World Trade Center
, 2011, handmade paper, linen on cotton, unique edition of 3, 30 x 40".
The Good Children Gallery is pleased to present new work by Christopher Saucedo in an
exhibition titled September 11, 2011 (please stop saying 9/11)
Saucedo is a member of the Good Children Gallery, and last year he was randomly
assigned the September exhibition slot. He decided to visit the subject of the September
11, 2001 catastrophe once he realized his reception would be a day short of the 10th
Saucedo has lived in New Orleans for nineteen years during his tenure as an influential
professor in fine arts at the University of New Orleans. But, he grew up in Brooklyn.
In 1970, he and his three brothers watched the World Trade Center’s construction by
the growth of the Twin Towers into the New York skyline. Two of those brothers grew
up to join the FDNY. Gregory, the youngest brother, made the ultimate sacrifice in the
performance of his duty.
Firefighter Gregory T. Saucedo was last seen on the 43rd floor of the north tower
traveling up, against a stream of evacuees, to offer aid and assistance and to put out the
impossible fire. It consumed all seven buildings of the sixteen-acre World Trade Center
complex. It consumed Gregory.
The front room of the Good Children Gallery is filled with ten ethereal, cloud-like
images composed of blue and white paper pulp. Saucedo pressed fragile, wet layers of
nearly transparent white linen pulp over a vivid blue field, holistically creating images
that represent a weightless drifting and floating World Trade Center complex in an
imaginary sky. The process itself is controlled only in the broadest sense. The artwork is
an intangible wet soup until it is pressed and dried and then finally examined. The pieces
are non-exact and at their best just a bit blurry. The soft hazy white flames that glow
around each of the buildings are a byproduct of the process, but also a desired contrast.
The artist says he “wanted to present a tension between the exactness of geometry and the
lack of control of the frozen liquid pulp.” He wanted to press together reason and passion
(control and chaos), with reverence to the subject.
The back room presents one photographic portrait of the artist’s dead brother ten times.
Each of the identical large black and white faces is interrupted with fire. The artist
marked the images ten times with glowing hot steel graphic brands that illustrate specific
liquid volumes. Ten shot glasses, ten cups of coffee, ten pints of beer, ten quarts of milk,
and ten 5-gallon water jugs interrupt the athletic and calm smile of the subject, who,
along with the buildings, has been gone for exactly 10 years – a number accounted by the
tally of the brands.
This exhibition opens September 10, 2011 and remains on view through October 2.