SILVERMAN and Majestic Theatre Condominium Association present
Roger Sayre: Little Ticks of Time
SILVERMAN and Majestic Theatre Condominium Association present “Roger Sayre: Little Ticks of Time,” curated by Brendan Carroll. The exhibition presents 12 new works on paper by the artist.
Roger Sayre is a conceptual artist who often uses nontraditional materials in his work—utility buckets, vinyl records, dog biscuits, tennis balls. What unites his diverse body of work is the sense of play in which the pieces were conceived and executed. For “Little Ticks of Time,” Sayre exposes colored light to photosensitive paper in the darkroom, forgoing both camera and film negative. His methods hark back to the early pioneers of photography in the 1830s and 1840s, like Henry Fox Talbot and Anna Atkins. By returning to basics, the fundamentals of form and color, Sayre looks back but also forward.
The entire series is based on an arrangement of numerous colored squares, which appear to be huddling beside one another like siblings in the backseat of a long car ride. This geometric formula is Sayre’s model for exploring the subjective experience of color—the effects that adjacent colors have on one another, for example, and the illusion of flat planes of color advancing or receding in space.
Waterloo Sunset, one picture from the current exhibition, features a series of cubes, which incrementally change in color—for example, from light pink to dark magenta, orange to burgundy. The title of this piece, like many in the exhibition, is named after a song—in this case, the Kinks’ 1967 hit single. “Little Ticks of Time,” the title of the exhibition, refers to a 1969 children’s song by Glaswegian raconteur Matt McGinn.
The artist frequently listens to this music while he works. It is a must, like coffee in the morning. Often, the title of a given work is based on what he listened to that day. Sayre won’t go so far to say the music he listens to as he works informs this series, but he will concede it contributes to the atmosphere in which he makes decisions.
“To me, the pieces have life and personality, and naming them Color Study Number 21 is just too cold and scientific,” says Sayre. “A name like Wild Honey or Waterloo Sunset breathes a little atmosphere into them.”
Sayre not only listens to music when he makes work, but he also incorporates music into his work, e.g., he uses LP record covers as straight edges, and LP records as round forms. Sayre’s approach to making art is also deeply theoretical. He creates and uses a subjective paradigm, or rule-based system, to find a solution to a given problem. It is as much cause and effect as it is trial and error. Sayre loves the term “happy accident,” and says, “Most of my work springs from it one way or another.”
“Being open and observant enough to pounce when something new is revealed by accident is key. I think of Samuel Beckett’s, ‘Try again. Fail again. Fail better,’ or Ben Franklin’s, ‘I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.’ ”
Sayre comments: “I am fascinated with process, and I like to see where things go. . . . In a way, it seems like anything can happen. Often I am completely surprised by what I see once the paper is processed. I usually don’t know exactly how my work will turn out.”
Roger Sayre (b. 1963) received his B.F.A. from Bowling Green State University in 1985. He received his M.F.A. from Pratt Institute in 1992. Sayre cofounded (re)mixed media, an ongoing collaboration with artist David Poppie. Sayre’s work has been featured in Bronx Museum of the Arts, Jersey City Museum, Shore Institute of Contemporary Art, A.M. Richard Fine Art, Allen Priebe Gallery (University of Wisconsin), Regina Gouger Miller Gallery (Carnegie Mellon University), among others. His work has been reviewed by The New York Times, The Pinhole Journal, Flash News, and Pittsburgh Tribune. He lives and works in Jersey City, NJ.
The exhibition will be on view at Majestic Theatre Condominiums through October 26, 2012. For further information, please visit us at SilvermanBuilding.com or call number (201) 435-8000.
Roger Sayre : Little Ticks of Time is the ninth exhibition that Brendan Carroll will organize for SILVERMAN.
SILVERMAN has presented the works of Glenn Garver, Jennifer Krause Chapeau, Michelle Doll, Tim Heins, Megan Maloy, Laurie Riccadonna, Thomas John Carlson, Tim Daly, Ann Flaherty, Scott Taylor, Jason Seder, Sara Wolfe, Beth Gilfilen, Andrzej Lech, Hiroshi Kumagai, Tom McGlynn, Victoria Calabro, Asha Ganpat, Darren Jones, Ryan Roa,Laura Napier, Risa Puno, Nyugen E. Smith, Amanda Thackray, and Kai Vierstra.