Modern Plastics, 2019

It grieves us to tell you the Metropolitan Museum of Art you know is gone; it vanished overnight in New York City and we do not know when it is coming back. However, Philadelphia will offer its services by re-opening the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Rittenhouse Square in the corner gallery owned by Metropolitan Bakery. The one-month show under this shared administration, meant to launch the new future of the Metropolitan Museum of Art-evovle will open with a collection titled ‘Modern Plastics.’ Produced and shown are original works by four local cowboys who grieve a tired eternal flower and have remapped a landscape of plastic inside an idea that perhaps, just for a moment, the value of plastic might lay in its gross longevity and is worth consideration like a fine pelt. These keepers are new and not in town, but with their insight and ambition into a new start for a monolithic collection of both art and the space to house works an opening is indeed opening. The removal of plastic products from Metropolitan Bakery creates the opportunity to fill a need and a myth.

Introduction to Modern Plastic

The artists Sarah Grisham, Sarah Moore, Gabrielle Constantine, and Christine McDonald are interested in an absence of the archetypal hero in our relationship with plastic; Plastic is heroless, not defined by choices and actions but rather by the circumstance of existing with players, viewers and consumers. Plastic is not willing to sacrifice its life, it is not unselfish and it is not defined by its determination to help others.

 

The hero is the center of gravity in a story, the picaresque cowboy-artist, and plastic is a foil fluidly changing its ethos as it evolves our understanding of ourselves as responsible makers responding to its almost mythic longevity and value (as an immortal). The landscape is right here; in the museum; in a day where things vanish overnight; America cannot give up gas, on the porch rocking; sipping water from a footprint.

 

Floral arrangements, quilting, printing and sculpting elements of this thought process creates bit-like monuments to the dogma of permanence, and permeability in the movement towards memorializing plastic that is familiar to us. Allusions to plastic cooking and sparing draw the relationship out of solely visual memory and create a recycled and reusable physical language.