The mission of T+H Gallery, celebrating its first anniversary in Boston’s SoWa Arts District this fall, is to “create a dynamic intercultural dialogue by showing both regional and international artists and providing a platform for experimental projects and ideas.” It aims toward this goal by utilizing an interesting floor plan of two spaces bisected by a semi-public concourse.
Inviting and intriguingly visible upon entering 460 Harrison Avenue’s entrance C, an entire wall of T+H’s gallery space is plate-glass. A transparent expanse perched high in a split-level lobby overlooks the main entrance, providing an architectural effect that extends the gallery’s informational flow to breathe interactivity, sparking curiosity and dialogue.
T+H Gallery’s sidecar exhibition space works in tandem with the primary gallery and flanks a hallway, creating a portal on the landing one level up from the building’s main front door. The second space is cocoonlike in contrast to the open plan of its spatial counterpart, and the binary arrangement is very effective in situating curated content squarely in the path of audiences, forming a nexus point of new ideas. It channels Gertrude Stein’s line about “a rose”: location, location, location informs content, content, content.
The layout suits the innovative art statements presented by founderTing Liu and Zihao Chen. Both graduated from the highly competitive Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing before attending Alfred University in upstate New York, which is known for its engineering excellence in ceramics technology, glass and new media. An appreciation for the city’s cache of intellectual excellence drew the pair to Boston, and manifesting a gallery as an idea platform is essentially their passion. In mini-kunsthalle style, their adventure in running a gallery space landed them in Boston’s SoWa Arts District, whose are scene they view as an emerging market that T + H Gallery can help define by harvesting its potential and encouraging a new young collector base, which could perhaps parallel the explosion of interest in contemporary art happening in China today.
Rory Bledsoe, assistant director of T + H Gallery, mentioned a recent New York Times article that commented on contemporary art collecting by an affluent young generation that is blossoming in China. The gallery’s scheduling reflects an intellectual playfulness and focused purpose that courts a wave of interest to think about art interactively, feel inspired mentally and supporters as sincere investigation. It opened in autumn 2015 with the group show “Typology Morphology”; their calendar since has included strong solo and group shows, with the talent often being drawn from Alfred’s rich gene pool. T + H Gallery is Currently presenting works by Alicia Eggert whom the owners met at Alfred, through September 24.
Eggert is an assistant professor of studio art-sculpture at the College of Visual Arts and Design at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. Previously she was an assistant professor of art at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. She is a TED Fellow and her project work as an artist is multi-disciplinary, evolving in relation to residency opportunities that involve travel with uninterrupted time to work. Her timebases art-making conceptually reflects the socio-political engagement of landscape and environment.
Her current show at T+H Gallery,”Partial Visibility,” samples the artist’s involvement with avariety of media. “ALL THAT IS POSSIBLE IS REAL,” a large-scale neon text statement, is essentially red neon signage set up on the wall; in its analog nature it harkens back to early works by Joseph Kosuth. The artist’s motorized sculpture “Do You Realize?” spins intensely -with centrifugal force acting as a focal element - taking center stage in the gallery. A corner wall installation,”All the Time in Eastport,” shows photographic documentation set up in a grid to visually display every minute in a 12-hour period. Assembling photographic images of clocks, each with a specific time signature within the bracket of her exploration, gives this project its sense of poetic texture.
Eggert’s lenticular photographic prints provide a record of ephemeral text projects that the artist make in landscape situations when she traveled. Lenticular photographic presentation gives motion to still images. Pictures under small, thin, angled, lens-like strips adjust content as a viewer’s sightline changes. A more familiar example of this technology has been found in Cracker Jack dos toys; Eggert’s use of the process, however, is meat to specifically enhance the representation of neon in the documentation of her work. The prints on display at T+H Gallery feature her indoor and outdoor illuminated text interventions.
The adjacent exhibit space is organized as a video viewing room. Eggers's video gives a sense of her project ”On a Clear Day You Can See Forever ” and plays on continuous loop. It shows this work as it appeared in the landscape shrouded in fog. The enormous wood letters spelling out “FOREVER” sit as elements in this screening room. The are each eight feet high by four feet wide an lean against walls to covey a sense of raw physicality and an idea of a “happening.”
The premise of T+H gallery is to allow visitors to realize the present through art, with each show offered as a complete idea of poetic expression. In terms of impetus for visiting the gallery, consider the imperative to witness a visual footprint in real time. Most galleries traditionally change shows with regularity, communicating an innate ephemerality. It is culturally informing to see art while it is fresh, and in the process of its own evolution; T+H Gallery aspires to be a new model by putting forward some exciting content.