curated by
Walker Waugh
October 10 - November 10, 2008

WORK is pleased to announce a new two-person exhibition featuring Eric Ayotte and Samson Young. Opening Friday, October 10th at 7pm, the exhibit will include the first-ever showing of five paintings by Ayotte and the Brooklyn debut of sculpture by Young. Through a meticulous construction of surface, both artists investigate questions of illusion, consumption and power in their approach to making work.
Working with a toolbox of decidedly high-def painting materials - spraypaint, polymer resin, and aluminum - Eric Ayotte constructs glossy-surfaced layers of paint that draw the eye in, employing optical tricks to simulate the world's most potent mass produced consumable: the television. Ayotte's embrace of painting as "televised event" reconciles the actual experience of a historical moment with it's inevitable reconversion back to static image. This new series of paintings consists of found material from 1950's and 60's media, painted with a precise photo-realism, and then scrambled as if an antenna were in need of adjustment. Employing and distorting potent social and political images - Dr. King seated in front of a balcony, or a politician at a lectern addressing the audience of his own ghostly self - Ayotte's muted grayscale palette offers an obscured reflection of the televised past. His paintings question notions of historical significance, asking how it is we interact with media and how we deal with meaning filtered through visual language.
Eric Ayotte is a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design (BFA 2002) and Goldsmiths College University of London (PGDip 2003, MFA 2007). He has exhibited work in Europe as well as in the United States. Recent work has been shown in Paris (Gallery Suty, 2007), London (Tenderpixel Gallery, 2008), New York (Heist Gallery, 2008; White Box Gallery and WORK, 2007) and California (Rock Paper Scissors Gallery, 2008).
Samson Young's Ride Me Like a Cowboy (The New China) is an electric coin-operated riding automat of the kind one would find outside a supermarket or bodega. The ride, which is actually "Made in China," rocks into motion and gleeful song when a quarter is placed into it's coin-slot. Meanwhile, a small video monitor mounted on the front seat plays footage of the violently repressed student protests on Beijing's Tiananmen Square. The work offers a poignant commentary on the current situation in the People's Republic, a country which propagates to the outside world the successful union of communist ideology and capitalist business.
Samson Young was born in Hong Kong. After completing his studies in music and philosophy at the University of Sydney, he went on to earn his Masters degree in composition at the University of Hong Kong. Since 2005, he has lived and worked in New York City, while pursuing a doctorate degree in composition at Princeton University. Most recently Ride Me Like a Cowboy (The New China) appeared in the group show Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win: Emerging Artists from the Chinese Diaspora (Deutschebank, New York, 2008).
Eric Ayotte and Samson Young will be on display at WORK from October 10 - November 10, 2008


Samson Young, Ride Me Like a Cowboy, 2007

Eric Ayotte, Conversaations with History, 2008

Eric Ayotte, Speak, 2008

Eric Ayotte, Brigade, 2008

Eric Ayotte, October 22nd 1963, 2008

Eric Ayotte, Apart, 2008