THE COMPANY is pleased to announce the launch of a three-part exhibition series with Alexander May beginning November 2009. Verging on a Response (Conversation Everything) is the first installment of this three-year experiment. The impetus for the curatorial exercise came out of dialogue between The Company’s Anat Ebgi, who is a recent alumnus of Bard Center for Curatorial Studies program, and May as he embarked on a 3 year MFA program at Bard’s Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts. The Company saw this as an opportunity to track an artist as he completes each summer of this MFA program, and to closely examine the process of “mastery.”
The Company acts as an extended studio, a stage for thoughtful readjusting and experimenting, as well a platform for discussion. The summer at Bard gets replayed in Los Angeles and becomes a dramatization of studio practice. May states: “there is a connection and disconnection between the two summer months upstate and the redirection, the actual studio time and the dramatization of that time.” A floor installed in the gallery’s main space and annex garage levels this distinction.
The sculptures featured in Verging on a Response (Conversation Everything) include a couch, originally in May’s studio, being held down by a concrete slab. The heaviness of the concrete calcifies this “conversational weight” in an attempt to entomb ideas floating in the air. Additionally, a stack of mirrors, the measurements of which correlate exactly to those of The Company’s ceiling, suggests the interest in demarcating or barricading the intangible. The floor, provided by the artist, unites these abstract ideas. May states: “Notes on a stage, the floor is uniting space, a temporary unity when things can exist together for an amount of time holding ideas together and keeping the conversation going…” The Company becomes a holding place for this recurring conversation, a literal bookmark.
Alexander May was born in Maryland in 1983, but spent his first nine years in Spanish-speaking countries. He developed a facility with materials at a young age by rummaging through vast textiles markets. Moving almost every two years, May’s exposure to varied landscapes fueled his acute sensitivity to space. After graduating from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a BFA in fiber material studies in 2006, he moved to Los Angeles. Fascinated by the checkered history of design, May pairs his minimalist aesthetic with an acute sensitivity to found objects. Informed by his studio practice as a sculptor, he gravitates towards objects that redirect the purity of an original form. May recently performed See Saw (I consider you, consider me), at LA><Art in Los Angeles. By physically editing the sightline of the audience using a wall that divided the room in two, May balanced on a plank of wood supported by a solid plaster cylinder. The goal of the action was to dislodge a 19” x 19” cube from the gallery wall. He is currently a candidate in the MFA program at Bard College. May divides his time between Los Angeles and New York.