Arts Coverage and Review

August 19, 2017

‘If you’re accidentally not included, don’t worry about it’

Peter Saul Curates at Zurcher Studio 33 Bleecker Street Lower East Side Through May 3

Peter Saul’s extravagant cartoonish visions, for which he is well known, have only a tempered influence on his curatorial vision for ‘If you’re accidently not included, don’t worry about it’ at Zurcher Studio. Despite many of the selected works’ nod to bawd, the show is a socially graceful arpeggio that challenges the current traditions of ‘curation’. Mr. Saul has included “either friends I’ve had for years, or … people I just met once for a few minutes and seemed friendly enough.”

In the currently forming field of contemporary art, it should not be the duty of the curator to present a finished point of view. Instead, it might be more useful to gather one’s friends, like Mr. Saul has done, around the opportunity to show the mighty and the weak, the talked-about and the emerging in one venue.

Though the included works are of varying ambition, all are honest offerings in-and-of-themselves, good-or-bad.  Mr. Saul is asking us to look at a diversity of things only some which resonate with his sensibility. Michael Dotson’s 2 Become 1, digresses from Saul’s lewd pop sensibility, excerpting soft Disney imagery with a brand of neo-pointillism to arbitrary effect. A colorful wall-bound disk St. Peter Square by Polly Apfelbuam is a crimped clay recollection of Morris Lewis’ finger-like mark making.

Polly Apfelbaum, St. Peter Square, courtesy Zurcher Studio and the artist

Polly Apfelbaum, St. Peter Square, courtesy Zurcher Studio and the artist

Mr. Saul’s casual and deskilled curatorial effort is refreshing and simulates the close-quarters feeling of new work personally scurried from the studio. Without attempting to cleverly relate objects, as is so often the drag of ‘curated’ shows, Mr. Saul makes a strong argument for closing one eye and pointing in a few different directions.  This casual and social process that Mr. Saul engages ultimately presents an accurate and more personal view of work being made today.


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