What Death Does: Time, Scale and Anonymity

June 10 - September 17, 2023

reception: Saturday, June 10th 5PM-8PM

The Verge Center for the Arts is pleased to announce its second solo exhibition by Stephen Kaltenbach. This show brings together several different bodies of work and modes of making from Kaltenbach’s more than 55-year career. The exhibition will focus on his career long interest in time and scale. The center piece of the show is What Death Does, a stage set of a furnished living room. Throughout the run of the exhibition, simulated rain falls into the room. Decay sets in at an accelerated pace with the aid of manufactured precipitation. Geological time becomes heightened and condensed into theatrical entropy. Deep time becomes visible through human perception.

The show also brings together a group of works exploring time and scale in a much different manner. Throughout the late 1960’s, Kaltenbach used strategies of anonymity, aliases, and tactical lies to create works that slowly spread as historians, curators, viewers, and students unearthed them and tied the work back to his practice. The exhibition will include work by Kaltenbach’s aliases Es Que and Clyde Dillon. It will also feature work from his anonymous Artforum micro manifestos and lies that circulated through the readership of the Village Voice and Arts magazine.

Kaltenbach’s divergent strategies put the viewer in a precarious position. They are confronted by massive unwieldly sculptural works while simultaneously being asked to engage with weightless unmeasurable works that have not yet come fully into focus. We as viewers are stretched between the physical and the cerebral and are asked to create a strategy to hold room for both.

Kaltenbach’s work has recently been the subject of a solo presentation at Konrad Fischer Galerie, Dusseldorf, Germany. His works are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, NY; The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, CA; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento CA.

There will be a an artist talk on Saturday, July 22, 2PM

This exhibition is made possible by generous support from the Albert and Elaine Borchard Foundation.