Zak Kitnick: Three Men and a Maybe
March 10 – April 28, 2012
Opening Reception: Saturday, March 10th 6-8pm

D’Amelio Gallery is pleased to present a new project by New York artist Zak Kitnick. In this work, Kitnick employs unfinished steel shelving components, nuts, bolts and welded steel—materials typically associated with the industrial realm of manufacturing. Increasingly, however, they have been absorbed into the home as industrial design is celebrated as a style.

A single architectural work juts from the wall, subdividing and partitioning the gallery as the structure presents its two sides, those of surface and support. Nine raw steel enclosure panels evoke an upright Carl Andre floor sculpture; complete with industrial markings, they show the wear and tear of their own production. Opposite, the open shelving suggests the concealed equipment of the closet or the cornucopia of the well-stocked modern pantry, without even a bag of flour—or a pair of slacks— on its overqualified surfaces. 

Without this surplus, the structure of the object presents itself as the subject matter. Modular components are assembled against their principles, trading form-follows-function-design for form that forecloses function. Rather than arranged to fit contents, the shelving follows a predetermined template that precludes it. Both awaiting and negating supply, it is pure organization (shelf, bin, container and divider). Defined by simple and repetitive language, the work’s ostensible potential is to repeat its structure ad infinitum.

In his work, Kitnick is specifically interested in how questions of décor, utility and art take on different meanings in the home, factory, and museum. As warehouses become residences, old factories become museums, and manufacturing is further supplanted by the commerce of service, Kitnick ‘uses’ as artwork the types of instruments formerly housed in these spaces.

Favoring a form of production more closely aligned with assembling, Kitnick approaches the process of making with the same questions one might ask about a sweater or other product. Where did you get it? How much did it cost? What size is it? These banal questions point to the inefficiency of allowing an object to be the least that it could possibly be. In short, Kitnick is most interested in the moment when an object becomes aware of its potential to be something other than what it is.