SOUTHFIRST 60 N6th Street  Brooklyn, NY  11211     ph 718 599 4884





25 September – 1 November, 2009


SOUTHFIRST is proud to present JACK EARLY, the first exhibition in New York of new installation work by JACK EARLY in seventeen years, on view from September 25 to November 1, 2009.

While Early’s work is outsized and bold, taking its visual cues from pre-MTV variety music television show sets, the references he chooses speak to a longing that is intimate. Pink Floyd, Kermit the Frog, the Gay Pride rainbow, and the Wizard of Oz movie—with its all-pervasive desire for something out of reach, over the rainbow—all make an appearance. On a nearly six-foot-high sculpture of a Victrola a white album plays, lit by a spotlight. It is flanked by a free-floating Day-Glow rainbow and a Plexiglas prism. There are songs written by Early, produced by himself, by the members of the band Dean and Britta, and other friends, about beautiful girls who make good in the big city, happy lovers, and clouds with silver linings—the stuff of popular ballads. If the songs are fragile, romantic, and DIY, they also suggest narrative’s central place in Pop Art, a way in which we understand our own stories in relation to the kinds of songs and images we hear and see around us.

If Early’s early career—the “Artwork for Teenage Boys” and “Artwork for Teenage Girls” exhibitions of 1991, the “Red, Black, Green, Red, White and Blue” show with Leo Castelli in 1992—is now nearly historical, then we are no longer part of a period of excess for emerging art here in New York. This exhibition proposes ways to move forward without cynicism from an exhausted past, while still retaining the seduction and transformative possibilities of art-making itself.

Known as one of the bad-boy artists of the late 1980s and early 1990s, JACK EARLY has exhibited widely in the United States and Europe, most recently including exhibitions in the Franćois Pinault foundation at the Punta Della Dogana in Venice, 2009, and at E31 in Greece. His work will be featured in the upcoming exhibition “Pop Life” at the Tate Modern in London, opening September 2009. Born in North Carolina he lives and works in NY, NY.

            SOUTHFIRST is located at 60 N6th Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn between Wythe and Kent Avenues. Gallery hours are Thursday - Sunday from 1-6 PM and by appointment. Subway: L train to Bedford Avenue.  For more information, please contact Maika Pollack at 718 599 4884 or