|KYSA JOHNSON blow up 250 – Be it ever so humble – subatomic decay patterns after Wyandanch, Payne and Rennert
December 14, 2013 – March 1, 2014 | Opening reception: Saturday, December 14, 6-8 pm
HALSEY MCKAY is pleased to present, an immersive installation by Kysa Johnson. Taking over the downstairs gallery with a sculptural chalk on blackboard drawing, Johnson employs subatomic decay patterns to define a Hampton’s landscape occupied by 3 homes: a wigwam typical of the Montauk, John Howard Payne’s grandfather’s humble estate, and a contemporary palatial one. The landscape reads as an evolution of home in the area as well as a microcosm for the changing economic landscape in our country. Highly detailed drawings cover the walls and sculptural structures whose relative sizes are scaled to reflect income inequality in colonial times and today. The installation explores thematic extremes of what a home can be: modesty vs. opulence, the spiritual vs. physical in a physical manifestation of this discrepancy.
A home can be seen as a manifestation of the system that created it. The Hamptons has become a contemporary symbol of the decadence and excess of the .01 % who flock here during the summer months. The median price of an East Hampton home in 2009 was 347% higher then the national average $947,675, compared to a national median of $272,900. Johnson sites Ira Rennert’s palatial estate at 110,000 square feet and valued at 150 million dollars as an exemplary model. Oddly, the Hampton’s is also home to the small thatched roof cottage that inspired the song Home Sweet Home by John Howard Payne. The lyrics “Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam, Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home” have come to symbolize a home’s importance as divorced from it’s physical opulence; home as a platonic ideal rather than a trophy or expression of social standing. The subatomic decay patterns act as a unifying element between these two extremes. They are a metaphor for change over time, the dissolution of a system, an ideal and also an equalizer. They are representative of the fact that big or small, bombastic or humble, all are equalized by their ultimate temporality.
Kysa Johnson lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Recent solo exhibitons have been with Morgan Lehman Gallery, NY; The Alrich Museum, CT and the Nicolaysen Museum, WY. She has exhibited in, among other venues, The DeCordova Museum, MA; Dublin Contemporary, Dublin; The Katonah Museum of Art, NY, The Hudson River Museum, NY ; The 2nd Biennial of the Canary Islands, Tenerife; the Tang Museum, NY and The National Academy of Science, Washington DC.
ANNABELLE SPEER – Weather Patterns
HALSEY MCKAY is pleased to present Annabelle Speer’s first solo exhibition. Speer’s acrylic paintings explore the materiality of paint through visual references to the landscape, weather patterns and atmospheric conditions. Her quiet and open references to the natural world flicker between representation and abstraction. The idiosyncratic marks used to describe nature doubly act as vehicles for exploring formal queries about paint and paint application. Speer’s modest visual language of all-over washes, lines, and dots create a familiar yet other sense of how we experience our environments.
Annabelle Speer is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. She lives and works in East Hampton, NY
HALSEY MCKAY GALLERY | 79 Newtown Lane | East Hampton | New York | 11937 | 631.604.5770 | www.halseymckay.com