Monday, July 25, 2022


Larry Wolf, Transient Utopias (2022)

I'm working on a silkscreen for a black t-shirt. The source images include two photos taken on/from the Metra Electric platform at 51st, an image from the JWST a million miles away; the text is inspired by an essay in Ten Years of Chances Dances (a queer party that spanned ten years and resulted in a catalog which I came across this week)... the essay by John Neff and Lorelei Stewart references a quote from Chances: "temporary utopias are time machines"... which is kind of fascinating.

I hear echoes of an essay by Ocean Vuong about fire escapes as a place where we have necessary and challenging conversations. The font is Be Oakley's Act Up Protest font... and it's all a riff on the art of queer failure... or the queer art of failure... or the failed queer agenda... or ??? ;-)

There's a further personal commentary about the fracturing of visions for a better future, the ground becoming unstable as institutions fail and the ripples that each of us makes as we walk through our lives. It's all transient. This is the third or fourth iteration. 

For now, no t-shirts, though several very nice prints on black paper. Pretty good for a first time ;-)

Larry Wolf, Transient Utopias (2022, silkscreen)

Larry Wolf, Transient Utopias (2022)

Larry Wolf, Transient Utopias (2022)

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Filter Members Exhibition 2022

I submitted this work to V: the Annual Filter Members Exhibition

Larry Wolf, Washington University Track 1946 (2022)

Six hurdlers are all airborne in a photo by my father from 1946. Each athlete, or in one case, three of them, has been cropped from the full image and printed individually. Each sheet can be folded into a hyperbolic paraboloid, informally called a hypar, a surprisingly curved shape constructed from nested squares. Here the hypars are suspended, moving with the air currents.

This work continues my interest in how photographs incorporate time, the moment of exposure with the athletes all in the air, the moments of viewing – the photographer’s and subjects’ now, the viewers' now, the artist as an intermediary time machine.

The source photograph was found recently with other slides from 1946 to 1957 – a lost family archive found as we emptied my deceased mother's apartment, a survivor of a nasty divorce. My father spoke with longing for his student days at W. U. – the image exudes youthful energy years after his death – as desaturated images, the people become ghosts in the light and dark of the hypar’s folds.

Like my other works, these are single sheets of paper, folded according to a set of rules that creates a three-dimensional object. Folding adds human touch to mechanical reproduction. Copies of the work are available for the viewer to take. The act of folding is centering, requiring patience, attention and caring, allowing the form to emerge. It invites the audience into an active intimacy, participating in creating the work.

For more info, see my page DIY SIP Hypar Zine.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

House Divided

Bruce Nauman, House Divided (1983)
Photo Larry Wolf (2022)

Bruce Nauman, House Divided (1983)
Photo Larry Wolf (2022)

Nauman draws on his roots for the form of this sculpture, a large white building typical of Midwestern farming sheds. Yet inside, the structure has been divided in half, diagonally. The carefully considered placement of three entries creates an uncomfortable space with no corners. Fully half of the structure has been rendered useless. 

Dick Burd,
Construction of House Divided (1984)
CARLI Digital Collection

By associating the piece through its title with Abraham Lincoln’s House Divided speech, the artist forces a consideration of the significance of this unassuming work on a new level.

Governors State University