Retreat/ William Lamson/ Lu Zhang Closing Event
AREA 405 is pleased to have been able to present the work of Lu Zhang and William Lamson over the past 3 months. Join us at the closing this Saturday, January 13th to view the exhibition in its final iteration.
Lu Zhang transformed the front gallery space into an expanded series of experiments in flux throughout the course of the exhibition. William Lamson's videos are projected in the back gallery. Curated by Stewart Watson, AREA 405 is pleased to be a part of the process of these two exemplary artists' work this fall.
Press: Retreat was named a top 10 exhibition of 2017 by both BmoreArt and Baltimore Beat
William Lamson was born Arlington, Virginia and lives in Brooklyn, New York. He is an interdisciplinary artist whose diverse practice involves working with elemental forces to create durational performative actions. Set in landscapes as varied as New York’s East River and Chile’s Atacama Desert, his projects reveal the invisible systems and forces at play within these sites. In some work he is the subject, directly performing in front of the camera, in all of his projects, Lamson’s work represents a performative gesture, a collaboration with forces outside of his control to explore systems of knowledge and belief.
Lamson earned his MFA from Bard College, and teaches in the Parsons MFA photography program. His work has been exhibited widely in the United States and Europe, including the Brooklyn Museum, The Moscow Biennial, P.S.1. MOMA, Kunsthalle Erfurt, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, and Honor Fraser Gallery in Los Angeles. In addition, he has produced site specific installations for the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Center for Land Use Interpretation, and Storm King Art Center. His work is in the collections of The Brooklyn Museum, The Dallas Museum of Art, The Indianapolis Museum of Art, The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and numerous private collections. William has shown with Robischon Gallery in Denver since 2006, most recently exhibiting in The Roaring Garden, Rotation this summer. His work has appeared in ArtForum, Frieze, the New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker, Harpers, and The Village Voice. He has been awarded grants from the Shifting Foundation, the Experimental Television Center, he is 2014 Guggenheim Fellow.
About the Work: Untitled (Infinity Camera) 2017
Commissioned in 2017 as part of a show called Wanderlust at the University of Buffalo Art Gallery, Untitled (Infinity Camera) employs a floating optical device to create a hypnotic journey through the tidal waterways around New York City. The device itself consists of an open sided chamber of one way mirrors that can be configured in various ways in relation to the video camera. As this optical rig is carried along by the current, the camera records a kaleidoscopic vision of bridges, towers, pollution and the watery ecosystem around which everything is built. Like a partially submerged architectural model, the reflective space simultaneously frames the landscape and obstructs it, allowing the camera to see in opposite directions at the same time while the center of the frame recedes into the darkness of an infinite regress
Lu Zhang (b. 1983, Chongqing, China) is a multi-disciplinary artist who works in installation, sculpture, drawing, and text. Zhang’s conceptual approach takes specific sites or contexts as a point of departure. Recognizing the processes and people already present, she adapts her practice to respond to and temporarily inhabit a place. Zhang views her itinerant practice as emerging from an immigrant experience. She selects sites intuitively; sometimes responding to its historical context; other times tracing its physical manifestations, from scale to proportion or architecture; still other times Zhang mines a site’s function and collaborates with its workers.
Zhang has received a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council for works on paper and been awarded The Trawick Prize Young Artist Award. In 2014, she became an inaugural recipient of a Rubys Artist Project Grant in Literary and Visual Arts. She has produced projects in Baltimore, Chicago, China, Finland, and the Netherlands. She has collaborated with ICA Baltimore and SPARE to produce publications and exhibitions; the George Peabody Library to launch a studio residency program, and The Contemporary to build resource initiatives for artists. Zhang received her MFA in Painting at the Frank Mohr Institute in the Netherlands and her BFA in General Fine Arts at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.
About the Work: Headspace
In Headspace, Lu Zhang engages the front room exhibition space of Area 405 in an expanded studio experiment. The installation presents fluctuating arrangements of drawings, prints, and sculptural objects. Through repeated movements and serial actions, Zhang treats drawing as akin to taking a long meditative walk. She employs shifts of scale, repetition, found materials, and cut-outs to frame the surfaces, textures, topography, and architecture of Area 405. Adapting the dependable modernist grid to be flexible, fallible, and vibrating, she presents moments of intense focus and gestures of play within the container of a studio. Throughout the duration of the exhibition, Headspace will remain in flux, activated through shifts, additions, reconfigurations, and visitor interactions.
As the building houses 40 artist studios and hosts programs and exhibitions, Zhang interprets 405 East Oliver Street to be a site of making and a site of gathering. In this landscape, Zhang interrogates the role of the studio as a physical and mental space: as a site of learning, a site of confrontation, a site of routine, a site of doubt, a site of endurance, and a site of rest. Within this flexible context, she attempts to devise a way of working as a place to retreat to, a place for durational ceasing, a place to reconsider, establish language, and begin again.In Zhang’s conceptual practice, she takes specific sites or contexts as a point of departure. Recognizing the processes and people already present, she adapts her methods to respond to and temporarily inhabit a place. Zhang views her itinerant practice as emerging from an immigrant experience. She selects sites intuitively; sometimes responding to its historical context; other times tracing its physical manifestations, from scale to proportion or architecture; still, other times Zhang mines a site’s function and collaborates with its workers. Using a procedure of gathering, sorting, arranging, and rearranging, Zhang’s methodology is rooted in research and sustained engagement. She applies this logic to her chosen sites with the resulting works taking a variety of forms from installations, to books, to drawings, to gestural interventions. By gathering imagery from a wide range of sources; from found materials to historical texts, to her personal archive, Zhang investigates the nature of work, the essence of language, and the poetics of place.
About AREA 405
Located in a 170 year-old artist-owned warehouse within Baltimore's Station North Arts and Entertainment District, AREA 405 is committed to showcasing and strengthening the vitality of the arts community within Baltimore and beyond. The preserved industrial character of our warehouse provides a distinctive setting for exhibitions as well as extensive studio space for the artists who create here (Oliver Street Studios).
AREA 405's mission has been to produce, present and promote arts and cultural programming by offering a space for experimentation and collaboration for artists. AREA 405 has collaborated with cultural and community organizations, throughout the region and from around the world since opening its doors in 2003, host to tens of thousands of visitors in its nearly 15 years as an Artist Run venue.
405 East Oliver Street Baltimore, MD 21202
Stewart Watson, Executive Director, AREA 405