Jenni Crain
Outdoor Living

Co-curated w. Carey Denniston
Rzeplinski, Brooklyn, NY
Margaret Salmon, Owen Westberg
September 30 – October 1, 2017

The domesticated outdoors demonstrates a distrust of the fate of the natural order. Using gravel, pavers, and sod, the gardener establishes a new natural, a regularity that impedes overgrowth, cross-pollination, rot and decay, in favor of alignment, bed blocking, and alternating blooms. Outdoor living replicates holdover ideas of the indoors—the body eating, tracking, resting. It seeks comfort in the regulation of space. Such control is an illusion, motivated by attraction and the desire to render, to mark, to record, to interject, to grasp.

Outdoor Living presents works by Margaret Salmon and Owen Westberg in the Rzeplinski yard. Projected below the trellis of an active grapevine are two of Salmon's films: “The enemies of the rose" and adjacent, "Bird." Surrounding the yard, a suite of Westberg's plein-air watercolors and oil-on-panel works, some painted on-site, are installed upon the fencing.

Salmon and Westberg produce images of the natural world as if to point towards our desire to grasp its inherent unruliness. On film, flowers are in bloom, their crimsons and violets thrusting in the wind, insects climb and build fanatically, birds fight against the human hand holding it captive. On panel, thickly brushed shadows and oval clouds, exaggerated symmetry, and muddy pastels dominate and redistribute the landscape in an illusory flatness. Together, their works direct our attention to the order of things built and living: the unstable conditions of land; the anxiety of stillness; and the mutability of our own perception