Summer 2015

1-89 Beach 96th Street


Quite Fairly Rather

Horse in the Road

0.5 Mommy Man


Colby Bird, Hector M. Flores, Anthony Iacono, Annette Kelm, Ralph Pugay
August 15th – August 30th, 2015
Opening Reception: Saturday, August 15th, 6-9 PM

Topless is pleased to present Timbuktu, the fourth and final exhibition of the gallery’s second season, comprised of works by Colby Bird, Hector M. Flores, Anthony Iacono, Annette Kelm, and Ralph Pugay. The exhibition title alludes to an often-imprudent impression of an un-investigated entity or place as mysterious, exotic, and faraway. The idea of the unknown and un(der)experienced has become a locus of fanciful projection. These stories serve as source not only to our simultaneous arousal and apprehension of the “remote”, but also as fabrications via implications, an evidence of our desire to concoct a figment of actuality based on personal renderings of the fragments at hand.

Colby Bird’s sculptures teeter on the brink of precarious gestures. A hand wrought lattice bolstered by the compression of a coconut and an assemblage of assumed apples poised upon a brick. The elements of the works are entropic implying an inevitable deterioration of a closed system whilst concurrently inviting the revival of those very constituents. The presumed immediacy of one material and the apparent exhaust in another. Bird’s sculptures insist upon an inquiry into each system’s circulation as their existence is dependent upon deliberate intervention and preservation.

In their interplay with light and shadow, the glass works of Hector M. Flores abstractly engender complex phenomena and a suggestion of the mystical. The traditional techniques through which these works are conceived are countered by conjectures of the celestial; the known and the unknown, the man verse the matter. These feats of formal investigations accrue a reading outside of themselves in relation to the contexts and indications of their surroundings. The invitation of Time/Space becomes approachable in its relational size comparable to that of the fruit cast at the feet of Anthony Iacono’s Locked In 2 figure. The sculpture and the scene synchronized in speculated sexuality. The duality between these works is braced by Iacono’s exploration of the body and its relationship to objects. Through placement and compelled presumption the usual becomes characterized as alluring and extrinsic. The figure and the fruit are enmeshed in a still life where the elicited anticipation of the scape is disparate of stagnation.

Annette Kelm’s photographs present each subject as understood in actuality alienated from its applied function and typical source. Her works act as studies or classifications according to the social symbols inherent within the selected depictions. The serial manner in which she works not only mimics the methods of mass production often utilized in the fabrication of the employed materials but also enacts a passing of time. Patterns, positions and points of view repeat themselves with only the most minute of adjustments beckoning a reasoning of the nature of their representation.

In an approach that may be likened to Kelm’s, Ralph Pugay describes his paintings as “situational narratives constructed through the melding of incongruous symbols and ideas.” He describes his motifs as abstracted from common, everyday sources, which are rendered with an almost naïve approach, producing images which evoke both ambiguity and the struggle for clarity.


Annette Kelm Paisley and Wheat, Medium Gray, The Standard, 2013. C-print. 26.25 x 19 inches. Edition 1 of 6 + 2 AP


Colby Bird 4 Chairs, 2012. Wood, wood stain, speaker wire, brick, foam, apple. Dimensions Variable


Annette Kelm Paisley and Wheat, Orange #1 & 2, 2013. C-print. 24.5 x 18.5 inches. Editions 1 & 2 of 6 + 2 AP


Anthony Iacono Locked In 2, 2015. Acrylic on cut paper. 22 1/4 x 19 inches


Hector M. Flores To the Universe Series: Space/Time, 2008. Cut polished and laminated optical glass. 5 X 5 X 5 inches


Ralph Pugay Frying Butterflies, 2014. Acrylic on panel. 12 x 16 x 0.75 inches


Colby Bird To Die in Miami, 2012. Poplar wood, wood stain, West Indian Mahogany seed pods, string, nails, glass, plant, coconut, lightbulbs, wiring, brick.


Hector M. Flores To the Universe Series: M42, 2013. Kiln-casted glass cut, polished and laminated. 16 X 7 X 4 inches


Quite Fairly Rather

Lauren Clay, Carey Denniston, and Hanne Lipard.
July 25th – August 9th, 2015
Opening Reception: Saturday, July 25th, 6-9 PM

The tide rolls in and the tide rolls out. Taking with it the shifting planar remembrances upon which we used to stand. This transformation a translation of our longing.

Lauren Clay’s wallpaper works are spatial and sculptural. Illusionistic in form, they create a dialog between spatial perception and the transformation of collapsed space to three-dimensional space. Upon installation, the wallpaper appears to distort the gallery, naturally generating an idea of depth. The image comes from a traditional, analog process, which is repetitive but unpredictable. The works feel consequently disorienting in relation to the digitally produced images and graphics with which we are so accustomed.

Carey Denniston's Untitled (Mats) is an ongoing body of work (2014- present) composed of sculptures cast from used car floor mats. The casts combine crushed seashell and blackened plaster, and replicate the pattern and worn texture of the original found objects. The height of each cast is varied, scaled upwards of ten inches. With extruded shape and altered materiality the form resembles a tablet or tombstone - a sculpture oscillating between monumentalism and low commodity culture. 

Hanne Lippard's practice explores the voice as a medium. Like all constructions of the mind, Lippard's work starts with the word. If the world appears to us in language, she is measuring its scale through words. The matter of words is what matters, though not as a matter of facts. Their sounds read out in rhyme and with rhythm—the use of the voice, capturing space in the world by measuring time, wanting to give body to time when time doesn’t have it.


Hanne Lippard Translations by Caucasions, 2013. Audio. Duration 4:16


Carey Denniston Proximity Mat, 2015. FGR95 hydrocal, seashells, dye, motor oil. 50 x 17 x 27.25 inches.


Lauren Clay Crazy Fingers, 2015. Digital ink-jet on vinyl. Dimensions Variable


Carey Denniston Grid Mat, 2014. FGR95 hydrocal, seashells, dye. 20.5 x 14.5 x 4.5 inches


Carey Denniston Large Mat, 2014. FGR95 hydrocal, seashells, dye, motor oil. 28 x 20.5 x 7 inches


Carey Denniston Swoop Mat, 2014. FGR95 hydrocal, seashells, dye. 25.75 x 17.5 x 7.5 inches


Lauren Clay Crazy Fingers, 2015. Digital ink-jet on vinyl. Dimensions Variable

Horse in the Road

Anna Glantz
July 4th–July 19th, 2015
Opening Reception: Saturday, July 4th, 6-9 PM

Horse in the Road is an exhibition of paintings by Anna Glantz that presents a cast of solitary characters travelling on an endless road. They are fugitives, outcasts, the publicly shamed, and the perpetually bored. What few possessions they own are wrapped in cloth and slung over the shoulder at the end of a stick: a scrap of bread, pair of socks, loaded gun, and two pearls for eyes. They come from 1960’s Italy, medieval Flemish farms, or perhaps, an occult 90s nightclub. Travelling alone and often in disguise by way of the full moon (or empty moon), they expected to come across a fork in the road—a junction where a decision would have to be made: right or left, over the bridge or around the lake—a moment that would seem deeply symbolic and milestone-y upon retelling, years later. All this to say, there was no fork in the road, but rather a horse. A horse with hooves planted firmly in the ground and black eyes coolly staring back.


Saturnino X, 2015. Oil on canvas. 84 x 52 inches


These Are Pearls That Were Your Eyes, 2015. Oil on canvas. 84 x 52 inches


Deep Deep Down, 2015. Oil on canvas. 84 x 52 inches


The Infinite, the Gold, and the Deathless West, 2015. Oil on canvas. 84 x 52 inches


Blood on the Tongue, 2015. Oil on canvas. 84 x 52 inches


0.5 Mommy Man

Sam Davis
June 13–June 28, 2015
Opening Reception: Saturday, June 13th, 6-9 PM

  1. The Mommy Man Antaeus is the "half-giant" son of Poseidon and Poseidon's grandmother, Gaia.
  2. Poseidon, characteristic of contemporaneous deities, does not stick around to raise his son.
  3. As the earth itself, Gaia inevitably "sticks around."
  4. The Mommy Man Antaeus possesses a near-limitless power of strength and regeneration as long as he remains in contact with his mother, the earth.
  5. The Mommy Man Antaeus does not possess the ability to fly and is, therefore, usually in contact with his mother, the earth.
  6. The Mommy Man Antaeus has a single task: to build a temple to his father out of human skulls. All other tasks can be considered subordinate to this task.
  7. Skulls are collected by means of wrestling matches with passersby.

Despite popular depictions indicating a more recognizable human anatomy, the Mommy Man Antaeus appears as a large human right foot terminating, at the high ankle, in a human head. Tibia and fibula are fused into a single tapering lumbar femur, some sort of heel/coccyx hybrid. The vertebral path goes straight from cervical to a big skull sitting on top of an achilles spine. He has no arms, no legs, no chest, no nipples, no visible stomach, no ass, etc., to speak of. His bald head is lightly and permanently sunburned, ringed by greasy flaxen hair, worn long and never cut. He imagines he thinks so hard that it pushes the hair out of his head, his first thoughts stored in the frayed tips, recent thoughts closer to the skull. Hair lost to balding results in incomplete data.

He has not been able to find his palace of skulls for as long as he can remember. Furthermore, there hasn't been anyone to wrestle. Or anyone at all, for that matter. Bone fragments nestle in the immodestly green grass at regular intervals. Each blade is the same length and the rolling hills they cover are identical and evenly spaced. He thinks of the landscape as reiterative and insistent, in his best and only dream.

Special guest appearances by Matteo di Giovanni, Orion Martin, Marisa Takal, and memory of Nick Bastis.


Ant Song, 2015. Wood, paint, paper, ink, steel, plexiglass, rubber, hardware. 90 1/2 x 1 3/4 x 52 inches.


Mommy Man, 2015. Steel, enamel, oil-clay, hay. 28 x 69 x 82 inches


Text With Ants, 2015. Black and white laser print on paper, rubber, hardware. 36 x 48 inches


Special Table, 2015. Acrylic, glass, ceramic, newsprint. 12 x 12 x 12 inches