Outside the Box: Jim Campbell, Emil Lukas, Marco Maggi, Liliana Porter, Alan Rath, Felipe Barbosa, Jonathan Brand, Rebecca Goldfarb, Paul de Guzman, Byron Kim, Gay Outlaw


So there’s this old visual puzzle of a nine dot grid (3 dots by 3 dots). You’re probably familiar with it. Or, if not, the graphic (complete with its solution) is likely attached to this release or on an announcement card nearby, depending upon where you’re reading this. But in the case that you aren’t or it isn’t, the task is to connect all nine dots with only four straight lines, each line starting from the end of another such that the puzzle can be solved without lifting your pen or pencil from the paper.


The puzzle inspired both a terribly cliched catchphrase and me to notice a wide variety of ways contemporary artists are looking beyond the frame. To cite some examples…


Marco Maggi allows his graphite and drypoint drawings to cleverly escape from their typical circumstance.


And Paul de Guzman brings the insides of books and magazines out in a process where the architecture of art is revealed.


Emil Lukas takes familiar material, such as thread or his own dried-out paint mixing cups, and allows them dominion beyond the canvas into our, the viewer’s, space.


A similar thing happens in Liliana Porter’s work where her objects and figurines are literally off the page and stepping into our world.

Jim Campbell cooperates with Alan Rath to instead bring things from the outside world into his digital “page.”


Working outside the box in an abstract way, Gay Outlaw and Felipe Barbosa each create objects that play with the spaces where two and three dimensions meet.


Sometimes thinking outside the box just requires letting it all hang out — such as Byron Kim’s paint and encaustic works that hang off the canvas surface to surprising effect.


Jonathon Brand’s take is literally a box that unfurls itself like a blossoming flower.


And Rebecca Goldfarb has found that she’d rather leave the question of what’s outside the box to you to surveil.


To be clear, in no case are these artists explicitly thinking in corporate terms. Their outside-the-box tendencies are features of artworks that address a wide range of other issues and aesthetic concerns. But within the context of this theme, we are afforded a perspective on the myriad, creative methods artists find to expand the traditional boundaries of artistic practice.


Curated by Hosfelt Gallery Assistant Director Jay Auslander.

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