A LOVE LETTER TO JACK WALLS
Exhibition with Evening of Art + Performance
On view: July 17 – August 2, 2015
“You will never guess who’s moving to the neighborhood” says Melissa to Tony.
“Who?” He replies with fear and excitement.
“JACK f—ing WALLS!” She screams.
Tony and I have both known Jack Walls since the bright youthful days of 1990’s NYC. Deep in the dark nights of the dive bars in the East Village (think Half Moon, located on 6th Street between 1st and Avenue A, circa 1995), we both met Jack, before meeting each other. The man made an equal impression on both of us.
Storyteller. Character. Painter. Shocker. Poet. Shit-talker. Lover.
A new resident to Hudson, he has arrived packed to the gills with tales to share of his life, his romance, and his work.
As part of the ritual of knowing Jack, we welcome him to a community fit to receive him. We dare to open the Basilica doors to him and his work…..
– Melissa Auf der Maur, Basilica Hudson
This Friday, July 17 6-8 PM is the opening night for the exhibition “Paintings, Et Cetera” by Jack Walls. The opening and related events are free and open to the public.
This video from his recent exhibition at RARE Gallery in New York City showcases the work soon to grace Basilica’s Back Gallery walls. Jack talks about his life and times, his relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe, the AIDs crisis, and what compels him to keep making artwork.
Opening night will include a screening of the documentary film EYE TO EYE. EYE TO EYE (Isabel Hegner, First Run/Icarus Films, 1989, 18 min.) features Walls’ narration over many of Mapplethorpe’s most provocative images. As told by Mr. Walls, viewers learn of the forces that drove Mapplethorpe’s evolution as an artist and his relationships to his subjects, right up until his passing.
After the screening, a reading from The Ebony Prick of the White Rose’s Thorn (aka T. E. P. W. R. T.) will take place. Excerpt below:
“Once, I was pure blazing light barreling through space and time like a streaking comet dashing throughout the furious cosmos. Whizzing through the immaculate eye of a golden needle like an electric wave of sound. A phosphorescent note bursting across an acoustic collage of shattering spunk. I was greased lightning flashing far and beyond all invention.”
– Jack Walls from T.E.P.W.R.T.
The reading will be accompanied with music by hARBOUR, the Hudson Valley ambient drone duo of Damian Patrick Cleary (guitar) and Jonas Bers (auxiliary strings/electronics). The two have toured abandoned mines, mills and caves; Brooklyn basements, warehouses and DIY spaces; Manhattan galleries and Maine wilderness; forgotten storefronts and dusty bookshops; theaters, universities and open fields under the stars.
“It’s not just playing music, it’s almost like live music production, a musical experience saturated with the most essential qualities of “masterworks.” Their music is full of swells and distant decrescendos. It may bear a resemblance to how you may think the center of the earth sounds, or what a singe cell of hydrogen fission would sound like if it was slowed down one million times.” [Anthony Tino, Recession Art]
The closing party on Saturday, August 1 will feature a conversation with Jack Walls and Sean Osborne on the artist’s work, life and times from 6 – 8 pm. Sean Osborne, a resident of the Hudson Valley, completed his Master’s coursework at SUNY Purchase in Art History, with a focus on painting and sculpture of the late twentieth century and American modernism of the 1900s – 1940s.
The exhibition at Basilica Hudson is made possible in part with support from Green Mountain Energy.
Image credits: (top) Jack Walls and Robert Mapplethorpe in New York in 1985, photo by Gilles Larrain (bottom) hARBOUR