The luxurious interiors of a typical “dream home” are questioned in the current exhibition In Every Dream Home at GCA Gallery in Bushwick. As you cross the threshold of this Brooklyn gallery, haphazard arrangements of granite slabs laid out in square, rectangular and circular pieces over the ground leave you awkwardly searching for your footing. Paintings of marble and granite cover the walls while ceramic urns placed on the gallery floor add to the dizzying atmosphere. GCA Co-Owners Mike Schreiber and Mary Kosut conceptualized the show in mid-July—not long after they were forcefully evicted from their own homes when their building was sold to a real estate developer. The artists in the exhibition satirize the sheen behind luxury and wealth during high-end apartment renovation by transforming a domicile into a sparkling graveyard.
By Nekoro Gomes
“Apparently granite from Brazil and Italy is the vanguard material for distinctly tasteful kitchen surfaces,” Mike Schreiber explains. “It's all the rage around here. And it doesn't degrade so these shards are everywhere, like little blank tombstones memorializing nothing good.”
To create the installation Counterculture, Schrieber collected granite "tombstones" leftover from sink renovations, many of them arranged in perfect circles, to give the In Every Dream Home exhibition its material-based sense of heft and defiance. The conceit, however, would feel contrite if it not for the hauntingly minimalist gouache paintings of stately marble floors rendered by artist Brendan Loper. Also accompanying the granite graveyard are seven ceramic funerary urns in eggshell white, slate and black created by artist Mike Dickey.
A large part of the reason we tend to associate marble with opulence is because of its seemingly ad hoc arrangement of geological swirls and colors. This concept is exemplified in Loper’s gouache canvasses. Loper sourced the inspiration for his paintings from different images on Instagram as well as several home improvement websites, but it was a visit to the Palace of Versailles that served as his biggest touchstone.
“You have this façade of wealth that gets erased by natural elements,” Loper explains.
Throughout Loper’s pieces there are these odd, angular reflections of what looks like the outside world as if viewed from a window, in a way suggesting the dissonance between our idea of the dream home, and that of the real world from which the materials for realizing that vision are taken.
Mike Dickey’s funerary urns are examples of sheer craftsmanship. Dickey shaped the ceramic pieces, used a metal brush to line a series of grooves into their shapes, and then put them in a kiln to firm up their structure. The results are ceramic pieces simultaneously fragile and resilient all at once. The exhibition’s interrogation of opulence through granite materials uncovers the dark underbelly of apartment renovation.
The In Every Dream Home exhibit can be viewed at the GCA space at 119 Ingraham Street, #315 through September 22nd. You can also follow their Tumblr page to learn more about different upcoming exhibitions.