For the summer 2016 installment of its International Artist-in-Residence cycle, Artpace
turned curatorial duties over to Dominic Molon, the Richard Brown Baker Curator of Contemporary Art at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art. With a wide-ranging eye that’s informed the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago’s “Production Site: The Artist’s Studio Inside-Out” (an exhibition addressing the pivotal role of the studio in artists’ practice) and the touring “Situation Comedy” (an exploration of humor’s increasingly present role in the realm of contemporary art), Molon selected Andy Coolquitt (Austin), Juan William Chávez (St. Louis) and Rachel Maclean (Glasgow), who have been living and working together at Artpace since May 16.
A creative scavenger of the highest order, Coolquitt crafts impractical magic from salvage and debris (metal tubing, plastic bottles, straws, you name it) and famously turned an Austin farmhouse into a collaborative compound informed by artists, friends and strangers.
With fabric scraps strewn on the floor, shelving units and a display case filled with seemingly random findings, tables scattered with tools and hardware, Coolquitt’s Artpace exhibition “Studio Art…………………Period Room” may recall your fondest memories of thrift shopping on acid. Simultaneously disorienting and intriguing, the obstacle course-like installation draws from his previous projects and experiments as well as an admittedly odd relationship with consumer culture that involves daily trips to Home Depot.