People Who Work There
The iconic American artist Sol LeWitt once worked at the book counter of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in the 1960s. It was there that he met his coworkers Dan Flavin and Lucy Lippard, and where Jeff Koons would begin working the ticket booth in the following decade. To fund his early art practice, Richard Serra started an art installation and furniture-moving business, working with assistant Philip Glass. And gallerist Betty Parsons, once best known for her promotion of abstract expressionism, has been rediscovered as a talented painter in her own right. Many artists who have worked within museums and arts institutions have gone on to make art history.
Held at David Zwirner in 2012 and 2016, the exhibition series People Who Work Here was dedicated to showcasing works by artists who also work at the gallery. Inspired by this tradition, Mary Howard and Alec Smyth, both members of David
Zwirner’s sales team, have organized an exhibition titled People Who Work There at the second-floor Brooklyn gallery cfcp. The exhibition features works by twenty-eight artists who are currently on staff at David Zwirner.
People Who Work There brings together multifaceted works across a vast range of media, including drawing, photography, printmaking, video, painting, sculpture, and installation. David Zwirner’s latest Online Viewing Room is presented in conjunction with People Who Work There. This online exhibition features a selection of available works by artists who work in various departments at the gallery, including sales, press, finance, and operations. A number of works shown here are also on view in the exhibition at cfcp.
All proceeds from this Viewing Room directly benefit the artists and cfcp.
“Sean Micka’s photorealistic paintings are based on print auction catalogue photographs, mainly from Christie’s and Sotheby’s, of fine antiques, jewelry, and luxury items. They depict spoons, ladles, diamonds, emeralds, furniture, timepieces, and automobiles. Painted with high fidelity to realism, Micka’s paintings become aesthetic objects of labor themselves, mapping out a paradoxical connection to the functions of authorship, and practices of collecting artifacts. They are close reproductions, or appropriations, of ready-made images.”
— Mary Howard
“Kyle Combs is one of the art handlers at the gallery. He typically works in audio, however this is one of the first sculptures that he's made. It's a 3D printed plastic, computer-generated algorithm that is self-perpetuating. Using a custom code, he generates auto-poietic, emergent forms.”
— Mary Howard
“Julian Louis Philips’ video, our mothers raised wolves but they saw dogs, takes footage from the 2018 US Tennis Open, and combines it with audio and video from various other times when black women were ridiculed or silenced while being placed in the media spotlight. Voices that are heard include Fannie Lou Hamer and Anita Hill. The music is Summertime by George Gershwin played at various speeds. The juxtaposition of time, sound, and imagery depicts the persistence of negative attitudes towards the black female voice.”
“Rhys Ziemba is an art handler at David Zwirner. This series, which he has been working on for several years in the basement of his studio, often includes things like traffic cones, paint buckets, cardboard boxes or colorful, abstract tarp. The work featured in this Online Viewing Room includes a pink flamingo, which is another object that he has been painting recently. He brings banal objects from work, or from the street and brings them to the studio to arrange them in different formations, bringing life to them in that process.”
— Alec Smyth