Arts & Culture

May 11 —Jeremy Boyle and Mark Franchino five, at Hallwalls

Opening Reception and artists’ talk:

Friday, May 11, 2018, 8pm at Hallwalls

Exhibition continues through June 29.

Artists Jeremy Boyle and Mark Franchino (Pittsburgh) will present a new site-specific installation that is generated from work and interests they have been pursuing for some time. Accordingly, this iteration/exhibition is designated simply as five.

Boyle and Franchino utilize systems, utilitarian function, and modularity as recurring motifs and methods in their work. Springboarding, for example, from the notion of electrical pathways, they reimagined the purposeful components of such a system in wood rather than metal. This simple material transformation opens up intriguing sculptural territory. Function gives way to the imperatives of form, while at the same time maintaining some of its functionality. The lengths of wooden conduit created by the artists (some with humorous and implausible 90 degree bends) still transmit current and provide light—at least, much of it does. Other tangles of conduit are just that, sculptural clusters to confound the ambiguous zone between function and form.
The wooden conduit snakes into and through portions of the gallery, as though to lead the viewer into unexpected territories and ruminations. Complicating the question are a series of wooden “drawings/paintings” which are drawn and painted, but are also wrought from wood and sometimes self-illuminated. As with the conduit, form melds with function, and drawing melds with sculpture. In certain respects, the entirety of the artists’ installation can be seen as a “drawn” environment comprised of calculated lines, directional inferences, and specific imagery.
While much of the imagery in the installation references the utilitarian system of lighting and conduit, there are humorous asides, such as a trash can and vintage lawn chair, both made of wood, as well as a small section of wooden duct work poking through the end of a gallery wall. They are banal and unexpected punctuation marks that wryly disrupt what is otherwise an often elegant and even romantic environment. These elements also help enhance the notion that sculptural forms are often primarily things that relish their own thingness, their presence in a space, before and for a viewer.
Boyle and Franchino’s installation is so intently and specifically considered, it brings forth the conscious intent of the artists in an acute manner while blurring lines between, design, function, and utility. While doing so, it also achieves a quixotic mystery in the environment it concocts—one constructed from a reiteration of the ordinary in peculiar and unexpected fashion.
Hallwalls is located at 341 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, NY 14202.
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