Seattle-based artist Dylan Neuwirth graduated from the University of Georgia in Athens in 2000, then in 2003 stopped making art for almost a decade as he struggled with alcoholism. When he came to he found precious few of his former friends left. He recreated an online community via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr, and rebooted his career. His current work at SEASON—a home cum art gallery run by resident artist and gallerist Robert Yoder—exists in the in-between spaces. It’s taglines stolen from cyberspace, remnants of formerly functional objects, and hand-blown vessels containing nothing at all.
As a Design Build Artist for Chihuly studio, Neuwirth travels five months out of the year. Transient hotel rooms have become his studio. In a recent interview Neuwirth explained, “The studio is relative. It’s wherever I am. It’s my iPhone 5s, a Samsung NX1100 digital camera, emails, texts, phone calls, and countless hours on social media.”Feeling Some Type of Way is plucked from the same ether. A cursive script, it glows in white neon, it’s exact meaning just out of grasp. It’s the kind of line that, while highly suggestive, needs corporality to give it substance: vocal intonation or perhaps physical gesture. Floating against the gallery wall, Neuwirth’s work is framed by cords that hang down on either side, coming to rest atop a single cinder block like a pair of clasped hands.
Feeling Some Type of Way hangs just feet away from an empty blown glass Makers Mark bottle sitting atop Yoder’s dining room table, a nod perhaps to Neuwirth’s descent down the rabbit hole—or acknowledgement of his re-ascension. But it’s Untitled that uses ambiguity most effectively. On view in Yoder’s bedroom, Untitled is what Neuwirth dubs “a b-side, a castoff.” It’s a remnant from As Above, So Below, a bicycle frame that Neuwirth built and chained to a metal post then, almost as an afterthought, trimmed down. The small section on view at Season is what was cut away. Yes, it’s art. But is it still a bicycle?
A fluid living and showing space, SEASON is in effect, the perfect venue for Neuwirth’s slippery play with object and oral history, the whittling down of language and with it meaning. Which isn’t to say that his work is meaningless. On the contrary, it’s in the stripping away of excess words and material that Neuwirth shines most brightly. “Trying to figure it out,” says Neuwirth, “became the work itself.”
By Suzanne Beal