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Duck and Decorated Shed

September 10 October 23, 2010

Duck and Decorated Shed was a group exhibition curated by Katie Cercone which featured artists Emily Harris, Jessica M. Stoller, Lauren Kalman, Mary Kate Maher, Gudmundur Thoroddsen, Matt Stone, Theresa Himmer, Narcissister, and Nida Abidi.

NURTUREart proudly opened the 2010-11 exhibition season with a show of “smoke and mirrors” – filled with teeth, candy, polyurethane, denim, glitter and optical delusions. Katie Cercone curated an aesthetically intoxicating dichotomy of works that probed the artificial and superficial, simultaneously investigating the meaning of extreme decadence and the means to an end. These artists pushed the raw material of popular culture to new and disturbing ends, focusing on the power of the spectacle and its underlying substance.

Learning from Las Vegas, where the dominant architecture is always of glitter, whether the shapes are obvious symbols of the delights awaiting within (a waterfowl restaurant in the shape of an enormous duck) or contain a deeper meaning through the intricate display of ornament (essentially a decorated shed). Cercone extracted the idea for this exhibition from the terms “Duck” and “Decorated Shed” which derive from two analytical categories for viewing Las Vegas Strip, developed by a group of architecture students in 1968. Which is the vulgar embodiment of heightened symbolism, and which is the seductive decoy? Cercone asked the viewer to differentiate between the functionally integral and the ornamental facade.

Emily Harris. Barndoor, 2009. Fabric, 60" x 60" x 1".

Gudmundur Thoroddsen. Coconut, 2009. Coconut, paint.