Glen Baldridge
Knock Nacht

October 18–November 30, 2014

“We need the tonic of wildness...”
            –Henry David Thoreau

In his work Baldridge utilizes a diverse set of visual and material cues drawn from diverse sources including found coffin catalogues, losing lottery tickets, trompe l’oeil bullet holes, and knife infomercials, that each convey a gravely ambivalent approach toward consumerism and mortality. Through his use of various media, Baldridge offers us several scenarios that each depict a future that somehow rests on the edge of physical violence or destruction, or alternates between success and failure, all the while maintaining humor. Simultaneously subverting and celebrating traditional technique, he adds his stamp of decidedly masculine satire.

Knock Nacht divides the gallery into ‘exterior’ and ‘interior’ spaces, focusing on both a literal and conceptual periphery through Baldridge’s unique synthesis of photography, drawing, and printmaking. The exhibition consists of both floor- and wall-based works, and includes materials and processes as diverse as 24 block 8 color woodcut prints with laser engraving, pyrogravure, graphite, and salt lick.

In a series of wall-based works, Baldridge presents images captured by a motion activated game camera, nodding to his boyhood in Montana, as both artist and viewer become the passive, absent hunter. The camera’s shutter is triggered by wind, insects, and otherwise unseen forces of the night; hunting for an image or a moment within the periphery. Glitches and imperfections are generated at each stage of Baldridge’s process: while silkscreen inks seal the graphite, images are aggressively erased from the blackness.

For two new woodcut prints, Baldridge draws from an interior den-like space, each image depicting an overhead view of wood floors. In each image boards are removed to reveal a secret compartment containing objects. One contains a switchblade, the other a stash of VHS tapes. Both spaces are ambiguous in their nature, relying on peripheral information or outside clues to decide. Another of Baldridge’s intensely process-based work, each woodcut print consists of over twenty wood blocks, which are each printed intaglio and surface rolled at the same time. This utilization of one of the oldest forms of printmaking is combined with the newest laser technology, and printed on a hydraulic press in editions of 15.

A prime example of Baldridges’s simultaneity of humor and satire is the sculpture Seer, a quasi-replica of the Himalayan salt lamp. Salt lamps are believed to cleanse by way of increasing the number of negative ions released into your indoor air, creating “soothing effects for you.” The box and milk crate as forms suggest a gallery pedestal, topped with a glowing light and weight of a block of salt.

A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Glen Baldridge currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. His work is held in many public and private collections including the Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the New York Public Library, the Yale University Art Gallery, Ashville Art Museum, and the RISD Museum. Baldridge is co-owner and founder of Forth Estate Editions.