Past

Judith Joy Ross

Portraits of the United States Congress. 1986-87

   October 21st – December 3rd

Dan Torop

Law of Dissipation

   September 16th – October 16th

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Island States

   Jim Buchman, LaKela Brown, Josef Bull, Renee Delosh, Anne Eastman, Derek Fordjour, Corinne Jones, Brad Kahlhamer,  Seth Kelly, Robbie McDonald, Terri Phillip, Mariah Robertson

Tops Gallery welcomes you to Island States, a group show of free-standing sculpture curated by Corinne Jones. Island States is conceived as a constellation of independent bodies that have a distinct presence of “standing”, each one an embodiment and symbol of autonomy. The operative gesture of “standing up” or “standing for” is a present-day measure of asserting one’s beliefs. While the works apply diverse materials to disparate ends, they share a common attribute, an emblematic economy which acts on the viewer’s recognition of the signs in each form. Each sculpture is its own autonomous ‘island’ and symbolic ‘flag’. Taken together, the configuration of forms represents a loose federation of self-determined states of being.

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2015

 

 

Cops

 

December 12th – February 6th

Marlous Borm, David Deutsch, Paul Edwards,  Leo Fitzpatrick, Kevin Ford, Stephen Lack, Lester Merriweather, Scott Reeder, Walter Robinson, Tom of Finland, Ernest Withers

 

 

 

Guy Church

The Inside Circle

October 23rd – December 5th

 

 

 

Gil Ngolé

The Season Moved 

August 21st – October 3rd

 

 

 

Jackie Gendel and Dana Frankfort

 Talk

 

June 6th – August 1st

 

 

 

 Dale McNeil

Material Will: Force In Form

 

April 3rd – May 31st

 

 

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2014

Voice of the Turtle

 

December  13th – February 8th

Kenneth Lawrence Beaudoin, Peter Bowman, Jim Buchman, Guy Church, William Eggleston, John Fahey, John McIntire, Johnathan Payne, Terri Phillips

 

Press Release

Tops Gallery is pleased to present Voice of the Turtle.This exhibition features the work of nine artists who have spent significant time in their creative lives working in Memphis. It takes its name from the title of an adventurous 1968 album by John Fahey whose painting and likeness are both in the show.The earliest work on display is John McIntire’s 1962 drawing of a 23 year old Fahey. The drawing was made at the Bitter Lemon, McIntire’s coffee house, where Fahey often performed. It is a record of the artist and subject at the outset of their working lives.In addition to his drawing is McIntire’s Italian marble “game” sculpture, a beautiful essential form penetrated with a maze of tunneled holes. Fahey’s work in the exhibition is a mysterious abstraction from a body of paintings he produced in the last part of his life and is a visual representation of his American Primitive approach he took in music.The show also includes abstract drawings from William Eggleston and Johnathan Payne and several tension filled genre drawings by Guy Church. Peter Bowman is represented by a heavily impastoed still life and Jim Buchman’s two miniature concrete sculptures rest in a seemingly viscous state at each end of the main gallery. Terri Phillips’ Tower of Song, a sculpture composed of a brown clay mound supporting a rigid sugar cube turret contradicts itself in both content and form. Lastly, Kenneth Lawrence Beaudoin’s “eye poem” collages, composed like ransom notes, take words from the world and arrange them to suit obscure personal needs.

 

 

 

   

 

 

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 Jered Sprecher

 

 Here & There

 October 10th – December 7th

 

 

Press Release

 

Tops Gallery is pleased to present Here & There, an exhibition of six paintings by Jered Sprecher.

The works in this exhibition have been selected for their relation to the space of the gallery. The paintings find echoes in the manhole cover skylight, concrete walls, columns, recessed spaces, and sledgehammer crafted doorway. The show is a call and response between the paintings and the space and the temporal nature of both.

Sprecher starts with source material derived from his regular collecting of ubiquitous images and visual leavings. From the fast paced exchange of images and forma that flood the global culture, Sprecher extracts images that confoundingly resonate with vital meaning. In his paintings these images are slowed down, recontextualized, and transfigured.

The selection of paintings for this exhibition span the past four years. Circles, holes, graphic darks, saturated color, rough hewn form, and refined edges mingles in pairings that are both solid and slipping through the viewer’s grasp at the same moment. Both here and there.

 

Jered Sprecher (born 1976 in Lincoln, Nebraska) received his MFA from the University of Iowa and is currently  an associate professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He was the recipient of a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 2009 and was an Artist-in Residence at the Chinati Foundation, Marfa, TX in 2013. Sprecher has had one person shows this year at Gallery 16 in San Francisco, Staple Goods in New Orleans, and Steven Zevitas Gallery, Boston.      

 

 

 

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  Terri Jones

         August 9th – October 4th

Press Release

Tops Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition by Memphis artist Terri Jones.Jones’s show is a response to the Tops Gallery space through a series of sculptural installations. Over the course of the show some of the works will remain while others will be replaced with different pieces. Jones plans to use the space as her laboratory over the next couple of months, changing the relation and understanding of the space through each action or display.In the main gallery space Jones has placed rocks, painted white, on the ground mimicking the gallery floor. The rocks are paired with cast ice formed from these same rocks. The concrete and the ephemeral forms transfigure the floor, creating a tension where the work both co-opts the floor and is subsumed by it.

In the anteroom dozens of branches painted white are suspended at eye level. The density of this forested room opens into Jones’ measured use of the primary gallery. Jones has considered the distinctive quality of the space: its subterranean nature, connection through a coal chute and a manhole to the ground and sky, the proximity to the river, the white epoxy floor, the cave like entrance…floods, drains, coal, roots. Jones’s show at Tops will channel the mutability of the gallery space. For the show Jones has developed a vocabulary of sculptural objects which will inform how she will interact with the space. The work will shift and change as a result of her sustained engagement.

Terri Jones lives and works in Memphis, TN. She is the recipient of an NEA fellowship and received her BFA from the Atlanta College of Art. Jones is represented by David Lusk Gallery in Memphis.

 

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Corinne Jones

 

  Plain English

 May 23rd- July 26th

Press Release

Corinne Jones: Plain English

Tops Gallery is pleased to present Plain English, an installation of ten paintings, a video, and an artist book by Corinne Jones. The exhibition takes its name from the book title.  Plain English, 2014, letterpress edition of 50, is a morally ambiguous, allegorical tale that sets a stage where – within a status quo – there is the potential for art to occur. The paintings are each titled Casting Out Sevens (1-16), 2013-2014, acrylic on shaped canvas, variable sizes.  Each painting is a singular episode of subtle, equiluminant color on a distinctly shaped structure.  The layered painting method produces a gentle shift between warm and cool tonalities that give the paintings an indeterminate quality.  The surfaces waver like an in-between sonic tone or fluctuating temperature.  The anatomy of each canvas is seven-sided, with each shape eluding references that could be easily categorized.  At the same time, the shapes are active signifiers.  The seven corners of each painting point to the periphery of the canvas.  By extension, they direct attention to the exhibition space itself and to the other paintings within it.  The paintings can be seen as separate accounts of a connected event. The video, Lamar Park, Machu, 2012, made in collaboration with Liam Gillick, demonstrates a particular sense of remoteness in a public park. Its slide show format is a comparison of scale relationships. The site appears to be a life-sized model and a “stand in” for the fictional locations named in Plain English.

Corinne Jones lives and works in New York City. The Long Delayed Echo, 2011 – Present, is the umbrella title for her interrelated series of work which includes paintings, interventions, videos, sound and writing. Her most recent work, Casting Out Sevens, 2013 – 2014, are seven-sided paintings comprised of subtle equiluminant color.  Corinne Jones has exhibited in New York City, New York, Miami, Florida, London, UK, and Warsaw, Poland.  She is an adjunct professor at Columbia University where she received her MFA in 2007.  She received her BFA from The School of Visual Arts in 1996.

 

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Walter Robinson

 

Painkiller

April 6th –  May 11th

Press Release

Walter Robinson: Painkiller

Tops Gallery is pleased to present Painkiller, an exhibition of eleven paintings by Walter Robinson. Robinson, a New York based painter and art critic, emerged in the late 1970’s among a group of young artists now known as the Pictures Generation. For Painkiller, Robinson and Tops have thematically culled eleven paintings depicting relief in various guises. Taking his source material from advertising, Robinson renders mundane objects like cigarettes, whiskey, aspirin, and cheeseburgers in what he refers to as a “straightforward illustrative style of painting.” Appropriating images from magazines, brochures, and the internet Robinson’s work is the product of an observer both horrified and amused by the onslaught of advertising and consumption we all experience on a daily basis. Like a 21st century flaneur, Robinson’s paintings can be seen as late capitalist still lifes in the tradition of the memento mori. As Brice Marden noted in the early 1970’s “painting says pain in it.” Robinson’s paintings suggest that the true painkiller is not the booze, fatty foods, or pills, but the paintings themselves. Both remedy and vice.

Walter Robinson is a painter who has exhibited his work at Metro Pictures, Haunch of Venison and other galleries; his recent exhibitions include “Hello from New York” at Firecat Projects in Chicago (December 2012) and “Indulgences” at Dorian Grey Gallery in the East Village (March 2013). His work was included in the 2014 “Spring Break Art Show.” 
Robinson is also an art critic who writes a regular column for Artspace.com. He was founding editor of Artnet Magazine (1996-2012), and also served as art editor of the East Village Eye (1983-85) and as a contributor to Art in America (1980-1996). During 1973-77 he co-published and co-edited Art-Rite magazine. He is the author of Instant Art History (Ballantine, 1995). 
 

 

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    Three Beers, 1987, acrylic on canvas, 36 x 48 in
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    True, 2014, acrylic on linen, 24 x 18 in
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    Painkillers, 2013, acrylic on linen, 20 x 16 in
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    Dunkin Donuts Boston Creme, 2013, acrylic on linen, 18 x 14 in
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    Two Danish, 2008, acrylic on canvas, 36 x 48 in
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Igor Siddiqui

Protoplastic

January 31st –  March 29th

Press Release

 

 

 

Tops Gallery is pleased to present Protoplastic, a new experimental project by architect Igor Siddiqui. Protoplastic stages simultaneous encounters between high and low technologies, renewable and non-renewable resources, as well as between permanence and disposability. The exhibition consists of a sculptural installation cast from biodegradable plastic and the acrylic formwork that was used to construct it.

 

Siddiqui frequently uses advanced digital technologies to design and fabricate his work. In this project the intricately patterned form is conceived digitally and inscribed into the acrylic surfaces using computer-controlled machinery. The resulting cuts produce highly detailed reliefs that function as both drawings and molds. He fills these reliefs with liquid plastic in order to cast the translucent surfaces tailored to aggregate into a larger sculpture. The plastic is made from scratch in his studio from nontoxic, compostable ingredients in a manner that reflects trial-and-error experimentation and open-ended research. With the sensibility of both an architect and an experienced home cook, Siddiqui has come across many opportunities to adjust the material’s properties to suit his needs, but has also been challenged by its organic nature. The cast plastic sculpture is the evidence of this ongoing learning process as well as a prompt for considering material lifecycles. We may, for example, be repulsed by the moldy surface of the bioplastic as it slowly degrades even if it is entirely non-toxic and can safely return to our food supply system. On the other hand, the shiny, crisp and clean sheets of acrylic formwork may be perceived as attractive, but could easily end up in a landfill. In this way the material properties in Protoplastic prompt further questions about consumption, waste, time as well as the broader ecologies within which design production is inevitably situated. What would it mean, for example, to assume permanent ownership of every piece of petro-plastic that we consume rather than releasing it for disposal? How might we continue to reposition the issue of waste as a part of the design process? What if food supply and construction material industries were integrated into an interdependent system?

 

For this exhibition, the set of six acrylic pieces is presented as an edition of 3, while the bioplastic sculpture is designed to be composted. Each acrylic panel is set in a custom concrete base with wool felt padding. For further details on this exhibition, future projects, or Tops Gallery’s program, please contact the gallery at info@topsgallery.com.

 

 

Igor Siddiqui (born 1974 in Rijeka, Croatia) is an architect, designer and educator. He is the principal of ISSSStudio and Assistant Professor at The University of Texas at Austin. His work has been widely exhibited, published, and presented in the US and abroad. Siddiqui studied architecture at Tulane and Yale

 

 

 

 

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2013

 

 

Dan Torop

 

Alkali Desert

November 15th – January 17th

 

 

Press Release

“Time is moving like a motherfucker. So what you gonna do?”

– Mark Twain, Roughing It

 

Tops Gallery is pleased to present Dan Torop’s Alkali Desert. These photographs arose from Torop’s obsession with Chapter XVIII of Mark Twain’s memoir, Roughing It. Twain, recounting a stagecoach journey across western Utah, enlivens an otherwise dull stretch by vividly contrasting his romantic notion of desert travel with the cruel reality of the actual journey.

 

One hundred and fifty years later, Torop followed Twain’s route, which is still traceable and is still quite remote. Sustained exposure to the desert made something go haywire in Torop’s mind. Perhaps it was a madness caused by the alkali desert’s proximity to Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, and the memories this provoked of Smithson’s mirror displacements. Regardless, Torop drove to Los Angeles, obtained twenty sheets of posterboard, and returned to the desert.

 

The western Utah desert is a site on which people inscribe. Whether artists, the military, or casino developers, visitors desire to mark this space. Torop marked it with posterboard – sometimes chasing the posterboard by bicycle when it flew away due to high winds. Alkali Desert is a result of this work.

 

This show consists of color photographs made in western Utah but also some displaced to the Hudson River Valley, near where Twain wrote many novels. These images were made in 2011 and 2012 with a film camera, and are presented as framed 18″ x 12″ inkjet prints.

 

Torop is grateful to the Center for Land Use Interpretation for a residency at which much of this work was made. The MacDowell Colony provided him with a residency during which he edited these images and produced a book, Chapter XVIII, which is included in this exhibition. Torop is pleased to show this work at Tops Gallery, which is so near the river on which Twain found his spirit and vividly enacted his stories.

 

An edition of Torop’s Late Summer 2 (2011, 13″ x 8½”), is sold as an edition to benefit this collaboration between Tops Gallery and the artist. For details on this exhibition, future projects, or Tops’ program, please contact the gallery at info@topsgallery.com.

 

 

Dan Torop’s Alkali Desert has traveled to the Center for Land Use Interpretation’s Exhibit Hall One in Wendover, Utah (where it is currently on display), and was shown earlier this year at The Green Gallery, Milwaukee. Torop’s 2010 series of landscapes and portraits, Skydiving, were exhibited at Derek Eller Gallery, New York, and comprised a publication from A-Jump Books. Other collaborative and solo projects include Situation (2012), Virtual Bowery (2008-10), Snowbound (2007), Estimated Landscapes (2005), and Ocean (2000-7). He is currently engaged in a year-long seasonal residency at the Lynden Sculpture Garden in Milwaukee. Torop has contributed to publications including Triple Canopy, Modern Painters, Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art, and Paper Monument. He has taught at New York University since 2008.

 

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Lester Merriweather

 

Black House|White Market

 

September 27th November 10th

 

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Sarah Jones

 

As Tiny or Important as You Like

 

August 16th –  September 22nd

 

 

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Terri Phillips

 

Chapel of Yes

 

May 10th – July 13th

 

 

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  • Chapel of Yes Edition

 

 

 

 

Chris Dorland

 

Fiesta Americana

 

March 2nd – May 4th

 

 

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2012

 

 

Seth Kelly

 

Dark Energy

 

December 14th– February 23rd

 

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Victoria Sambunaris

 

Between Worlds

 

October 20th – December 8th

 

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  • Sambunaris Edition for TOPS
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