Hunch & Flail
June 21 – July 29, 2005 

Main Space

Opening Reception 
June 21, 6 - 8pm 

Curated by Amy Sillman as part of the Artists Select Series

Hunch: an intuition, an internal sense of knowing something.
Flail: to thrash about awkwardly on the verge of imbalance.

Hunch & Flail is about proceeding from a gut feeling. It is a show about artists who work with the teetering uncertainty between knowing and not knowing, the intuitive and somatic process of constructing resolutely handmade objects and systems. This show brings together the work of twelve artists using diverse media who share a common embrace of process as a determining factor in arriving at form. All of them proceed through psychological spaces of sublimation and instinct, private realms of the anxious, the intuitive, the fallible and the absurd, armed with an optimistic trust in material intelligence and an openness to the risk of embarrassment or failure.

This exhibition itself originated in a gut feeling, a desire to look at work that welcomes the unknown or the possibility of failure by refusing the predictability of a fabricated finish. All of the work of the artists in Hunch & Flail, whether photographic, sculptural, or painterly, reveals the physical characteristics of messing around in the studio. 

Their work thinks through manipulations of the material itself, and with an openness to the conditions of error, detour and detournement leads outward to clarity (or at least pleasure) of form, meaning and text. Their work moves from the ground up, from inside out, rather than from the top down. The artists in Hunch & Flail demonstrate diverse forms of this procedure, and differing definitions of uncertainty.  Some works in the exhibition are driven by chance, some by a purposefully unstable construction. Some works in the show are puzzling rebuses; some are hermetic streams of consciousness. Some works follow a determinate set of rules, but traverse realms of the ridiculous. Some works in the show are fraught with psychological slippage from the get-go as they are built upon issues of memory or desire.  

Artists: Phyllis Baldino, Jackie Gendel, Karl Haendel, Hilary Harnischfeger, Olav Christopher Jenssen, Pam Lins, Lisi Raskin, Greg Smith, Michael Smith, A.L. Steiner, Garth Weiser, Wallace Whitney.