Winkleman / Plus Ultra Gallery is really quite pleased indeed to present “Would You Rather Be a Loser or a Pig?” our third solo exhibition by New York artist Jennifer Dalton. Known for large-scale installations, often with quasi-scientific or corporate motifs, Dalton develops incisive visual systems that facilitate instantaneous, concise conclusions from otherwise overwhelming amounts of data. For this exhibition, she presents a series of works focused on the reality behind what it means to be a contemporary artist working today. Each is an exercise in testing conventional wisdoms about the “art world” and its players (including artists and their families, collectors, critics, gallerists, auction houses, and art schools).

For How Do Artists Live? (2006, projected slide show), Dalton conducted an extensive, Internet-based survey of more than 850 anonymous artists in Fall 2005. Her presentation of the results examines the lifestyles and economic situation of working artists and finds some surprising answers to the title question, including that 20% of artists with incomes over $200K/year do not have health insurance; women artists are twice as likely as men artists to be primarily supported by their partner; and men artists are more than twice as likely as women artists to primarily support themselves with art sales.

Highly praised in multiple art publications after its debut at New York’s Pulse Art Fair in March 2006 The Collector-ibles (2006, mixed media installation, edition of 3) features five large glass-fronted cabinets with 200 figurines representing the “Top 200 Art Collectors,” as catalogued in ArtNews magazine’s 2005 list. Each figure is a gilded Marvel or DC superhero mounted on a handmade base. The type of figurine and the treatment of the base denotes where the collector’s money comes from including business; finance; the arts & media; science & computers; real estate; law; energy (oil or mining industries, etc); and inheritance. In addition, each figure is holding different colored miniature shopping bags, color coded and also labeled in tiny printing to represent the type of art the collector collects.

He Said, She Said (2005, chalk pastel and blackboard paint on paper) places literal hatch marks on the marital headboard of husband and wife art critic couple Roberta Smith and Jerry Saltz, keeping count of the number of their reviews of female vs. male artists over one year. Also exploring the disparity between men and women artists is the Art Guide series (2006, mixed media). Maps taken directly from the “Chelsea Art Guide” distributed free at galleries-with each piece using color-coded map pins to indicate male (blue) solo exhibitions, female (pink) solo exhibitions, and mixed-group (white) exhibitions—show a consistent Chelsea ratio of approximately 2 to 1 exhibitions of male vs. female artists.

The title piece, Would You Rather Be a Loser or a Pig? offers the viewer an extreme choice between one of two free bracelets: one reads “Loser,” the other reads “Pig,” reflecting the increasing tendency within the art world to define achievement solely in terms of financial earnings and conspicuous consumption. Mourning the loss of a past when being a struggling artist was part of an honorable tradition, and there was some contempt for “marketable” artwork, this work’s implications go far beyond the art world, to address this dichotomy within many other professions and lifestyle decisions, and reflects the increasing political polarization and rising extremism it fosters.

Other recent and upcoming exhibitions of Dalton’s work include Superstars: The Celebrity Factor: From Warhol to Madonna, Kunsthalle, Vienna, Austria, 2005 and Personal Geographies, curated by Joanna Lindenbaum, Hunter College Times Square Gallery, NYC, 2006. For more information, please call 212-643-6152 or email info@winkleman.com.

Jennifer Dalton
Would You Rather Be a Loser or a Pig?

September 7 to October 14, 2006
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 7, 6-8 PM

Winkleman / Plus Ultra Gallery
637 West 27th Street (Ground Floor)
New York, NY 10001
T: 212.643.3152
F: 212.643.2040

Hours: Tuesday thru Saturday, 11am to 6pm or by appointment.
Directions: C or E train to 23rd Street. Walk North to 27th Street. Galelry is between 11th and 12th Avenues.

Press

Artnews, Jori Finkel, February 2, 2007

"Jennifer Dalton," The New Yorker, October 2, 2006

Rachel Somerstein, "Honey, I Shrunk the Collectors," ARTnews, Summer 2006

Jennifer Dalton

Would You Rather Be a Loser or A Pig?
September 7 - October 14, 2006
Opens September 7, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Works

This Is Not News

Jennifer Dalton, This Is Not News, 2006


Powered by ArtCat