Young Curators, New Ideas: Exhibition via wiki

Young Curators, New Ideas IV, the 2012 edition of Mr. and Mrs. Amani Olu’s serial exhibition, was crowd sourced.

The show follows a wiki method (think Wikinomics) in that it’s built on the efforts of 12 young “curators” who are promised space in a 7,000-square-foot Chelsea gallery in return for selecting artists to exhibit. With the space comes the benefit of a large amount of exposure that their curatorial aspirations wouldn’t typically be able to garner. The organizers, who selected curators’ proposals submitted through an open call, and the gallery, which simply houses the show, get an exhibition that’s more enterprising and diverse than your typical gallery’s summer program. With minimal effort, the gallery has a show built on the specific knowledge of a relatively large group of individuals.

Does it work? Sure, and if you’ve ever gotten lost down a path of Wikipedia hyperlinks, you’ll know what I mean. There are highs and lows, some paintings you might forget before you leave, and some usual suspects from the Brooklyn-based-rising-star category, but this may be the “summer group show” that sets the standard for summer group shows this summer.

Jeffrey Vallance, Juliet’s Balcony, Verona, 2006. Image courtesy Mr. and Mrs. Amani Olu.

This work is part of curator Stephanie Roach’s section of the show, titled “Losing My Religion.” In addition to five pieces by Vallance, Roach also brought in four works by the much younger Jeni Spota, a painter who also incorporates shrine-esque vignettes and iconography into her work. It’s one of the exhibition’s highlights.

Young Curators, New Ideas IV runs June 7 - August 24 at Meulensteen.