It can be a royal mishap to jimmy a word in edgewise while flapping gums with a bigwig collector waxing thunderstruck over a young painter. After allowing him to catch his breath, we convinced Miami art maverick Dennis Scholl to fill us in on The Manhattan Project -- opening tonight at 7:30 at Fredric Snitzer Gallery -- a show he organized with indie curator Jeffrey Uslip.
With a beagles nose for talent on the verge, Scholl has been sniffing out Columbia Universitys MFA program. He has conscripted eleven of the schools art alumni, whove parachuted into town packing an explosive arsenal of media. This was a great opportunity to bring recent Columbia grads, whose careers are taking off, down for a show, gushes Scholl, still squishy from popping his curatorial cherry.
The exhibit lobs a wink at Prentis Hall, the name of a studio building where art students work and attend class during their time at Columbia. The building was one of the wonk tanks for the Manhattan Project, the governments code for the program that hatched the atomic bomb. The title is a double entendre that references both the geographic location of the School of Arts of Columbia University and the nuclear bomb project, pipes Uslip, driving the point home like a good drill sergeant. By extension, the artists and their work are detonators through their diverse and critical artistic practice. Pulling rank, Scholl lets the cat out of the bag before the works skyrocket in price. Some of the stuff is absolutely kick-ass, he whoops. Call 305-448-8976, or visit www.snitzer.com.
Sat., Feb. 11, 7:30 p.m.; Tuesdays-Saturdays. Starts: Feb. 11. Continues through Feb. 27