Jan 7, 2017
Feb 4, 2017

La Galleria: Lintel, Mantel, Module, Shelf

Lauren Bakst & Yuri Masnyj | Elliott Jerome Brown | Mary-Ann Monforton | GaHee Park | Isaac Pool
Curated by Samuel Draxler

a black arrow pointing downward

The sites we inhabit on a day-to-day basis are structured by methods of design and construction that increasingly involve modular architecture, flat-pack furniture, and a constellation of pre-fab, standardized, and replaceable components. Within the context of sites structured by these functional, cost-saving practices, Lintel, Mantel, Module, Shelf focuses on works in which artists co-opt materials and motifs to evade or undermine the conventions of the domestic, industrial, and aesthetic spaces they inhabit.

Some of the included works play with the reusability of parts, and the exhibition’s title performs this same slipperiness, enumerating four possible roles that a horizontal board might take: as a lintel, a load-bearing building component that spans two vertical supports; as a mantel, the decorative finish above a fireplace; as a module, a standardized part designed to be produced in mass; or as a shelf, furniture onto which personal effects are stored or displayed.

Lintel, Mantel, Module, Shelf considers how the structuring of a space can be understood as metaphor, and how sterilized sites can be reclaimed for alternative, intimate, or symbolic purposes.

a woman-reading, another person holding a dog hands her flowers

Since 2014, Lauren Bakst and Yuri Masnyj have been building a shared practice that exists at the intersections of sculpture, drawing, and dance. Their performance and installation works have been shown in New York at The Drawing Center, Pioneer Works, and Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church. Bakst & Masnyj will be included in SculptureCenter’s 2017 exhibition In Practice: Material Deviance. They have lectured at Drew University and contributed to BOMB Magazine. Bakst & Masnyj both teach at The Cooper Union.

Elliott Jerome Brown Jr. is a conceptual photographer working on ideas related to intimacy, vulnerability, and social perception within the intersection of Blackness and queer identity. The resulting images, set within biographical, private, and public spaces, demonstrate how the subjective body is in tension with past and available imagery, as well as with politicized representations of the body. Elliott received his BFA in Photography and Cultural Analysis from New York University. He has exhibited domestically and internationally. In addition to a visual practice, he is also the curator of DATE NIGHT, an interdisciplinary exhibition set in various homes. Organized under a guiding, discursive question, DATE NIGHT facilitates intimate conversations on the exhibiting artists’ works and practices. Currently, he is the Exhibitions Coordinator at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA).

Mary-Ann Monforton is a Brooklyn-based artist and curator whose career in the New York art world spans over thirty years. In recent years, Monforton has curated exhibitions of work by Bobbie Oliver, Leonard Rosenfeld, and Arch Connelly, receiving reviews in Art in America, Artforum, and Artnet. Since 1993, Monforton has been an Associate Publisher at BOMB Magazine. She has been a chorus line dancer for the Copacetics, a funk/jazz music promoter, and a costume designer. In 2013, she attended the Oxbow Artist in Residence program. Monforton has been an annual contributor to Visual Aids Postcards from the Edge and the La MaMa Family Show. Montforton is currently included in a 2-person exhibition at Valentine Gallery, Queens, through February 5th.

GaHee Park was born in Seoul and is currently based in New York. She received her BFA from Tyler School of Art and MFA from Hunter College. Park is recipient of a 2016 Dedalus Foundation Fellowship. Park has had solo exhibitions at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn and Marginal Utility in Philadelphia, and she has been in group exhibitions at James Cohan Gallery, New York; Outlet Fine Art, Brooklyn; Little Berlin, Philadelphia; and others. Her work has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, BOMB Magazine, Sleek Magazine, The Paris Review, Hyperallergic, and The Rusty Toque.

Isaac Pool is an artist and poet from Detroit living in New York. Recent performances include DSM-V and Carry Out Stage at the Knockdown Center, Beet Joy with Jessica Posner as maybe at the Judson Memorial Church, and 40 Volume at the Brick Theatre. Recent exhibitions include Queering Space at Green Gallery, Yale University and Good Piece of Food at Greylight Projects, Brussels. Pool’s first full-length book of poems in print, Light Stain, is available from What Pipeline, Detroit, and an eBook, Alien She, is available from Klaus eBooks.

Samuel Draxler is a curator, writer, and artist based in Brooklyn, NY. Draxler is presently co-director of La MaMa Galleria, New York; a curator-at-large at the Knockdown Center, Queens; and the director of NYPAC, the New York Performance Artists Collective. Draxler’s writing has appeared in publications including Texte Zur Kunst, Art in America, and Avidly (The Los Angeles Review of Books), among others.

La MaMa Galleria


Founded in 1984, La Galleria is a nonprofit gallery committed to nurturing experimentation in the visual arts. La Galleria encourages an active dialogue between new media, performance, the plastic and visual arts, curatorial projects, and educational initiatives. It serves the East Village community by offering diverse programming to an inter-generational audience, and expanding the parameters of a traditional gallery space. As a non-profit, La Galleria is able to provide artists and curators with unique exhibition opportunities that are largely out of reach in a commercial gallery setting.

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