Blum & Poe and Mendes Wood DM are pleased to announce The Lot Show, a new coextensive exhibition presented by Tt X AB, or Alvaro Barrington and Teresa Farrell.
Installed on a beachside lot in Far Rockaway, NY, this show picks up where Barrington and Farrell’s fall 2019 London project, Tall Boys and a Double Espresso, left off. Having met in undergrad at Hunter College in 2009, the two artists are longtime friends with a history of collaboration. Over the course of many years, the duo has formed a habit of setting up shop in various cities a few months before a show and hosting a series of parties leading up to their openings, always with live musical performances, DJs, and free jerk chicken or hot dogs. The Lot Show is no different—although this time the salt air and the ocean breeze from Rockaway Beach add a nice touch.
Several months ago, Barrington and Farrell rented a duplex house close to the beach, painting there while simultaneously transforming the adjacent derelict empty lot into functional studios. Manufactured in the spirit of beach bungalows and Caribbean Rasta shacks, the open-air studios also function as outdoor pandemic-safe gathering/performance spaces. A series of five major outdoor events including an early open studio day was hosted there from July through September, culminating in the current exhibition. The Lot Show presents a collaboration between two artists and friends—a joint on-site creation, and new works from their respective practices.
Teresa Farrell’s recent paintings take on existential dualities prompted by the pandemic—moments of loss paired with the celebration of renewal, tragedy followed by transformation and regeneration. One painting entitled Live Fast Die commemorates her recently deceased friend Pirate Pete, a wild soul whose years in Rockaway left indelible memories with the many who knew him—“Live Fast Die” were the words tattooed across Pirate Pete’s chest. Another painting, Vuelve con tu papa, is a dream-like portrait of the Rockaway band The Bachata Boys. An ensemble of the Latino members from various New York bands who came together at the height of the pandemic, the group wheels battery-powered amps down the Rockaway boardwalk, safely providing musical healing outdoors.
Alvaro Barrington’s works on view continue his signature bright palette and textured surfaces, this time focusing on the elements of the ocean and its shores. Barrington looks to the power and chaos of the waves and blazing sun, and to the exhibitionism of beach culture in the series he calls Beach Bodies. These works took on new meaning as New York City flooded in the waters of Hurricane Ida, and Barrington sat alone in his Rockaway home as the storm shook the house. In one painting from the series, Barrington jarringly incorporates a cinderblock affixed to a truncated abdomen, a reflection on the fragility of the species and the forceful impacts of climate change. These tactile works are composed on carpet, showcasing Barrington’s inventive and playful use of unorthodox materials.
The sculptural and architectural interventions on the site of The Lot Show highlight the confluence of the two artists’ stylistic concerns. From the ramshackle hotdog stand to the elaborately decorated entrances to their shack-studios, the installation is at once both festive and somber. Drawing from sources from the artists’ shared and individual histories and yet particular to the place and time in which the works were created, The Lot Show reflects on the broader historical moment in which we find ourselves.
Alvaro Barrington (b. 1983, Caracas, Venezuela) lives and works between London, UK and Brooklyn, NY. Barrington studied at Hunter College, New York, NY, and received an MFA from the Slade School of Fine Art, London, UK. His work was the subject of a solo exhibition curated by Klaus Biesenbach at MoMA PS1, Long Island City, NY (2017) and will be presented in a forthcoming solo exhibition Alvaro Barrington: Spider the Pig/Pig the Spider opening at South London Gallery, London, UK this September 2021. Barrington’s work is represented in the collections of Fundaciòn NMAC, Cadiz, Spain; Hepworth Wakefield, London, UK; Rennie Museum, Vancouver, Canada; and X Museum, Beijing, China.
Teresa Farrell (b. 1987, Brooklyn, NY) completed her BFA at Hunter College, New York, NY in 2013. Recent exhibitions include Dude, You‘re wearing me out, Cult Party, Brooklyn, NY (2018); Condo London, with David Weiss, Emalin, London, UK, hosting Weiss Falk, Basel, Switzerland (2018); Alvaro Barrington, MoMA PS1, Long Island City, NY (2017); and Beach Bawdy, The Castle, Rockaway Beach, NY (2017).
Text in collaboration with Sean Kennerly.