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The Viewing Room: Cooper Holoweski and Clive Murphy at GCA in Brooklyn

Eames wire chair shrine

Work by Cooper Holoweski (BFA 2004) and Clive Murphy is featured in this exhibition at Brooklyn’s Group Clup Association on display Jan. 16 — Feb. 8.

Unlike a museum or multiplex, you have to be invited to a viewing room. Funeral parlors and galleries use these settings to display priceless objects of affection. Upon entry, visitors tacitly participate in the creation of a space betwixt and between fantasy and crass exchange. Viewing rooms are hetertopias of ritual and illusion – a hologram of a cruise ship, or a carpet transformed into a symbolic stand-in garden. Like the funerary version, the gallery viewing room serves a clear purpose and ends with a kind of send off. This may be the very first or last rendezvous with the object (coffin, corpse, artwork).

VIEWING ROOM conjures the cult of mid-century Modernism and the essence of American-style capitalism. It engages theatricality and hints at tastelessness. And then it turns everything on its head. Clive Murphy’s sly sculpture displays a taxonomy of banal objects, alluding to a quest for cultivation that took a peculiar turn. Likewise, Cooper Holoweski’s paintings are lustrous and glossy, but their highlighted surfaces lead us into a series of odd scenes that suggest an uneasy relationship with Modernist design. There is a tense exchange of biting criticism and sincere worship, offering a bit of light in the tasteful classical blackness. Myth and provenance are fundamental in art and in death. The right impression given must be given off well, as if money were no object.

COOPER HOLOWESKI was born in 1981 in Detroit, Michigan. He holds a BA in political science and BFA in printmaking from the University of Michigan and an MFA from RISD. He was awarded the RISD/​Skowhegan matching grant and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. In 2004, he was artist in residence at Taller 99 in Santiago, Chile and in 2006 he was artist in residence at Gallery Titanik in Turku, Finland. He has exhibited at Storefront Bushwick, Famous Accountants, and the Untitled Art Fair. He recently toured his piece Katabasis, a 40 min video with live score, at the BRIC House in Brooklyn; Space Gallery in Portland, ME and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit.

CLIVE MURPHY was born in 1971 in Wexford Town, Ireland. He has exhibited at Magnan Metz Gallery, New York; Kling & Bang, Reykjavik; Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York; the Soap Factory, Minneapolis; Creative Time, New York; Tate Modern, London; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; Eastlink Gallery, Shanghai; West Germany Gallery, Berlin; CityMine(d), Brussels and the Centre for Contemporary Art, Prague. He is a founding member of cultural interventionist group PROKON and plays music with The Collected Works Of Lenin. He lives and works in Brooklyn.

Opening Friday, January 16th from 7 – 9 pm
Runs through Feb. 8th
GCA, 119 Ingraham Street #315, Bushwick, Brooklyn 
Regular Gallery Hours are Sundays 12 – 6 and by appointment (gcasalon@​gmail.​com).