November 8, 2006 - Public Art Fund - The World is Round
November 8, 2006

The World is Round

Public Art Fund presents
The World is Round

New works by
Jacob Dyrenforth
Diana Guerrero-Maciá
Chris Hanson & Hendrika Sonnenberg
Matt Johnson and Ryan McGinness
At MetroTech Center in Brooklyn

Through September 9, 2007

Public Art Fund is pleased to present a new exhibition of contemporary art at MetroTech Center in downtown Brooklyn. The World is Round features new commissions and recent sculpture by Jacob Dyrenforth, Diana Guerrero-Maciá, Chris Hanson & Hendrika Sonnenberg, Matt Johnson, and Ryan McGinness, all of whom have created sculptures that explore collective consciousness and expression, seeking out universal fascinations and modes of address that unite people across time, distance or cultural differences. Although the artists work in a variety of media and thematic areas, their practices are all linked by an interest in shared languages and systems, whether personal or political, formal or informal.
Jacob Dyrenforth Stand-Ins for the All-Time Greatest
Brooklyn-based artist Jacob Dyrenforths wide-ranging artistic output examines the ways in which elements of contemporary life become universal common denominators and touchstones, focusing in particular on cinematic tropes, the phenomena of rock superstardom and fandom, and countercultural incidents as they are represented in widespread photojournalistic imagery. His work at MetroTech, Stand-Ins for the All-Time Greatest, resembles a rock concert in the moments just before a show, when guitars are tuned and propped on stands until the band arrives onstage, as the crowd waits in anticipation. Dyrenforths guitars, which are made of foam and other movie or theatrical prop materials, are clearly stand-ins for the real thing. But music buffs will easily recognize them as depictions of specific makes and models of guitars, including a Fender Stratocaster, a Gibson SG, a Fender Telecaster and others. They represent the signature instruments of ten musicians whose names Dyrenforth compiled from an assortment of internet top-ten lists of the greatest guitar players of all time. Using the most minimal visual clues basic shapes and just a few added design details he creates a work that explores the universal appeal of rock-and-roll culture, as well as its online proliferation. The guitars and the stage they are placed on a pristine minimalist platform with a mirrored surface together function as a blank screen onto which the viewer can project his or her own narrative.

Dyrenforth was born in 1975 in Cincinnati. He received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1998) and an MFA from the Columbia University School of the Arts (2003). His solo exhibitions include Some get strong, some get strange, Sandroni Rey, Los Angeles; The Yearn, Wallspace, New York (2006) and Vice. And Versa, 31 Grand Gallery, New York (2005).
Diana Guerrero-Maciá The Beautiful Game in Black and White
Chicago-based artist Diana Guerrero-Maciás sculpture, The Beautiful Game in Black and White, explores the ways in which soccer has become a universal language understood and spoken by billions of people around the world. The work, spanning more than seventy square feet, depicts a flattened and scaled up soccer ball, rendered in vinyl on aluminum. In addition to being culturally ubiquitous, the soccer ball is mathematically precise: its 32 facets form a truncated icosahedron, which is an Archimedean solid. Flattened into two dimensions, the form has similarities to a world map, and can be read as a metaphor for the global reach of sports and popular culture. Guerrero-Maciá is best known for her hand-sewn text-based pieces, and the appropriation of familiar and found objects. In keeping with her interest in language, The Beautiful Game in Black and White contains an element of word play: where the soccer ball manufacturers logo would be, she transformed the name Mitre (a popular European brand) so it reads Mirth, meaning joy or amusement. She also appliquéd 32 onto the works surface, as a players number would be stitched onto a jersey, noting the coincidence between soccer ball geometry and the number of teams that advance to the World Cup finals.

Born in Cleveland in 1966, Guerrero-Maciá received a BFA from Villanova University (1988) and an MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art (1992). She has exhibited her work in numerous solo exhibitions including Words Make Wide Open Spaces, Bodybuilder and Sportsman Gallery, Chicago (2006); Artpace, San Antonio (2005); My First Painting, Twenty-One Years Later, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2003); and Perfect Lovers, Museum of Contemporary Art, St. Louis (2000).
Chris Hanson and Hendrika Sonnenberg – Soapbox
Chris Hanson and Hendrika Sonnenberg have been collaborating for over fifteen years. Originally from Canada, they now live and work in Brooklyn. They are best known for their meticulously crafted sculptures of recognizable objects, made out of unusual materials such as blue and green polystyrene foam. Soapbox, Hanson and Sonnenbergs sculpture for MetroTech, is a cast aluminum depiction of a trio of soapboxes. It relates to their recent sculptural series portraying press-conference microphones, in which the objects unusable presence and air of forlorn abandonment served as oblique commentary on the current state of the press and the transmission of information. In contrast, the idea of getting up on a soapbox either literally or metaphorically to address a crowd is considered a fundamentally democratic form of expression, extemporaneous and unfiltered by media. By casting these otherwise utilitarian and flimsy objects in aluminum, Hanson and Sonnenberg venerate the most valued cultural ideal, freedom of speech, with a monument that could also serve as a functional speaking platform.

Hanson & Sonnenberg each received a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (1986 and 1987, respectively). Hanson received his MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago (1996) and Sonnenberg received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1995). They have exhibited their work in numerous solo exhibitions including Store Gallery, London (2005); Cohan and Leslie, New York (2005); and White Columns, New York (2000).
Matt Johnson – 4eva
Los Angeles-based artist Matt Johnsons playful sculptures depict everyday objects in unexpected, appealing ways, altering materiality and function in order to challenge typical meanings and assumptions. Johnsons meticulously crafted works strike an unsettling balance between reality and artifice, calling into question how and where the artist has intervened with the chosen objects. His low-key intervention in MetroTechs manicured landscape, 4eva, is a large, three-ton boulder of 450 million-year-old pre-Cambrian granite, flecked with what appear to be quartz veins. Upon closer inspection the viewer can see that the veins spell out the number 4 and the letters EVA, which together form shorthand for the word FOREVER. Johnsons prehistoric object seems to convey its timeless nature in an unusually direct and very contemporary manner, using the abbreviated language of text messaging to convey a colloquial phrase one might expect to find in a high-school yearbook. Expanding upon the age-old graffitists impulse from cave drawing to tree carving to senior-class spray painting 4eva is an instance of personal mark-making cleverly masquerading as a natural occurrence.

Johnson was born in New York in 1978. He received a BA from the Maryland Institute College of Fine Arts (2002) and an MFA from University of California, Los Angeles (2003). His work has been presented in solo shows at Blum & Poe, Los Angeles (2006), Taxter & Spengemann, New York (2005, 2004), and elsewhere.
Ryan McGinness – Equo ne Credite, Teucri
New York-based artist McGinness utilizes the authoritative and universal visual language of corporate logos and public signage to create lively, iconic artwork. Noting that logos create perceived value, McGinness recycles certain motifs, incorporating myriad pop cultural and art historical references as well as anonymous graphic forms and ornamental embellishment to create a dazzling visual system of his own making. McGinnesss MetroTech installation, Equo ne Credite, Teucri (Do not trust the horse, Trojans!), comprises a set of signs placed throughout the MetroTech Commons. They play off of the way signage employs simple pictograms to convey information to a wide cross section of the public. Upon first glance, the signs appear to be officially issued, since their colors and finish are in keeping with other fixtures in the area. However, they are actually a series of eye-catching but cryptic images imbued with personal meaning. With its title a reference to the ancient priest Laocoöns attempt to warn the Trojans against letting the Greeks gift inside city walls, described in The Aeneid by the epic poet Virgil McGinness warns viewers of his attempt to subvert the public environment with his cooptation of the mainstream communication strategies.

McGinness was born in Virginia Beach, Virginia in 1972, and received a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University (1994). He has exhibited his work in numerous solo exhibitions including Never Odd or Even at Paolo Curti / Annamaria Gambuzzi & Co., Milan and Vous Etes Ici, Amsterdam (2006); Galeria Moriarty, Madrid (2006); and Installationview, Deitch Projects, New York (2005).
Ongoing at MetroTech: Public Art Fund continues the exhibition of Tony Matellis Stray Dog (1998) as well as James Anguss Basketball Dropped from 35,000 feet at Moment of Impact (1999), and on permanent display are Tom Otternesss Alligator (1996) and Visionary (1997).
MetroTech Center is located in Downtown Brooklyn between Jay Street and Flatbush Avenue at Myrtle Avenue. Viewing hours are dawn to dusk daily for outdoor works, Monday through Friday 8am to 6pm for Jacob Dyrenforths installation in the lobby of One MetroTech. Subway: A, C, F to Jay Street/Borough Hall, exit at Myrtle Promenade; R to Lawrence Street; Q to Dekalb Avenue. This exhibition is free.
Public Art Fund is New Yorks leading presenter of artists projects, new commissions, installations and exhibitions in public spaces. For almost 30 years, the Public Art Fund has been committed to working with emerging and established artists to produce innovative exhibitions of contemporary art throughout New York City. By bringing artworks outside the traditional context of museums and galleries, the Public Art Fund provides a unique platform for an unparalleled public encounter with the art of our time.

Recent critically acclaimed exhibitions and presentations include Anish Kapoors Sky Mirror at Rockefeller Center (on view through October 27, 2006); Sarah Szes Corner Plot at Doris C. Freedman Plaza (on view through October 22, 2006); Sarah Morriss Robert Towne at Lever House (on view through December 3, 2006); and Alexander Calder in New York at City Hall Park (on view through March 18, 2007).

Since 1993, Public Art Funds program at MetroTech has exhibited new commissions and recent works by more than fifty emerging and established artists including Vito Acconci, Liz Craft, Roman de Salvo, Rachel Foullon, Amy Gartrell, Luis Gispert, Corin Hewitt, Matthew Day Jackson, Peter Kreider, Tony Matelli, Dave McKenzie, Franco Mondini-Ruiz, Mamiko Otsubo, Tom Otterness, Roxy Paine, Ester Partegàs, Peter Rostovsky, Valeska Soares, Do-Ho Suh, Marc Swanson and Ursula von Rydingsvard.
Sponsorship The World Is Round at MetroTech Center is part of an ongoing program organized by the Public Art Fund and sponsored by MetroTech Commons Associates, an organization that consists of MetroTech companies Bear Stearns & Company, Forest City Ratner Companies, JPMorganChase, KeySpan, and Polytechnic University. Special thanks to Forest City Ratner Companies and First New York Partners.

Public Art Fund is a non-profit arts organization supported by generous contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporations, and with public funds from National Endowment for the Arts; New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency; and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Press contact:
Anne Wehr or Jane Koh
(212) 980-4575

Public Art Fund
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