To Be Sorted: Blank/Circle to Square/Organizing Principle was a series of three consecutive vitrine displays with objects from the collection of Micah Lexier, with each display accompanied by one of the artist’s works.
Lexier, a Canadian artist based in New York, has developed his practice out of a reconsideration of the quasi-documentary strategies of early conceptual art, retooled to accommodate his concerns with time, identity and difference. Lexier has a sustained interest in the ephemeral products of conceptually based practices and over the course of the past twenty years has amassed an extensive collection of such materials. He’s also collected hundreds of anonymous products that share similar graphic and aesthetic qualities. The individual objects in the collection come from a wide variety of sources and include a large number of coins, printed materials such as stationary, score cards and books, artists’ books and multiples, packaging, tools, magic tricks, and most recently, fragments of perforated cardboard found in the street.
Micah and I selected three separate groupings of material from this diverse collection. Our selections and the rubrics under which we organized them are somewhat arbitrary, since our choices were motivated primarily by pleasure, by the particular satisfaction derived from an object that is smart, beautiful, economical, communicative and still manages to retain some mystery of purpose or style. We trusted that the categories that we devised would be recognized as merely convenient, imposed after the fact. Each group was accompanied by one work by the artist which obliquely demonstrates some of the reciprocal qualities between the work and the collection. It should be noted that the works were selected after the fact as well, as just one of several possible examples of the ways in which Micah’s artistic practice is informed by his collecting habits. – Christina Ritchie