A Noiseless Patient Spider

October 22 - November 26, 2016




Linnea Kniaz’s first post-MFA solo exhibition finds the artist extending her sculptural, painting-based installations to the architecture of the gallery space. 55” above the floor, Kniaz has embedded a 2x2” rail around the entire perimeter of the gallery, plastered in and painted white. Along one side of the space this thin shelf lifts off the wall entirely, itself remaining straight as it serves to emphasize the curvature of the gallery’s own construction. Temple against the wall, you might be able to see a tiny sliver of red, or maybe just its mauvy reflection glowing against the bend in the wall; a gentle indicator of the subtleties at play throughout Kniaz’s installation. 

By the front window several small sculptures dot the floor; a sparing assemblage of objects made out of wood, foam, paper, wire, polyester, brick and paint. A leafless branch and painted chair leg lay nearby; a giant California pine cone props up a small wooden table. These structural materials are at once withdrawn yet fully nude, performing an open ecology where objects and their surroundings begin to take on each others’ characteristics. They challenge the viewer with a whole composed from similar yet indeterminate parts; a unified presence of spatial, material, and teleological uncertainty. 

Drawing inspiration from the Supports/Surfaces movement of the late 1960s, Kniaz’s sculptures expose a hidden poetics masked on the borders of painting and architecture. In a circular dance, her work often begins from the measurements of its containing room. There is an open precariousness to her gestures, producing a constant tension between what makes a work spatially dependent or stand alone. Often departing from language, here the etymology of the word “patient” is put to work in two ways: as n. - something requiring an action and adj. - bearing or supporting. A Noiseless Patient Spider hangs in a window between two rooms, steadily scoring its own choreography of space.

Exhibition Context is a six-part series of additive solo shows designed to maximize individual artistic platform while encouraging a collaborative approach. In this second of six shows, Kniaz has recontextualized a work left behind by the first artist, Paul Pescador. Kniaz will then expand this context by also leaving a work behind for the third artist to incorporate into their exhibition.


Linnea Kniaz (b. 1988 Chicago, IL) is an artist based in Brooklyn, NY. She holds an MFA from California Institute of the Arts (2016) and a BA from Skidmore College (2010). Linnea has recently exhibited at Torrance Shipman Gallery (NY), ZAX (NY), Human Resources (CA), Syracuse University (NY), Bakersfield College (CA), Greene & Nostrand (NY), Helper Projects (NY), and Weekend Projects (NY).

A Noiseless Patient Spider
By Walt Whitman

A noiseless patient spider, 
I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated, 
Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding, 
It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself, 
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them. 

And you O my soul where you stand, 
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space, 
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them, 
Till the bridge you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor hold, 
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.

+, (below)


Epic 1-6

October 22 - November 26, 2016

Opening: Saturday, October 22, 6-9pm




Accompanying Exhibition Context upstairs is Non-Cinema, downstairs. Non-Cinema is a series taking place in the basement of VACANCY dedicated to experimental video works, specifically the works of Spencer Holden, whose philosophy of Non-Cinema gives the project its name. Like Exhibition Context, Non-Cinema will run through July 2017. 

“First as tragedy, then as farce. The pan is a moral choice.” - Spencer Holden

Holden’s Epic 1-6 (2015), propose the camera as a moral instrument. Each video is shot during winter at a different outdoor location near the artist's home in New York. Holden enters the frame walking either across, into, or away from the camera, always collapsing mid-way through. He moves through the frame at varying distances and speeds, sometimes so far away from the camera that his identity is unclear. Invariably it is cold, much of the time snowing. With the artist lying flat in the snow the camera pans away slowly until he is off-screen, revealing more of the landscape and thus resetting the frame.


Spencer Holden is an active filmmaker with a focus in experimental video, installation and performance art. He is now developing cinematic experiments towards a Non-Cinema. His work has been featured at REDCAT, Slamdance, Barnsdall Art Park and The Watermill Center. Spencer graduated from California Institute of the Arts in the Film and Video Program in 2013.