Art of Choice: Galleries Might Be Closed but Blum & Poe’s Current Group Exhibition Is Anything but Inaccessible

June 12, 2020

Austen Gray

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Galleries Might Be Closed but Blum & Poe’s Current Group Exhibition Is Anything but Inaccessible
By: Austen Gray

In an online group exhibition coordinated by Blum & Poe Broadcasts, Dave Muller, and Three Day Weekend, viewers are offered an introspective on absence. Aptly titled, “The Gallery is Closed,” Blum & Poe encouraged their network of artists to provide a range of works establishing a sense of familiarity among this unprecedented global shift. Although galleries might be closed, artists aren’t taking a day off, and Blum & Poe provides them with the perfect online setting; a recreation of the interior of their gallery space curated on a virtual platform that you can view HERE.

Solidifying their position as pioneers of the West Coast art world, B&P spun this potentially discouraging period to their advantage by acknowledging their reach and ensuring, above all, that their artists were still able to have their voices heard. Worried that the gallery space would remain empty indefinitely, Dave Muller helped by taking matters into his own hands. He hopes that the show brings a sense of camaraderie as “a portrait of this moment, and the empathy, hopefulness, and resolve of our community,” contributing a few of his own pieces as well.

You are greeted by a mock gallery space and the words, “objects in the gallery may be larger or smaller than they are in real life.” It introduces viewers to the reality that what they are viewing won’t be exactly as they have known, but that this is as close as it’s probably going to get for now. Featuring an amalgamation of works by Ana Prvacki, Aram Saroyan, B. Wurtz, Fred Tomaselli, Helen Chung, Kathy Butterly, Lauren Spencer King, Mimi Lauter, Mark and Mars Hagen, Sam Durant, Scott King, and Tom Burckhardt as of this moment, it’s actually dynamic in nature. From the site; “the exhibition will continue to expand and share new work during the course of its run, and will be on view as long as the galleries in Los Angeles, New York and Tokyo remain closed.”

Regarding the cooperative itself, “Three Day Weekend is a roving project space operated by Dave Muller. Exhibitions are generally three days long.” This case, of course, is different. Reimagining a malleable space by directly confronting the fact that the gallery is physically closed; at the same time, questioning what it really means to be “closed.” The gallery is actually open, kinda?

We all look forward to the day we can return to a gallery opening, getting to chat with friends, drink okay wine, and talk about what we see right in front of our eyes. Tackling the new normal has proven to separate those galleries creative enough to stand out in a virtual world from those that are probably serving the okay wine. Blum & Poe Broadcasts aids in providing an altogether different experience, and Muller leaves us on the most hopeful tone one could ask for when posed with the now-daunting question, what next?…

“After that, I imagine, The Gallery is Open.”

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