Mama’s Boy

Curated by Jane Harris

December 17, 2003–February 1, 2004 320 West 13th Street

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Exhibition Description

Mama’s Boy, curated by Jane Harris

An exhibition of boyish, awkward, and often-pathetic work in various media by Chris Bors, Michael Coughlan, Anthony Goicolea, Larry Krone, Cary Leibowitz, Robert Melee, Jon Routson, and Michael Zansky.

Curator Jane Harris writes,

“It’s hard to pin down any one definition of a mama’s boy. There’s the cliché kid who clings to his mother’s apron strings, sings in choir, and gets his ass kicked. Then again, there is the troubled oddball who burns bugs, hides at home, and plans a future of sociopathic revenge. The artworld is full of them – all those sad sacks, dandies, neurotics, and geeks who form a veritable boys’ club of outsider (turned insider) chic. Some like Paul McCarthy, Mike Kelley, Martin Kippenberger, and Sean Landers wittily skewer the male ego in its various guises to explore issues of masculinity and psychosexuality, undoubtedly influenced by their own mother-son relationships, although rarely is this expressed.

The artists in this show represent a new male order where the formulate bond of mother and son, and the complexities of the self and identity it engenders, is no longer sublimated or shied away from. Theirs is a boyish vision, deliberately retarded and humorously awkward; one that eschews the slick surfaces, high production, and fussy detail so common in art today. Many have made works that deal explicitly with the subject of their mothers, and all seem intuitively to acknowledge her significance in matters of love, self-esteem, and sexual worldview.

Call it a sensibility, call it a predicament, in the end it’s just a silly moniker. Or is it?”

About the curator: Jane Harris is a curator and critic whose reviews have appeared in Time Out New York, Art in America, Artext, Bookforum, and Artforum, among others. Her most recent catalogue essays have been published in Curve: The Female Nude in Contemporary Art (Rizzoli, 2003), Anthony Goicolea (Twin Palms Press, 2003), and Vitamin P (Phaidon, 2002). She teaches art history at The School of Visual Arts.

This exhibition runs concurrently with White Room exhibitions by Joan Linder and Jenna Spevack.

Opening reception: Wednesday December 17, 7 – 9 p.m.
Gallery hours: Wednesday – Sunday, 12 – 6 p.m.

Participating Artist

Chris Bors, Michael Coughlan, Anthony Goicolea, Larry Krone, Cary Leibowitz, Robert Melee, Jon Routson, and Michael Zansky.

Invitation

Invitation for "Mama's Boy" and White Rooms: Joan Linder and Jenna Spevack, recto, 2004
Invitation for "Mama's Boy" and White Rooms: Joan Linder and Jenna Spevack, verso, 2004
Invitation for "Mama's Boy" and White Rooms: Joan Linder and Jenna Spevack, recto, 2004
Invitation for "Mama's Boy" and White Rooms: Joan Linder and Jenna Spevack, verso, 2004

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