Curated by Merrill Mahan
January 16 - February 15, 2014
Salomon Contemporary presents Last Night, a group exhibition curated by Merrill Mahan, featuring works by Amy Bennett, Andrew Bush, Will Cotton, Jocelyn Hobbie, Ridley Howard, Yvonne Jacquette, McDermott & McGough, Richard Pasquarelli, Matthew Pillsbury, Alexi Worth, and Rob Wynne. The exhibition is inspired by James Salter's 2005 collection of short stories, Last Night, which chronicles the everyday intimacies and betrayals among lovers and friends. The stories, both foreign and familiar, tell of kept secrets, exceedingly honest moments, passed time, regret, and choices that forever alter the characters' relationships.
In keeping with the spirit of the book, all of the works explore the varied associations of the words last night, whether it is a young woman's anticipatory preparations, a couple's transition to the bedroom, a man driving home the morning after, or the last night of one's life. While several works explore the romantic associations of the term, others images are more literal—a moonlit sky or the glimmery view from a helicopter window.
Other works include Rob Wynne's mirrored glass piece Chemistry, which alludes to the mysterious connection between partners. Amy Bennett's miniature work Prognosis is a glimpse into a tense moment for a family receiving critical news. McDermott and McGough's Something I've Never Had highlights cinematic and pop culture images of desire and in Matthew Pillsbury's Screen Lives series, the television and phone screens are the primary sources of light for activity in a darkened room.
Merrill Mahan received her Ph.D. in Art History from Stanford University. She was a curator for the San Jose Museum of Art, the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, New York, and the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut. She currently works as an independent curator and art advisor in New York.