Gandalf Gavan
Teaching a Chicken How to Fly III
April 02 - May 07, 2010

Larissa Goldston Gallery is pleased to present Teaching a Chicken How to Fly III featuring artist Gandalf Gavan in collaboration with clothing designer Layla Abramowitz, visual artist Nicola López and sound artist Ronnie Bass.  For his second solo exhibition with the gallery, Gavan has created an interactive environment that introduces mainstream formats such as a haute couture collection, music and video in conjunction with his established installation work. The six distinct mixed-media installations included in the exhibition will be on view from April 2 through May 7, 2010.  There will be an opening reception and live performance bythe artist on April 2 from 6pm – 8pm. There will be an additional performance on April 17 from 4pm – 6pm. 

The exhibition imparts both personal and public mythologies in excess. Gavan’s work questions the widely held idea of art as a cultural reflection or representation of the contemporary state of humanity while examining the basic idea of how to be creative.  Metaphorically, he is the chicken learning how to fly.  He is asking, “To what extent does the process of consumption/acquisition influence and diminish the realities of creativity and individuality?” “Who is consuming who?” and, “Is freedom possible?”

Comprised of elements such as bent mirrors, neon, torqued lattice, fur, Styrofoam and Gavan’s own mark making, that double as art-historical notations, each installation features a unique item of clothing, designed in collaboration with clothing designer Layla Abramovitz and artist Nicola López. The clothes take the notion of art as reflection to a literal level.  Gavan surrenders his formal and material repertoire to the clothes utilizing felt, mirrored Mylar, feathers,copper wire and shreds of heritage fur. The connection between the materials used in the clothes and the elements of his installations, charge the garments with intense energy.  For Gavan the collection serves as both an emotive talisman and an instrument of critique. 

A video with sound-track, a collaboration between Ronnie Bass and Gavan, depicts the artists performing two German Pop songs. Gavan (lyricist) performs vocals while Bass (composer) accompanies him on cello and guitar.  Two additional videos from Gavan’s Teaching a Chicken How to Fly series will also be on view.

Gandalf Gavan was born in Berlin, Germany in 1975. He received his BFA from Bard College in 1998, and his MFA from Columbia University in 2005. He has taught printmaking and sculpture at Columbia University and in 2005 received the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant. Gaván has exhibited at museums and galleries around the world, including Spain, Germany, Austria, Peru, and Mexico.  He has had a solo exhibitions at the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo Oaxaca, P.S. 1, Long Island City and the Cornell Fine Arts Musuem, Winter Park, FL.  His exhibitions have been reviewed in The New York Times, Miami Herald, Orlando Sentinel, PIN-UP, and Art In America. 

Layla Abramowitz is a New York based fashion designer.  She received her BFA from the Fashion Institute of Technology, specializing in fashion art and knitwear.  She has worked for various designer companies, including Ports1961 and Zac Posen and has lived and worked in Europe and China.

Nicola López currently lives and works 
in Brooklyn, NY. She received her BA from Columbia in 1998, attended the Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture in 2002 and received her MFA in visual arts from Columbia University in 2004 as well as an MFA Grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation. Her work has been exhibited throughout the USA and internationally.  It has been included in group exhibitions at several galleries and museums, including MoMA in NY, the Los Angeles County Museum ofArt in LA, the Museo Rufino Tamayo in Mexico City and the Denver Art Museum in Denver, CO.

Ronnie Bass is a New York based visual artistand musician. He works in video, sound, sculpture and installation. He received an MFA from Columbia University and a BFA from the University of North Texas. He has exhibited widely nationally and internationally at institutions and galleries such as P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York; The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; The Kitchen, New York; James Cohen Gallery, NewYork; The Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; The Centre for Contemporary Arts,Glasgow; and The Contemporary Art Center of Tel Aviv, among others. Musical compositions include the score for Rirkrit Tiravanija’s Hugo Boss Prize Exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery in London. He is currently producing a hip-hop album intended for release in 2012.

Larissa Goldston Gallery is located at 530 W 25th Street, 3rd floor. Gallery hours are Tuesdaythrough Saturday, 11am – 6pm. For more information, please contact the galleryat 212-206-7887 or visit

Larissa Goldston Gallery