JAMES WEINGROD / For the Trees Contained the Entire Universe They Inhabited
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE > MAY 15, 2018
Saturday, June 9, 6PM – 9PM
May 26 – June 7 / Monday – Saturday, 12PM – 5PM
June 10 – August 4 / Saturday, 12PM – 5PM
Other Days By Appointment Only
“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite.
For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.”
– William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
PROVIDENCE, RI – YELLOW PERIL. is pleased to present For the Trees Contained the Entire Universe They Inhabited, a “living” exhibition featuring an evolving new series of painting, sculpture and installation by James Weingrod. Created over the past two years, starting with his time at the Robert Rauschenberg Residency in Captiva, the exhibition, which runs from May 26 – August 4, follows Weingrod’s recent interest in working with trees and the idea of these overlooked creatures as “both singularly and collectively containing the entire universe within their walls, such that they can constitute a structural and visual model of a universe rich with mystery, beauty and interconnectivity.” The opening event is Saturday, June 9, from 6PM – 9PM.
This new series of works comes from a process that began on a winter’s day in 2016 when a large maple tree in Weingrod’s backyard was cut down. “When I saw various patterns of the trunk’s grain and the incredible forms created by whatever had been feasting on the insides of the tree toward its trunk, I was immediately reminded of the type of astral phenomena I have been replicating in my paintings, sculptures and installations for years,” he notes. “That same day I began researching how to dry, preserve and process wood.” Weingrod has spent the better part of two years researching and conducting a series of experiments centering on different treatments and methods of drying, curing, preserving and finally cutting sections of the felled tree to, as he says, “reveal a universe” within. Each tree-based piece will imagine a different conceptual, structural and/or visual “model” of the universe.
The exhibition invites and challenges viewers to look at both trees and space (in multiple senses of the word) in a new light. “Trees have been watching the stars since long before humans existed,” Weingrod observes. “Who’s to say they don’t understand it better than we do? Who knows what secrets of the universe they might reveal if we would look more closely?” he asks. “Instead we kill and consume them in endless ways, or even just remove them, clear them for a better view, burn whole forests of them to the ground to take their earth, the soil that they made of themselves over hundreds, thousands, millions or billions of years of life, death and rebirth. It is my intention to draw attention to the tree as a plausible window into the mysteries of the universe, not at as a mere source of lumber, fuel, or paper.”
For the Trees Contained the Entire Universe They Inhabited will unveil a tiny sliver of the cosmos, embedded within a tree to remind viewers that there is still that which unites us. “What I aspire to achieve with my artwork is simply to create a space for the contemplation of space, a feeling of wonder, and a moment to remember that we are small,” Weingrod shares. “We focus so intently on that which divides and separates us, on what makes us different—from one another, from animals, from trees… We do this in order to impose order on our world, to judge one another and exclude those whom and that which we fear from lack of understanding. The universe is not intimidated – it doesn’t care; the universe does not judge, nor exclude, nor direct. The universe simply encompasses; it unites.” He hopes the work will encourage people to step back and observe that the whole universe is right there in a section of a tree from his backyard. “It infuses us all and all that surrounds us,” Weingrod stresses. “All you have to do is look.”
In the spirit of inclusion, For the Trees Contained the Entire Universe They Inhabited will be a “living” exhibition. Like the universe it inhabits –and the tree pieces in it – the structure of the exhibition will follow a cycle of life, death, rebirth and extinction. The first two weeks of the exhibition (May 26 to June 9) will serve as what Weingrod calls an “incubation” period. During this period the works presented when the show opens on May 26 will begin growing, changing, and expanding within the space, as they make room for or become parts of a larger works/installations. New or previously invisible elements of light, color and phosphorescent form will begin to emerge in the works and the space on a daily basis. “So much of what motivates most artists, what goes into their work, and their process remains hidden,” explains Weingrod. “I want this exhibition to showcase the form and content of my processes as well. I encourage viewers to come back,hopefully multiple times, to see the space within the space change, grow and develop.”
The opening event, scheduled from 6PM – 9PM on Saturday, June 9, willfeatureanexhibitionthatis larger, brighter, and differentthan wasthesumofitspartswhen the show opens on May26. We invite you to visit YELLOW PERIL. during this two-week period to see the artist at work from 12PM – 5PM.
For the Trees Contained the Entire Universe They Inhabited will also include several public events in conjunction with the show, designed to engage with viewers and include them in th eevolution of the installation. The exhibition will conclude Saturday, August 4. This is James Weingrod’s first solo show at YELLOW PERIL.
About James Weingrod
JAMES WEINGROD was born in 1982 in Boston and grew up in coastal Massachusetts and Providence, Rhode Island. Weingrod earned a BA with Honors in Visual Arts from Brown University and upon graduating was presented with the 2004 Roberta Jocelyn Award for Excellence in Art. During the summers of his sophomore and junior years at Brown, he worked as a studio assistant to Frank Stella. After college, Weingrod moved to New York City to continue working for Stella, and set up a studio for his own work in Queens. In 2006, he was accepted to the MFA program at Hunter College.
After receiving his degree from Hunter in 2009, Weingrod relocated his studio to Bushwick, Brooklyn. In 2010 and again in 2011, he was an Artist in Residence at The Wassaic Project. 2013 brought his first two solo exhibitions: Hush, at Lori Bookstein Fine Art in New York City, and SPACE /SPĀS/ (NOUN),at Napoleon Gallery in Philadelphia. In 2014, Weingrod was awarded a residency and fellowship at the National YoungArts Foundation’s headquarters in Miami. There he curated two group shows during Art Basel and was commissioned to create a permanent installation entitled Where the Stars Meet the Sea for the Foundation. In 2015, he was invited to participate in the Acadia Summer Arts Program, and in 2016, he was awarded a Rauschenberg Residency in Captiva by the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.
Today, Weingrod lives and works between Brooklyn and Providence. His work has been shown in galleries in New York City as well as in Greater New York, Miami, Philadelphia, and Providence.
For more information about James Weingrod, visit jamesweingrod.com.
About YELLOW PERIL.
Founded in 2011, YELLOW PERIL. is a contemporary art gallery located at The Plant, a historic mill complex in the Olneyville neighborhood of Providence, Rhode Island. The Gallery fosters art critiques from emerging, mid-career and established artists who have been featured in biennials and museum exhibitions, participated in top tier art fairs and acquired by private collectors worldwide. In 2016, YELLOW PERIL. opened Peligro Amarillo / Santurce, its first outpost in the arts district of San Juan, Puerto Rico. For more info about future exhibitions, visit www.yellowperilgallery.com.
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If you’d like more information about this press release, or to schedule an interview with JAMES WEINGROD, please contact Vanphouthon Souvannasane, Director, YELLOW PERIL. via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.