Jennifer Dalton
A Task No One Assigned
February 22 to March 24, 2002
Opening: Friday, February 22, 2002, 7-9 PM

Plus Ultra is very pleased to present “A Task No One Assigned,” a solo exhibition of recent work by New York artist Jennifer Dalton. In three mixed media works, Dalton explores the perceptions of artists as seen through the eyes of an image-savvy, corporation-influenced culture.

The title of Dalton’s exhibit is taken from a review by The New Yorker art critic Peter Schjeldahl, who in reference to works at a group exhibition wrote, “What makes these exercises art? Well, what else might they reasonably be? They perform tasks that no one assigned.” He went on to explain, “they involve real work that is really gratuitous. In a world of tightly knit job descriptions, that’s distinction enough.”

How artists are perceived by popular media and perceived by the public is addressed in Dalton’s installation of 350 snapshots cataloging every photograph of an artist appearing in The New Yorker from 1999 to 2001. Categorized according to discipline, gender, and style of portrayal (on a scale ranging from “pinup” to “genius”), each artist’s image forms part of a bar graph lining three of the gallery’s walls. How artists are viewed by one of their own ranks is addressed in a PowerPoint presentation titled “Contemporary Art According to Jen.” in this work that “names names,” Dalton categorizes artists in lists ranging from “the artist as librarian” to “the artist as healer” to “the artist as loser.” viewers are encouraged to suggest additions to the lists, anticipating a multi-viewpoint version of the piece to come. Finally, Dalton presents an 8-foot drawing of lists of adjectives culled from the pages of Artforum, comparing the words used by art world insiders and dividing them by the gender of the artist described.

Although the quasi-scientific representations in “A Task No One Assigned” lend an air of carefully gathered, statistically sound data with specific conclusions as their goal, Dalton willingly admits that each piece is filtered through her own choices and experiences and that the conclusions, where obvious, are her own. Through their elegance and humor, her installations stop short of moralizing, even as they remain eye opening and absorbing.

For more information (718) 387-3844 or (917) 972-5881 or visit our website at www.plusultragallery.com.

Jennifer Dalton
A Task No One Assigned
February 22 to March 24, 2002
Opening: Friday, February 22, 2002, 7-9 PM

Press

Francis Richard, "Jennifer Dalton: Plus Ultra," Artforum, May 2002

Jennifer Dalton

A Task No One Assigned
February 22 - March 24, 2002
Opens February 22, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Works

What Does An Artist Look Like?

Jennifer Dalton, What Does An Artist Look Like?, 2002


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