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NEW YORK TIMES: ART IN REVIEW
Published: August 6, 2004
'The Infinite Fill Group Show'
547 West 27th Street, Chelsea
Through Aug. 20
How many different ways can a work of art combine black, white and repetition? An answer is essayed by "The Infinite Fill Group Show," a densely installed display of overlapping patterns, drawings, collages, paintings, textiles, photographs, prints and videos by more than 50 artists. With not a speck of color in sight, the show resembles a photo-negative of the floor-to-ceiling, color-saturated conventions of the so-called "bedroom shows," those showcases for collaboratively minded young artists that reached an apotheosis of sorts in Dearraindrop's extravaganza at Deitch Projects in SoHo, which closes tomorrow.
"Infinite Fill" was organized by the artists and brothers Cory and Jamie Arcangel on a casually structured open-call, word-of-mouth basis that included quite a bit of word of mouth. Give or take a few off-the-charts proposals, everything submitted was accepted, including beautiful Styrofoam prints by art students from Van Arsdale High School.
The show's entrance requirements were met in various ways. The collective MTAA contributed a DVD loop of Phil Hartman playing the talk-show host Phil Donahue, endlessly shaking his head in a two-second loop from some long-ago "Saturday Night Live" segment. Jillian Mcdonald's video tape "Billy Bob Tattoo" shows her relettering the movie star's name, in ink on her knee, daily from June 1 to June 30.
The organizers' mother, Maureen Arcangel, contributed one of her painted-pattern linoleum floor-coverings, while Andrew M. K. Warren supplied color photographs of his feet, while skate-boarding in black-and-white checked Vans sneakers. Elyse Allen's "Tooth wug" is a gnarled little tapestry involving knit pile, leather, fur and nail heads in the shape of a molar.
Sabrina Gschwandtner has contributed various found objects, including a pillowcase and a coffeemaker. Perhaps the show's most graphic moment comes from Joy Garnett's "Death Penalty in Black and White," which tabulates the racial imbalance between federal prosecutors and prisoners on death row. I also recommend Justin Samson's collage, Tyson Reeder's rendition of customized sneakers, the line drawings on paper and buttons by Noah Lyon and the cartoonish, woodblocklike ink drawings by Frankie Martin.
The show is intended as a homage to Mac Paint, an early computer application (released in 1984) that enabled the user to click and drag a range of black-and-white patterns into images of any kind. Its effects are conjured up in a collage by Katherine Grayson and "While We Slept," a rather too-relevant video of a city being bombed, by Michael Bell-Smith. Paper Rad and Orit Ben-Shitrit have used the original program to make what constitute, at least in part, vintage prints.
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