Michael Genovese, Solo Exhibition, Frost Art Museum (2012)
P.S. Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum Florida International University
Michael Genovese sets out to examine the American public during a time of transition with a four-year exchange creating a social dialogue, through the most fundamental form of communication – written conversation. With Post Script, Genovese presented the first of two exhibitions. Seven large-scale works pointed to his research and development, gleaned during his one-year visiting artist tenure at the Frost Art Museum and Florida International University.
He combined over 20 different surfaces, carved and written on with specific themes, such as: existentialism, dreams, and Intoxication, including works from different parts of the country to create a conversation about cross-cultural comparisons. This monochromatic exhibition featured an aluminum composite material incised with markings created by students of FIU and the general public. The plates were arranged in various compositions that pointed to works he studied from the Frost Art Museums permanent collection, including pieces by David Hockney, Agnes Martin, Louise Nevelson, and Frederick Kiesler.
The exhibition begins with a combination of rectangles and squares that climb the wall and rest on the floor, paired with an extrusion chair made by Emmet Moore. This composition is a silhouette of Frederick Kieslers Galaxy 1, and features six aluminum composite plates that have incised drawings and social commentary from various institutions from around the country. The locations include: FIU campus, The Miami Art Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The University of Texas San Antonio, Loyola University, and a plate installed in a bathroom at a local billiard hall.
Next to this installation, Genovese presents a combination of work where the plates are cut to adjoin on the same plane with a circular plate mounted the center of the work. The shapes and color recall a Louis Nevelson piece from the Frost collection, held together with a set of square tubing, which references a work on paper – Chicago, 1952, by Artist Agnes Martin – and an internet symbol – Flipping Table. The plates content mix drawing and social commentary created by Miami-Dade high school students, and the surface of a lunch table from the Frost Art Museum.
Subsequently, Genovese captured the thoughts, fears, and inner-workings of various individuals, covering over 15 different themes that included: dreams, stereotypes, eulogies, race, censorship, secrets, and temptations. He planted a seed to start the conversation – posing a question and asking the public to respond, anonymously. What do people really think, say, and feel when no one is watching? There are no repercussions, and no one to judge. How does this differ across the country?
Modern day hieroglyphs, and the corresponding transcriptions were the starting block for Genovese's new work, and filtered through the process, his works build from social commentary, shining a light on society where the polished veneer is stripped. This exhibition delves into theoretical themes that aim to better understand what it means to be human.