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Press Release


Curated by Andrea Teschke

Friedrich Petzel Gallery is pleased to present "Press a weight through life, and I will watch this crush you," a new installation by the Canadian artist Jonathan Pylypchuk. This exhibition is Pylypchuk's fourth solo show at the gallery.

"Press a weight through life, and I will watch this crush you" was commissioned by Museum of Contemporary Art - Detroit (MOCAD) for its inaugural exhibition "Meditations in an Emergency," organized by Klaus Kertess. Inspired by his first visit to Detroit and the scrap materials and refuse he found there, Pylypchuk meticulously crafted a shantytown replete with vagrant creatures engaging in myriad unsavory behaviors, such as drinking beer from miniature Budweiser cans, smoking, and urinating in public. These miscreants, clothed in hand-hewn patchwork layers and fabricated from fur, wood, ping-pong balls and stuffed socks, loiter aimlessly together in their bleak melancholia.

Klaus Kertess, in his catalogue essay on Pylypchuk's slum, likens it to a "conflation of Disney and late Goya—a teddy bear's nightmare." Darkly humorous, Pylypchuk's ramshackle ruin and its inhabitants are decidedly not childlike but a visceral tableau of adult pathos. For this exhibition, Pylypchuk has reconfigured his original installation in Detroit to fit site-specifically at Friedrich Petzel Gallery in New York.

Pylypchuk was born in Winnigpeg, Canada in 1972 and lives and works in Winnipeg and Los Angeles. He was a founding member of the collaborative Royal Art Lodge while at the University of Manitoba and received his MFA from UCLA in 2001. He exhibits widely both in the United States and internationally. "Press a weight through life, and I will watch this crush you" was exhibited at 'Meditations in an Emergency" at MOCAD and in "Phantasmania" at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. Other recent museum exhibitions include a solo show at MoCA Cleveland; "Cult Fiction," Hayward Gallery, London; and "USA Today: New American Art from the Saatchi Gallery," Royal Academy of Arts, London.

"Press a weight through life, and I will watch this crush you" will be on view from September 7 – September 29, 2007 with an opening reception on Friday, September 7 from 6-8 pm. Friedrich Petzel Gallery is located at 535 West 22nd Street, New York, NY, 10011. For further information, please contact the gallery at, or call (212) 680-9467.