Symbol Rush


Clayton Gallery & Outlaw Art Museum, 161 Essex St.
September 20, 2017 – October 4, 2017
Opening reception: Wednesday September 20, 6-9pm
Musical performance by Gryphon Rue and Benton C Bainbridge

In the midst of National Deaf Awareness Month, Clayton Gallery & Outlaw Art Museum and musician/curator Gryphon Rue are proud to present Symbol Rush, a group exhibition exploring gnosis, meaning, and modes of communication. Embroidery, painting, drawing, and musical score invoke sound and archetype: ideograms; synaesthesia; alternative planes of thought, ripe for silent ingestion. Symbol Rush proposes authenticity in plastic times, embracing a full-bodied sensitivity to communal fabrics, textures and vibrations, in opposition to the cochlea-centric status quo.

Sounds had the same individuality as light. They were neither inside nor outside, but were passing through me. They gave me my bearings in space and put me in touch with things. It was not like signals that they functioned but like replies . . . But most surprising of all was the discovery that sounds never came from one point in space and never retreated into themselves. There was the sound, its echo, and another sound into which the first sound melted and to which it had given birth, altogether an endless procession of sounds . . . Blindness works like dope, a fact we have to reckon with. I don’t believe there is a blind man alive who has not felt the danger of intoxication. Like drugs, blindness heightens certain sensations, giving sudden and often disturbing sharpness to the senses of hearing and touch. But, most of all, like a drug, it develops inner as against outer experience, and sometimes to excess . . .

– Jacques Lusseyran, describing acclimation to blindness (And There Was Light, 1963)

Lauren Allegrezza‘s paintings at present revolve around nocturnes, cosmic influence, insouciant strokes and shy color. She also organizes a series of projects under the guise spooky snakes, which recently released her chapbook Lasso Tool. Lauren is a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design and lives and works in Queens, NY. She is a Libra sun and Aries moon.

Jerry Pagane is an artist who for many years has lived and worked on the Lower East Side. Pagane was born without ears on Christmas Eve, 1948, and upon his birth was left on a church doorstep in Pittsburgh, PA. Jerry’s condition was highly unusual, and prompted the City to create a new agency to accommodate children who are born deaf. Pagane was placed in foster care, group homes and orphanages until as a teenager he was adopted by a supportive family who embraced him with love and acceptance. Pagane excelled and developed into an artist, and was the first deaf person to graduate from Carnegie Mellon University with (BFA, 1975). Pagane’s work has frequently focused on the life and times of the LES, but recent works have focused on American Sign Language symbols, Pagane’s first language.

Clayton Patterson, American – b. 1948, Calgary, Canada. Since moving to New York City in 1979, Patterson has focused on documenting the art, life and times of the Lower East Side [LES] in Manhattan. His life’s work includes a number of anthologies, published articles, talks, lectures, speeches, court cases, curated art shows, fashion collaborations with Siki, Clayton Caps, tee-shirts. Patterson was President of Tattoo Society of NY, 1 of the 3 people most instrumental in getting tattoo legalization in NYC, organizer of the NYC International Tattoo Convention for 15 years, Wildstyle & Tattoo Messe since its inception in 1995, Head of NO!art West, creator of NY ACKERS. Patterson’s collection of photography, video, art, press clippings, and books comprise a vast archive of Lower East Side history. Patterson’s footage from the 1988 Tompkins Square Park Police Riot became instrumental in exposing police brutality in New York City that was often reported but never videotaped. Patterson’s art practice includes paintings, embroideries, films, ephemera collection, always an outsider, and so on.

Elsa Rensaa, Born in Norway. Art school in Montreal, Alberta College of Art, Nova Scotia College of Art. Art director-union stripper at the largest commercial printing company in Edmonton, Alberta. 1972 – starting living with Clayton Patterson. NYC: worked in a fine art print shop. As a Chromist drawing, turns many Picassos and a few Dali’s into fine art prints. Painter, Clayton Archive archivist, during the violent political years she was at Clayton’s side, did much video work and amazingly never got arrested. Executed and made all the CLAYTON Caps and embroideries. Her work is covered in the Captured movie directed by Ben Solomon and Dan Levin, edited by Jenner Furst.

Holton Rower has lived and worked in New York City since 1962. In addition to his renowned pour paintings, Rower makes sculptures out of a variety of non-traditional materials including: board games, human blood, antique glass, copper dust, titanium, cadmium, ebony, cow remains, porn, detritus, human hair, currency, salvaged copper pipe, fish hooks, locks. Rower’s work has been the subject of numerous solo presentations both in the U.S. and abroad, including recent exhibitions at including recent exhibitions at VENUS LA, Los Angeles, The Hole in New York and Arthur Roger Gallery, New Orleans; and previously at Galerie 6, Aurau, Switzerland; Galleria Maeght, Barcelona; Galerie Maeght, Paris; John McWhinnie at Glenn Horowitz Booksellers, New York; and Cencebaugh Contemporary, New York. His work has also been featured in group exhibitions, recently at the Dubai Moving Image Museum, as well as in numerous publications and artists books, including “Pour” (2012), “Scrap” (2010), “Jaw Law” (1999), and “Nettles” (1991), a book of photographs, poems and drawings, published by Flockophobic Press.

the many bend toward the young
the honey locust withered before
the fawn
claws and oozing emerald
in the palm
extensions of a wall
prosthetic splatter
gender net
rim of the rainbow
dark tissue
old growth
came to check on the patient
“volume of bleak”

“On Holton’s sculpture for Symbol Rush” – Gryphon Rue

Richard Oviet Tyler (1926-1983) was an under-known downtown artist, printmaker, and visionary behind the Uranian Phalanstery and First New York Gnostic Lyceum Temple which he co-founded with his wife Dorothea Baer in the East Village. The artist collective and burial society made pamphlets with a printing press and operated a tattoo parlor in the days before tattooing was legal in New York. The name of the organization came from Mr. Tyler’s interest in the planet Uranus, which he saw as a powerful symbol, and from the writings of Charles Fourier, a French social theorist. In the 19th century, Fourier developed the idea of an idealized community, called a phalanstery, which would operate through cooperation and mutual aid.