Already closed: Elijah Burgher's Toppling the Table of Correspondences at [ 2nd floor projects ] with an accompanying limited edition broadside by Scott Treleaven. I visit Margaret Tedesco's [ 2nd floor projects ] far too infrequently, but when I do a number of things are guaranteed. First of all the art on display will be thoughtfully curated and presented. Secondly, somehow some of the nicest and most interesting people in the city will happen to be there at the same time as I am. And last but definitely not least, I will walk away with a beautiful edition produced specifically for that show featuring some top-notch writing. This time Scott Treleaven, himself a noted artist and filmmaker, elucidates Elijah Burgher's fascinating colored pencil drawings:
Burgher's work embodies all kinds of paradox. In one respect his drawings are unapologetically formal, sober and controlled, built with an almost architectural consciousness. His "sigil" drawings, especially, suggest a Hans Hofmann painting set upon by cookie-cutters and then reassembled with a modernist hand that allows the pictures to be appreciated on a purely structural level. On the other hand, his images are also deeply sensual, obscure, subterranean; his flirtatiously scholarly and guttural titles, the scattering of glyphs and intuitive symbology embedded in the work, its unapologetic celebration of gay sexuality, its lusty Fauvist colors.
Personally I also see Maholy-Nagy and the Russian constructivists in Burgher's sigil drawings, and his more representational works span the very breadth of art history, sometimes even quoting from it specifically as when he reproduces a Caravaggio or an ancient sculpture. Margaret also had a copy of AA Bronson's remarkable book Queer Spirits on hand, a tome that loosely documents (including through drawings by Burgher) secret group rituals Bronson conducted in locations like Fire Island, New Orleans, and Winnipeg. Eye-opening to say the least, and often funny too. Even though the Burgher show is now down he is always posting new work on his blog, and then the next show at [ 2nd floor projects ] featuring paintings by Amanda Kirkhuff and an edition written by Amy Scholder also looks bona fide amazing. Tell Margaret I sent ya.