New Capital Projects

3114 W. Carrol

Entering the first show I saw back in November at New Capital, a warehouse project space rub by Ben Foch and Chelsea Culp, involved a cell phone call to obtain entry, maneuvering a narrow fenced precipice past a dark cavern of forklifts, and, after navigating more shadowy shipping ephemera, discovering an unfinished cavern in which Greg Stimac’s black-and-white bird’s-eye video was being projected, documenting his helicopter ride over the city during the incendiary assault known as July Fourth. Ascending a staircase, this (thoroughly frigid) urban avant-garde safari deposited me within a stark white cube, in front of Maria Jonsson’s gleaming black welded steel sculpture of typewriter keys, massive enough to serve as three rows of bleachers. I returned to see another near-monochromatic show, featuring Cameron Crawford’s monumental but modestly scaled installation in the lower nook, and John Almanza’s sensitively textured stripe abstractions upstairs. Later I saw Ben Gill’s beautifully silk-screened book cover facsimiles, accompanied below by his constructivist array of home improvement materials. There have also been evenings of performances and screenings in and beyond the exhibition spaces. Currently April Childers’s quizzical assemblages on the top floor are balanced against Max Warsh’s large and mesmerizing low-relief collages on the ground level, pieces that exemplify the tendency of great minimalist work to dissolve into the architecture. These experiences remind me of Tim Lawrence’s disco history Love Saves the Day, in which he describes the euphoric early days of legendary Manhattan nightclub the Loft, a warehouse space in which “no physicist could hope to calculate the unfolding relations of energy, force, and motion—but the communication is unmistakable.” —Bert Stabler