Ultralounge: The Return of Social Space (with Cocktails) is curated by Las Vegas-based culture critic Dave Hickey. Twelve artists reclaim the exhibition space of the museum as a "social space" where people enjoy spending time together. The iconography of the reclamation is derived from post-hip-hop lounge culture with its infrastructure in raves, clubs, bands, websites and 'zines and its affection for the noir radiance of social space in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
Participating artists include: Phil Argent, Aaron Baker, Tim Bavington, Jane Callister, Cynthia Chan, Jack Hallberg, Wayne Littlejohn, Christine Siemens, Jennifer Steinkamp, Mary Warner, Yek and special guest star Jim Isermann.
Tim Bavington's pristine paintings redeem visual music. Like the garbled crackles and hisses that interupt the music on your car radio, or the electronic "snow" that breaks up the picture on your TV, his painterly disruptions into prevent the transmission of clear messages. Unlike these annoying intrusions into scheduled programming, however, Bavington's static is fun to look at. Initially unanticipated, then welcomed, then finally addictive, Bavington's paintings present us with a more accurate model of how art functions than that put forth by artists and critics who presume that works of art obey laws laid down by the F.C.C. Borrowing indiscriminately from late '60s high modernist abstraction, fashion chromatics and low-brow car culture, Bavington's exquisitely air-brushed images make this smart-aleck conflation look so terrific that you forget where the images come from and focus on where they take you. Before his slick pictures, art is ride for thrill-seekers from all walks of life. (D.P.)
The show was also on view at the University of South Florida Museum of Contemporary Art in Tampa Florida January 14 – March 3, 2000.