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Aspen Art Museum Presents the Work of Artist Dave McKenzie
Dave McKenzie, "I’ll Be There", 2007. Courtesy: The Artist and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects.
ASPEN, CO.- Beginning with a free public reception from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., on Thursday, April 15, 2010 the Aspen Art Museum presents an exhibition of the works of New York-based artist Dave McKenzie.

With a keen sense of the inherent problems often encountered in communications between artist and viewer, Dave McKenzie uses objects, actions, and an equally poignant sense of humor to bridge that divide. Using sculptures or paintings as proposed encounters—a dinner meeting, a specific appointment, or even a casual conversation—McKenzie transforms everyday interpersonal activities into artworks. Primarily existing without either documentation or even an audience, these actions are, as the artist puts it, “critical of the fact that, for the most part, we are totally oblivious to one another.”

While the traditional exhibition format can be seen as an unfolding through space during a fixed time, McKenzie’s exhibition at the Aspen Art Museum will unfold over time in a variety of spaces. In the AAM Lower Gallery, McKenzie will present a sprawling environmental installation. Comprised of nearly twenty boom boxes, two video projections, and three hand-made sculptures of refrigerator boxes in various stages of use, the work reflects on living in America, both at the cusp of a historic presidency and also shortly after that election. Colliding world music, political speech, and popular culture, McKenzie’s installation will function like reading the newspaper or watching the evening news and mapping the juxtaposition of stories, which reinforce each other at times and cancel each other out at others.

Combining the exhibition in the AAM Lower Gallery with the creation of a float for Aspen’s Old-Fashioned Fourth of July Parade, along with other actions, McKenzie’s Aspen exhibition will emphasize his ongoing interest in returning, revisiting, and addressing the temporal aspects of all relationships.

Dave McKenzie was born in 1977 in Kingston, Jamaica, and lives and works in New York. McKenzie has held residencies at the P.S.1 National Studio Program, New York (2001-02) and the Studio Museum in Harlem (2003-04), and has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston (2007); 40,000 Gallery, Chicago (2006); and Susanne Vielmetter Gallery, Los Angeles (2004); and Savage Art Resources, Portland, Oregon (2004). His work has also been included in significant group shows including Figuratively: William Cordova, Dave McKenzie, and William Cordova (2004) at The Studio Museum in Harlem; Down the Garden Path (2005) at the Queens Museum of Art, New York; and Listening to New Voices (2002) P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York. McKenzie was recipient of the 2005 William H. Johnson Prize for outstanding achievement by an African-American artist, as well as a Louis Comfort Tiffany Award in 2005.

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