JEFF MARFA presents ‘Straight on Till Morning’ 

MARFA – JEFF is pleased to present Straight on Till Morning, a three-person exhibition of works by Agnes Barley, Tina Hejtmanek, and Sam Schonzeit. In varying mediums (photography, sculpture, painting), the works on view offer a range of perspectives on transcendence in relationship to time and space, in both real and imagined worlds.  

This is JEFF’s inaugural exhibition at 107 Dean Street. The show will run September 17 – October 25, and the opening is September 17, 6 – 8 p.m.

“The views of space and time which I wish to lay before you have sprung from the soil of experimental physics, and therein lies their strength. They are radical. Henceforth, space by itself, and time by itself, are doomed to fade away into mere shadows, and only a kind of union of the two will preserve an independent reality,” said Hermann Minkowski.

Minkowski, the German mathematician best known for his work in relativity, showed in 1907 that his former student Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity can be understood geometrically as a theory of four-dimensional space-time, since known as the “Minkowski spacetime.” While Minkowski and his fellow mathematicians view space-time as a theoretical algorithm, the artists on view visually, poetically and spatially evoke this consciousness with their works. The author JM Barrie’s directive “straight on till morning,” (from the 1904 novel Peter Pan), gives us a visual site line to this continuum, where we might live out Minkowski’s theorems of four dimensions in Neverland.

Neverland, a fictional island, another planet, no place, anyplace, the center of the universe with many suns and many moons where immortality and mythical beings exist; a faraway dreamland, accessible only by flight or magic portal, is the destination we reach when encountering the artists’ works in Straight on Till Morning.

Each artist’s formal considerations differ. Agnes Barley employs minimalist paint strokes on paper to create temporal meditations of space and time; her ethereal forms awaken a numinous awareness of what cannot be seen and what is revealed. Sam Schonzeit’s sculptural compositions made from found wood, utilitarian and makeshift, are jazzy riffs on architecture, objects and the perishable nature of ourselves and the planet, forcing us to embrace the transcendence of what is. Tina Hejtmanek’s work addresses perception, space and geometry (real, imagined), mapping the cost of progress and the ticking bomb of humanity –– future blueprints for our utopian fantasies.

What better time to escape to Neverland, when the earth under our feet is on fire, space travel is imminent, and realities are virtual and myriad. In Barley’s gracious constructions we locate an elemental tethering to our shared humanity, an antidote to solitude, with Schonzeit’s pragmatically engineered formations providing sustenance for the body/mind and Hejtmanek’s poetic maps of our planet’s possible fates, perhaps we can find our way to Minkowski’s spacetime –– Neverland, where consciousness of all realities exists, visible and invisible, a true Dimension…“second to the right and straight on till morning.”

Each artist’s works, amplified by one another, transport us to this new space in time to explore.

JEFF is open 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Thursday through Monday. All are welcome, masking and COVID-safe protocols will be observed.


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