Alison Owen: Shelf Life

Alison Owen’s installation Shelf Life came out of close observation of the Lower East Side neighborhood and its continual transformation, as well as respective functions, appearances and usual daily operations of both the Essex Street Market and Cuchifritos gallery. The work is inspired by the distinctions, similarities, overlaps and interactions of these two environments. Similar to Owen’s other works, this site-specific installation responds to the particular architectural properties—formal qualities as well as spatial patterns—of the Market and the gallery space, and is constructed out of modest and/or ephemeral materials, which seemingly grow from and within the architecture. It combines previously used art display furniture with the objects given to the artist by the Market vendors, along with the various materials found in situ. The installation seems like a half-finished store, simultaneously emerging from the context of the market and melting back into it.

Alison Owen received her BFA at Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA (2003) and her MFA from Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA (2005). Her work has been widely exhibited, both nationally and internationally. She has had solo exhibitions at David Winton Bell Gallery, Brown University, Providence, RI (2010); 301 Gallery, Montserrat College of Art, Beverly, MA (2010); Archer Gallery, Clark College, Vancouver, WA (2010); id11, Delft, The Netherlands (2009); Artspace, New Haven, CT (2009); Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA (2008); and Vox Populi, Philadelphia, PA (2007). Owen has also participated in numerous group exhibitions, among others, at deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, MA (2011); Providence Museum of Natural History, Providence, RI (2010); Smack Mellon, NY, NY (2009); The Soap Factory, Minneapolis, MN (2009); Concrete Walls, Los Angeles, CA (2008); Bronx Art Museum, NY, NY (2007); Kinkead Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA (2006); The Experimental Space, Long Island City, NY (2006); Los Angeles Design Center, Los Angeles, CA (2005); and Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts, Toronto, Canada (2002). Owen has held several artist residencies, including at id11 in Delft, Netherlands (2009) and Gallery Aferro in Newark, NJ (2010). She participated in the Artist in Marketplace program at the Bronx Museum of Art (2007). In 2010, she was listed as one of the Hot Pick artists on the Smack Mellon website, and was awarded the Rhode Island State Council for the Arts Fellowship in New Genres. Owen lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Zeljka Himbele Kozul is a freelance curator based in New York City, US and Zagreb, Croatia. She is a graduate of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, US. In her native Croatia, she worked for several years at the Museum of Contemporary Art, curated exhibitions for non-profit spaces in Zagreb, served on the editorial board of Kontura, a Croatian art magazine, and recently, organized the site-specific exhibition of the artist Mark Tribe at MK Gallery in Zagreb (summer 2011). From 2008-2010 she worked at the Contemporary Art Department of the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI, where she curated a series of solo and group exhibitions for New Media Gallery. She was a guest critic, lecturer or exhibition juror for the institutions Residency Unlimited, NY; Flux Factory, NY; Chester College, NH; Cambridge Art Association, MA; Parsons The New School for Design, NY; and Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design, RI, among others. Additionally, she was a Curatorial Fellow at Art in General, curating the exhibition at Bloomberg LP headquarters, and also curated exhibitions at NURTUREart in Brooklyn, NY; Big Medium Gallery in Austin, TX and Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Program, Long Island City, NY.