SOUTHFIRST 60 N6th Street Brooklyn, NY 11211 www.southfirst.org
THE LAUGHING DOUGH
27 January - 26 February 2012
Opening Friday, January 27 6-8 PM
SOUTHFIRST gallery is proud to present THE LAUGHING DOUGH, a two-person show of large-format narrative scrolls by Matthew Thurber, and charcoal and pencil automatic drawings by Elwyn Palmerton. This exhibition is on view through February 26 with performances by Thurber at the gallery Friday, January 27 at 7 pm and by the band “Gay Shapes” on Saturday, February 18 at 8 pm.
MATTHEW THURBER’s 120-foot by three- and four-foot sumi ink on paper scrolls, “Century 21,” “1-800-MICE Scroll,” and “Ambergris Performance Scroll,” tell the story of a mouse security guard, the protagonist of his graphic novel 1-800-MICE, and illustrate his band Ambergris’s songs “Paid in Foam” and “Daylight Savings.” Each work was part of a live performance that the artist narrated against an unfurling backdrop that is one part comic book and one part “nineteenth century music video.” These performances took place at KGB bar (2008), Issue Project Room (2007), and the Brick Theater (2011). The scrolls are seen here for the first time since these performances. ELWYN PALMERTON’s untitled large- and medium-scale quasi-performative drawings are non-compositional records of his unconscious. They are generally abstract but their lines crystalize into moments of occasionally lucid, often obscene representation. These improvisational works start with porous small structures which build to suggest information overload or horror vacui, and establish a vocabulary of clusters and lines. The velocity and intensity of the mark-making creates a pace which determines how the drawing progresses. They fill the page but also inhabit a shallow space and share an internal logic suggestive of the work of Henri Michaux.
A hardcover printing of THURBER’s 1-800-MICE was recently put out by PictureBox. The Paris Review calls the book “the Gravity’s Rainbow–Sherlock Holmes–Professor Sutwell–Inspector Clouseau–Silent Spring of comics,” while cartoonist Ben Katchor says: "Matthew Thurber has singlehandedly revived the Surrealist program of revolutionary politics through dreamwork." He graduated with a BFA from Cooper Union and lives and works in Brooklyn. PALMERTON’s work is currently on view at Macarthur B Arthur gallery in Oakland, CA. He holds an MFA from SVA, lives and works in New Jersey, and is the recent recipient of a Pollock-Krasner grant.
SOUTHFIRST is located at 60 N6th Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Gallery hours are Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 1-6 PM and by appointment. Subway: L train to Bedford Avenue. For more information, please Maika Pollack at 718 599 4884 or firstname.lastname@example.org.