September 8th through November 3, 2007

Deborah Colton Gallery, Houston, Texas

Michel Auder, Hubert Kretzschmar, Maripol, Jonas Mekas, Michael Portnoy, Agathe Snow, Marianne Vitale

Curated by Liutauras Psibilskis


Chemical City featured work that explore the creative climate of downtown Manhattan’s urban cultures over the last 30 years. Each of the artists in the exhibition have produced specific pieces for this occasion. The opening was marked by a performance by Michael Portnoy.

The title refers to the fusion, permutation, and exchange of elements, concepts and thoughts that are inherent to New York. It is an aspect of the city that can be thought of as its chemistry. Chemical City gives us a glimpse of creativity and brings together generations of artists who have found their experiences and inspiration in New York’s streets, music scene, and street cultures. Chemical City, like downtown Manhattan itself, is an experience revolving around combined elements brought together by the interaction of diverse forms of art. The featured artists open doors to reality and fantasy worlds that reflect the experience of living in downtown from the 70s to the present. The collection brings together artists who are regarded as the cornerstones for the downtown art scene and also younger artists who have become important contributors of the scene today.

Michel Auder shows a film based on footage he filmed in 1977 of a walk with legendary artist, poet and actor Taylor Mead on Christopher street in New York. New photographic pieces by Auder will be also shown in the exhibition. For the first time Jonas Mekas will show a video film based on a footage filmed in 1990 as he walked through Soho and Lover East Side, giving us an informal tour of the city along with his Frozen Film Frames. Marianne Vitale’s work consists of crude oil drawings and paintings on silk, and an architectural structure built with found materials, reflecting elements of the metropolitan living experience, inspired by energy of life on the Lower East Side. Maripol will feature new selection polaroids of legendary art and pop personalities in the 80s. Hubert Kreschmar has been closely involved both with music and art scenes of the city, his collages from 1988 will be shown in the exhibition. Previously unreleased footage by Agathe Snow documents the 2005 dance marathon art event she organized at Ground Zero, featuring an unprecedented gathering of more then 200 downtown Manhattan residents for a 24-hour dance-a-thon. Interested in games and human behavioral patterns, Michael Portnoy offers a new edition of his game table that debuted at the 2007 Moscow Biennale. This work reflects Fluxus strategies and, and to a larger extent, the ideas of play in the city and society as a whole.