Art on Campus: The Leisure Suite
Written by Bwog Staff
This past Thursday the Columbia art crowd was abuzz at the opening of “The Leisure Suite,” a new group show curated by 2008 MFA student Martin Basher. High-minded conversation, M.F.A. gossip and Bud Light flowed readily as visitors ate cheese cubes and made their way around the small space of the LeRoy Neiman Gallery, taking in work by featured artists Colby Bird, Divya Mehra, and Ben Turner, among others.
Despite a wide array of media, low-culture seems to be the theme of the hour at “Leisure Suite.” Striking, large-format photographs depict bedroom corners and closet contents; a hamburger with the works and then some is feted in bright, bold paint; masquerading as back-up refreshments, a mini-fridge full of 40s steams away in the middle of the gallery floor. The tennis court is the subject of two other pieces in the show. As a whole, “Leisure Suite” doesn’t engender a whole lot of serious contemplation, which may explain the laid-back feel of the opening, not to mention the exhibition title.
But if you’re hoping to drop by Dodge to check out the work, do it soon. There’s nothing leisurely about the wall-life of these pieces. By the February 14th closing, its likely all the work will be snapped up by prescient collectors. One long-haired young man, already in possession of an unassuming, carefully framed sheet of recycled paper, gestured towards a piece composed of wall-mounted text: “I’m trying to buy that,” he expressed, with some consternation. I’m betting that when the 40s go, it won’t be for $1.99.
– Merrell Hambleton