This exhibition brings together new works by three artists: Matthew Higgs, John Riepenhoff and Ric Warren.
Interested in urban space as a site of constantly contested territories, Ric Warren’s works take their reference from the mundane and often overlooked ‘semiotics of the city’ that he suggests are “footnoted with themes of authoritarianism and rebellion”. Sculptures based on structures that are intended to claim space in order to deter territorial claims, are surfaced with multi-colours that have been obliterated to produce ‘oppressed colour fields’. Sloped triangles occupy the corners of the gallery; these simplistic forms are based on ancient Venetian architectural features designed to deter public urination (the angled surface directing the flow of liquid towards the offenders feet). Batons, used to disrupt the surface of construction-site hoardings to prevent fly-posting, have been installed to remove traditional function from exhibition walls. A single poster pasted over the batons is absent of imagery or slogan. Taking the form of wordless protest, it is charged with the post-ideological desire to act in opposition to a system.
The John Riepenhoff Experience, est. 2006, reconditions an art world paradigm, the gallery, by making it into a sculpture to better serve plural interests. Pedro Velez describes it as “a miniature room attached to the ceiling and viewable only by climbing a stepladder and sticking your head through a hole.” The John Riepenhoff Experience allows for the social congregation around the piece but also, since only one person can enter the mini gallery at a time, creates a uniquely intimate setting to view art and empowers the audience by providing a perspective where they can see the venue as art or platform. This is the first exhibition of the JRE in Glasgow.
Matthew Higgs’ work - which invariably takes the form of framed book pages, framed exhibition catalogue covers and photographs of books – might productively be thought of as ‘found’ conceptual art. Rooted in countless hours spent in second-hand bookshops Higgs’ re- contextualisation of existing printed matter seeks to consider questions of authorship, uniqueness, labour, vandalism, linguistics, typography and design amongst other things.
Matthew Higgs (b.1964 Wakefield, England) lives and works in New York. Recent exhibitions include Murray Guy, New York; The Green Gallery, Milwaukee; The Apartment, Athens; Jack Hanley Gallery, Los Angeles and Galerie Senn, Vienna. Selected recent group shows include The Hole, New York; International Art Objects, Los Angeles; Misako & Rosen, Tokyo; Brennan & Griffin, New York; Andrae Kaufmann Gallery, Berlin and Tidens Krav, Oslo, Norway. Higgs is the Director and Chief Curator of White Columns, New York.
John Riepenhoff (b.1982, Milwaukee, Wisconsin) lives and works in Milwaukee. Recent exhibitions include Tate Modern and Frieze Art Fair, London; Marlborough, Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, James Fuentes, and the Swiss Institute, New York; Pepin Moore, Freedman Fitzpatrick and Ooga Booga, Los Angeles; Cooper Cole, Toronto; The Suburban, Oak Park; Western Exhibitions, Chicago; Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and the Poor Farm, WI; and the Milwaukee Art Museum, Dean Jensen Gallery, Small Space, Milwaukee. Riepenhoff is also a curator and co-owner of The Green Gallery, Milwaukee.
Ric Warren (b.1986, Barnsley, England) lives and works in Glasgow. Recent solo exhibitions include Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, Edinburgh; Superclub Gallery, Edinburgh and David Dale Gallery, Glasgow. Selected recent group shows include Hunter College Gallery, New York; Intermedia Gallery, Glasgow; Cornish College of Art, Seattle; MOT International, London and Collective Gallery, Edinburgh.
Curated by Margot Samel