Callicoon Fine Arts presents a stand by Thomas Kovachevich with works from 1968 to 1981 for Spotlight. During this time Kovachevich was creating works with humble, ordinary materials, using performance, and engaging with natural phenomena and architectural space.
The booth will contain key works from the period, including a work comprised of various objects: small assemblages of tissue and tape, glass slides, wire. When exhibited at Szeeman’s 1972 Documenta, these objects were passed between the artist and the viewer, a performative enlivening as they were viewed and examined.
The booth will also contain an installation of brown gummed packaging tape installed on the wall in vertical stripes. Pinned to the wall at the top and bottom, each stripe of tape is otherwise loose. Titled “Portraits of This Room,” the tape curls forming a closed tube when the surrounding air is dry, and lays flat again with the air is humid.
Kovachevich developed performances that culminated with events at the Drawing Center (1977). Kovachevich placed pieces of cut paper on fabric draped over trays of warmed water. The paper begins to move, responding to the evaporation of the water. The papers, folding in and out of each other interact like actors on a stage, developing a narrative. One such “stage” will be in the center of the booth. By replacing the water with paint, Kovachevich used the performance action as a process for making paintings. These paintings will form the core of our presentation, each artwork a time capsule of earlier conditions — of atmosphere and material — that occurred at the time of the performance of their making.