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Frieze New York

"Spotlight," Thomas Kovachevich, Booth A25

Art fair

May 5 – 7, 2017

A photograph of Kovachevich's mix of items included in this collection.
Five strip of gummed paper tape, pinned at the top and bottom only by nails. The photograph shows the gummed side outward, and somewhat shiny.
A composition with a base of thick blue paint. There is a square made of tissue paper near the center, tilted to the left. The square has taken on a slight blue hue, and there are several punctures in the bright blue that appear to be paper beneath it.
A predominantly green artwork in a white square frame. There are drips and pools of paint. In the middle is a circular shape made of paper, cut in several places but still generally in a circular shape.
A white square ground framed in white. There is a medium sized square made of paper in the center, tilting to the left. It is coming up at the edges. At the right of the square, there is a smaller square that overlaps the right side. It is partially folded.
A blue square ground framed in blue. In the center of the blue is a triangle made of paper, with a small wrinkle at the left side. There are pools of blue paint that take on a physical form.
A black ground of thick black paint, framed in a black square. There are two triangles: one is large and leaning toward the top-left; the smaller one overlaps at the hypotenuse, making a small triangle in the large triangle.

Press Release

Callicoon Fine Arts presents a stand by Thomas Kovachevich with works from 1968 to 1981 for Spotlight. During this time Kovachevich was creating works with humble, ordinary materials, using performance, and engaging with natural phenomena and architectural space.

The booth will contain key works from the period, including a work comprised of various objects: small assemblages of tissue and tape, glass slides, wire. When exhibited at Szeeman’s 1972 Documenta, these objects were passed between the artist and the viewer, a performative enlivening as they were viewed and examined.

The booth will also contain an installation of brown gummed packaging tape installed on the wall in vertical stripes. Pinned to the wall at the top and bottom, each stripe of tape is otherwise loose. Titled “Portraits of This Room,” the tape curls forming a closed tube when the surrounding air is dry, and lays flat again with the air is humid.

Kovachevich developed performances that culminated with events at the Drawing Center (1977). Kovachevich placed pieces of cut paper on fabric draped over trays of warmed water. The paper begins to move, responding to the evaporation of the water. The papers, folding in and out of each other interact like actors on a stage, developing a narrative. One such “stage” will be in the center of the booth. By replacing the water with paint, Kovachevich used the performance action as a process for making paintings. These paintings will form the core of our presentation, each artwork a time capsule of earlier conditions — of atmosphere and material — that occurred at the time of the performance of their making.

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