to find home
Doron Langberg, Sarah Muehlbauer, Beverly Semmes, and Ryan Syrell
Curated by Zach Wampler
September 6 - October 7
Opening Reception: September6, 7 to 9 PM
Happy only to find home, a place / Where no tax is levied for being there.
Excerpt from the poem “1929” by W.H. Auden
happylucky no.1 is pleased to present to find home, a group exhibition of works by Doron Langberg, Sarah Muehlbauer, Beverly Semmes, and Ryan Syrell.
Originally, this exhibition began with a question: what constitutes a home? These four artists offer distinct and varying answers.
In the case of Langberg, home is defined by its occupants. We see the intimacies between family and friends in familiar moments: tousled in bedsheets, laying on a sofa, seated at the kitchen table. Relationships and their dynamics form the basis of a home.
While Langberg presents a world of unvarnished intimacy, Sarah Muehlbauer provides an opaque counterpoint to Langberg. Muehlbauer’s photographs show residences devoid of activity. Images of fences, roofs, patios, houses, and garages offer barriers to the private worlds of their occupants and owners. Home is not for another to witness, it is yours and yours alone in these photographs. Home is a mystery to everyone but the inhabitant.
Ryan Syrell and Beverly Semmes do not deal with matters of privacy or intimacy, but are instead focused on the objects and accumulations that compose a home. Syrell’s paintings are bright and energetic with layers of color. The mundane scenes of furniture, computers, vases of flowers, books, and bowls of food are transformed with exuberance. Here, they are brought forward with the composition and color of a modernist sensibility. Simple scenes of domestic life are given a sense of importance.
With importance and preciousness in mind, the sculptures of Beverly Semmes dovetail elegantly with Syrell’s paintings. The three works on display by Semmes are all replicas of a very recognizable object: the teacup. All three iterations have the visible marks of their maker’s hand. They also sit atop fur pelts, which recall Meret Oppenheim’s famous Object. This combination of materials creates a series of contradictions, which speaks to the history and roles of gender. Objects in the home, and their surrounding environment, are made significant because of the power and tension we place in them on a daily basis.
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