Alix Pearlstein, Tony Labat, Tad Savinar at ACAC

Atlanta Contemporary Art Center (ACAC) announces the opening of its winter exhibitions on Fri., Jan. 11, 2013 at 7 p.m. These exhibitions were organized to highlight significant aspects of ACAC’s programmatic mission – to help in the creation of ambitious new works and to reveal connections between existing art and artists. All three exhibiting artists will attend the opening.

In “The Dark Pavement,” New York-based artist Alix Pearlstein utilizes aspects of ACAC’s architecture and surrounding environment – gallery spaces and lobby area, the derelict Bankhead Highway bridge and adjacent parking lots, and a rarely-seen basement.

Working with actors from the Atlanta companies Out of Hand Theater and Théatre du Rêve, Pearlstein filmed sequences of action and stillness. This imagery, when viewed in the exhibition, will make viewers aware of their own bodies in relationship to the performers and their purposeful walking, turning, clustering, and stasis.

Hailed as “a quiet provocateur at every level of her productions” in BOMB’s Winter 2013 issue, Pearlstein said her work is inspired by the juxtaposition of urban landscape.

A recent review in The New Yorker of her solo exhibition at On Stellar Rays states: “Seeing and being seen—and intimacy and alienation—are the ongoing concerns of the artist whose exquisitely restrained, psychologically taut videos suggest a collaboration between Michael Snow and Ingmar Bergman.”

The title, The Dark Pavement, is lifted out of artist Tony Smith’s account of driving on an unfinished portion of the New Jersey Turnpike at night. Pearlstein posits, “My project springs from a response to an urban site and its landscape, and from the desire to tease out the idiosyncrasy and strangeness of that site with actors.”

“Nice to Meet You” combines the interdisciplinary works of Tony Labat and Tad Savinar, who each use humor and straightforward presentation strategies to explore human foibles, social structures, and political history.

Labat is an influential teacher of new genres at the San Francisco Art Institute and a fixture in the art and music scene in California; Savinar is a visual artist, playwright, designer, and urban planner based in Portland, Oregon.

Their work is paired here for the first time, offering a meditation on conceptual art and the use of various media including sculpture, drawing, and printmaking. Highlights include Labat’s Blanket Policy, 1989, a tent made of found paintings, and his video Peace Roll, 2006, featuring a performer rolling a giant peace symbol across the streets of San Francisco; Savinar’s graphic works including Champ, 1983, and Characteristics of a Third World Country, 2008, which offer lessons in national pride, economics, and civics.

“Our commissioning of Alix Pearlstein’s The Dark Pavement has allowed her to expand her palette, responding to specific architecture for the first time, working outdoors, and collaborating with Atlanta actors and filmmakers that she’d otherwise never have met,” said Stuart Horodner, Artistic Director at ACAC.

“Tony Labat and Tad Savinar are venerable conceptual artists whose works share many of the same concerns, but have never been exhibited together. Nice to Meet You affords audiences a chance to appreciate their focus on human agency and behavior.”

Alix Pearlstein will give an artist talk at the gallery on Sat., Jan. 12 at 11 a.m.

Through March 16.

Atlanta Contemporary Art Center
535 Means Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30318

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