"Last One On is a Soft Jimmy"

Organized by Kelley Walker

November 6 - December 18, 2004
534 W 21st Street

NEW YORK – The Paula Cooper Gallery is pleased to present "Last One On Is a Soft Jimmy," a group exhibition organized by artist Kelley Walker.  The show will include works by the Art Workers Coalition, Wayne Gonzales, Wade Guyton, Rachel Harrison, Sherrie Levine, Christian Marclay, John Miller, Robert Morris, Manfred Pernice, Seth Price, Martha Rosler, Kelley Walker, Andy Warhol, Lawrence Weiner, Franz West, T.J. Wilcox, Christopher Williams, and Andrea Zittel.

The title "Last One On Is a Soft Jimmy" refers to a Volkswagen ad that ran internationally in the 1980s. The ad consisted of a seemingly infinite landscape of of wrecked automobiles with the caption "Last one on is a Volkswagen." Walker replaces the German model with an American one, the Jimmy, an oversized all-terrain vehicle made by GMC.  His addition of the playful epithet “soft” transforms the SUV into a malleable form.  The ‘soft Jimmy” may be a denatured and emasculated SUV or an elastic metaphor.

Walker thinks of this exhibition as a study for his own genealogy of violence in its many coded, shifting and distorting forms.  The perverse logic at work in Walker’s appropriation and alteration of the advertising slogan provides a key to the strategies that he identifies in the works on view.  Among the objects in the exhibition are a cast bronze parrot (Levine), dresses and paper pulp panels (Zittel), a donut-shaped sofa (West), a circular rug (Miller), wall calendars (Price) and mirrors in the shape of Rohrschach ink-blots (Walker).  A number of works also reference architecture and building materials (Williams, Pernice, Zittel), while many others make use of appropriation-style strategies (Gonzales appropriating Neiman, Walker referencing Warhol, Levine pointing to Flaubert, Guyton altering a Kippenberger photograph…).  An uncanny picture of everyday life emerges, among a profusion of historical references and art history narratives.  The viewer is left to trace possible paths, connecting works that ultimately evade any definitive interpretation.

The exhibition will be on view from November 6 through December 18, 2004, at 534 West 21st Street.

Artist Pages: Wayne Gonzales, Kelley Walker, Sherrie Levine, Christian Marclay