From fires and floods to runs on hand sanitizer, the new normal keeps getting weirder. Many of us look to art for processing, but in this cycle of constant chaos and legitimate fear, just what is an appropriate artistic response?
While appropriate has never been his aim, Jacob Goudreault has a strategy for dealing with persistent stressors. In “Just go talk to your friends” at ADDS DONNA, he presents a series of small-scale wall sculptures, each one a compact receptacle for the up-and-down emotions and attitudes attending contemporary life. The works combine found objects and simple alterations using paint, fabric, and clay. Though neither highly-crafted nor labor-intensive, they share a material sensitivity that is fittingly raw.
Not unlike the nonsensical and irreverent activity of the Dadaists after WW1, or the Neo Dadaists and Fluxus artists of the 60s, Goudreault’s crude assemblages reject traditional value systems. His embrace of found objects, grunge aesthetic and subversive use of scale resist market-driven pressures to create large, slick, sexy works of art. Instead, Goudreault opts for self-depreciation and off-color humor. In these uncertain days, on the brink of quarantine, maybe what’s needed is not more sterilization, but a strong dose of unfiltered openness.
Jacob Goudreault has held solo exhibitions at Bahamas Biennale (Detroit), Kate Werble Gallery (New York), Green Gallery (Milwaukee) and The Suburban (Oak Park). Group shows include Roots and Culture (Chicago), Adds Donna (Chicago), Modern Life Fine Arts (New York), Mount Airy Contemporary (Philadelphia), Heaven Gallery (Chicago), LVL3 (Chicago).