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Sullivan Goss has planned a new exhibition for the first month of the new year called JUXTAPOSED: The Art of Curation that has been organized to help collectors, artists, and curators-in-training see some of the dynamics at play when deciding what works ought to show together – in this case, when just two pieces are juxtaposed. Curators used to be charged with “taking care” of collections; indeed, that is the root definition of ‘to curate.’ Today, curation is also often understood to mean selection and, often, to involve interpretation

For many of the Gallery’s clients, selection is usually paramount. The principal question of “which one” is then followed by, “where can we put it?” That’s when interpretation sometimes sidles in. 

In any room of a home with more than one work of art, new meanings form in response to how the things “talk to each other.” It’s hard to overstate how much adjacency changes perception and, by extension, the meaning people take away. From an aesthetic point of view, it’s all a question of balancing the harmony that similarity confers with the dynamism that contrast brings forth.  

To take just one example, the two paintings above by Joseph Goldyne and Hank Pitcher were chosen by Gallery Director Jeremy Tessmer for largely formal reasons. One features a strong sense of the horizontal while the other is definitively vertical, but otherwise, they are very similar in size and palette; they are both very well known California artists; and, coincidentally, they were painted about a year apart. In some sense, both deal with the passage of time. Hank painted the last sunset of the millennium. Goldyne’s monotype evinces a thin wisp of smoke from a flame that burns largely beyond the edge of the paper. Something that once was is no longer, or at all events, it has changed form and even substance. The delicacy of Goldyne’s multi-colored plume of smoke, meanwhile, accentuates the boldness of Hank’s broad strokes of subtle color.

Gallery owner Nathan Vonk, Contemporary Curator Susan Bush, and the newest staff member, Lauren Wilson, have all joined in in choosing their own pairs of works to be shown in the months of January and February.


Natalie Arnoldi  |  Ken Bortolazzo  |  William Dole (1917-1983)  |  Werner Drewes (1899-1985)  |  Edgar Ewing (1913-2006)  |  Oskar Fischinger (1900-1967)  |  Joseph Goldyne  |  Sidney Gordin (1918-1996)  |  Nathan Huff  |  Wosene Worke Kosrof  |  Betty Lane (1907-1996)  |  Dan Lutz (1906-1978)  |  Angela Perko  |  Chris Peters  |  Hank Pitcher  |  Maria Rendón |  Ron Robertson  |  Leslie Lewis Sigler  |  Nicole Strasburg  |  Jean Swiggett (1910-1990)  |  Emerson Woelffer (1914-2003)


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