CLEARING is pleased to present 12 GRAPES, an exhibition of new works by Zak Kitnick.

This exhibition introduces Kitnick’s latest iteration of works employing the pattern of a common backgammon board, which the artist premiered last year in an exhibition of paintings at CLEARING New York. 12 GRAPES presents a shift in material, creating a series of works cut from bronze, brass, copper, aluminum and steel plates. These elements define the points, background, and bar of the backgammon board. These marquetries are paired with welded steel tables and aluminum wall cleats. Highlighting Kitnick’s ongoing investigation into the overlap of art, decor and utility, all of the works can either be hung on the wall or inlaid in the tables and used as backgammon boards.

Kitnick’s earliest research into the overlap of art, decor and utility traces back to an exhibition at MoMA PS1 in 2009, titled Between Spaces, in which Kitnick configured a found vinyl floor tile in three states: flat on the ground, remade in metal leaning between the wall and floor, and remade hanging on the wall.  Recalling this early display, the works in 12 GRAPES likewise rotate from verticle to horizontal and back again, posing a similar question: How do we distinguish art from functional or decorative objects?

Another work, also titled 12 Grapes, presents a calendrical, clock-like visualization of the seasons, sequenced by months of the year. The continuous nature of the seasons is evoked as a parallel theme of the exhibition, presented as another “life cycle” Kitnick sees reflected in the game of backgammon. The exhibition implements this cyclical concept in its modular presentation, wherein art objects rotate through different states of meaning depending on their installation and use. Embracing the tradition of the Readymade, the shifting status of the works is also reflected in their patina, which will change indeterminately as the works are played.

Visitors are welcome to play backgammon on the tables in the gallery.