aim to capture the tension between prosaic experience and broader ideological or allegorical issues.

Sameer Reddy contributes a drawing converted digitally to lightbox. Dawn depicts a window looking onto a sunrise, which is simultaneously becoming a sunset. This construction of time presents an intersection of different dimensions. Dawn is conceptually rooted in the wave-particle concept of quantum physics, which suggests that the seemingly static and discrete elements are engaged in a movement that can allow them to merge. Dawn was created through a back and forth between hand drawn drawings and digital drawings printed on transparency. This open circuit between the analogue and digital expounds upon the exhibitions theme of an open loop between various modes of creating that are increasingly the norm in the post-internet era.

TWO RAMS is a contemporary art gallery on the Bowery in New York City established by Tali Wertheimer and Brandon Coburn. In addition to curating exhibitions in-house, Two Rams collaborates with prominent galleries from important art centers around the world to bring ambitious and adventurous projects to New York.