Saturday, January 13, 2007

Gym Action at Steven Wolf (SF)

Note: These exhibits will close on 2/24/07.

To be in spirit for the new shows at Steven Wolf Fine Arts, you should arrive dressed for the gym. Walking in the door, you see half a dozen bench-press contraptions arrayed across the room (photo above). The barbells are huge. On the rear wall is a row of mirrored surfaces. The full-sized equipment dominate the space in a way that makes the viewer seem small and secondary. But it’s made entirely of paper. The artist is Christopher Tallon, from Los Angeles. The show is called “Six Pack.”

In the adjoining space, artist Mark Lee Morris has set up an exercise room, complete with mirrors, exercise videos, a gym locker, etc. Several times a week he visits the space to work out to the videos, which feature multiple versions of himself. The title of this show is “Hardcore/Psycho Workout.” (Photos above and below.)

This crisply installed exhibit isn’t a health club. It’s a spa that promotes surface allure and panders to narcissism. Located in an art gallery, it suggests that’s where the art world has arrived.

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