gifting abstraction

Soho20 Chelsea Gallery, NYC October 4-29, 2011

Gifting Abstraction established a provisional, intimate economy within Soho20Chelsea gallery in which abstract art objects had not yet been subject to the dominant economic system. Representing the economy as a synonym for capitalism relies on the exclusion of different types of economic proceedings that remunerate and distribute material goods but do so according to other kinds of value. The gift economy paradigm recognizes that there are different registers outside dominant market forces, and that the gift renders riches of its own. One of the perplexing aspects of the gift is that while its effect cannot be measured, its underlying intention is generally palpable: at its best, the gift generates a sense of hightened interconnectedness. For some, the gift carries a sense of impossibility as intention, ego and object collide in the transaction.

This experimental exhibition brought abstract objects and artists together into a shifting and relational process. The arrangement of the works in the exhibit changed regularly depending on artists’ choices. Each artist gave a piece and selected one from the exhibition to take at the end of the show. Gifting artists communicated with each other through a blog created for that purpose.

Artists: Melanie Crader, Matthew Deleget, Anoka Faruqee, Michelle Grabner, Brent Hallard, John Hawke, Gilbert Hsiao, Pablo Manga, Thomas Martin, Leah Raintree, Claudia Sbrissa, Karen Schifano, Karen Schiff, Jessica Snow, Robert Strati, Ann Tarantino.

Gifting Abstraction, curated by Mariángeles Soto-Díaz, is part of Abstraction at Work, an entity dedicated to rethinking abstraction's functions through projects ranging from temporary installations to participatory, social practice and curatorial experiments.

Visit the archived Blog for Gifting Abstraction

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