Sunday-S Gallery is pleased to present “Less Than Zero,” an exhibition of new works by New York-based artist Ethan Cook. Building on previous collections, “Less Than Zero” finds Cook lending language to facets left otherwise plain, the gaps between content, suggestion and reading made suddenly, readily clear.
Lining each wall is a set of woven canvases, each handmade by the artist using a four-harness floor loom and set within self-produced frames. In appearance, these works share a common design, their jigsawed L-shapes interlocked at the center; in practice, the collection is joined on a more literal basis, the woven strips transferred from one piece to the next, the bottom-half fabric of a given work extended to the top of the next. Cook’s methods demand both invention and allowance, as each piece reflects an established process but retains unique runs and lining, its incidence embraced as aesthetic.
Lending light to the space, meanwhile, is a neon sign, its text reading simply: “[Crickets Chirping].” Serving both as content and commentary, the text (a subtitle harvested from film) assumes multiple roles, acting at once as a light, a noise, a suggestions and a false lead—a muted reference, an element undefined yet less than zero. As with the woven “paintings,” the sign is blunt in its fixings but rhetorical in function, a simulation defined less by expression than expectation.
Beguiling even in their materiality, the works on view in “Less Than Zero” fall somewhere between quotation and mimicry, their presentation suggestive rather than instructive. Sound, material, even genre—throughout, one finds indeterminacy embraced as footing, the works on view literal in content yet open in narrative: each piece neither yet both, its language both imbued and implied.
Sunday-S Gallery (press release)