Substantive Scale was curated by Gallery Agniel for Cornish Associates as part of a series of installations intended to bring to life empty buildings in the core of downtown Providence. The buildings used included 19th and 20th century department stores and recently renovated but still raw retail space.
Substantive Scale included large format work by artists from New York and Rhode Island and was installed in the former Lerner Department Store, a 3200 square foot space with no interior walls. The Lerner Building was in a state of recent demolition when we installed this show and the trace history of past use of the space read in layers of wallpaper, uncovered columns and exposed brick walls. All of the paintings were exhibited suspended from the ceiling. Work from Conor Foy, Merle Poulton, Ruth Dealy, Monica Shinn, Debra Kruse, Neal Walsh and Ida Schmulowitz was included in the show. The 30 foot ceilings and wide open space gave the unusually large canvases breathing room and made for a particularly theatrical installation.
Other installations in this series of shows included work by by Forcefield in the window of the former Woolworth's Department Store in the Peerless Building. Forcefield was in residence in the Peerless Building for four months prior to the opening of the 2002 Whitney Biennial. Their critically acclaimed Third Annual Rogga Bogga installation at the Biennial was created during this residency.
The Burgess Building was home to Xander Marro’s Movies with Live Soundtracks for the evening of the opening. Xander co-curated this session of Movies with Live Soundtracks with Jo Dery and they foruced on new experimental work from Boston based filmmakers. Their program was followed by a screening of "Turkish Star Wars" hosted by Forcefield's Meerk Puffy.
Finally, in the Smith Building, Matt Tracy exhibited a series of his collage and multimedia paintings that focus on descriptions of place, definitions of home and issues of gentrification. His maps and topographies were installed suspended from the ceiling in front of the Smith Building's massive plate glass windows and descriptions were penned directly on the glass.
In the Lerner Building
In the Peerless Building
An installation by Forcefield
In the Burgess Building
Movies with Live Soundtracks