Curated by Abigail Guay

Founded in 1996 as a collective of four artists based in Las Cruces, New Mexico, SIMPARCH (a contraction of “simple” and “architecture”) creates architecturally-scaled work that offers an experimental and populist perspective on the built environment. Working primarily with new and salvaged construction materials, SIMPARCH questions form and function through installations that address (and employ) utility, history, narrative, and form.

SIMPARCH’s early work – such as Free Basin (2000), a functional, elevated skatebowl displayed (and skated on) in a half-dozen locations, including Deitch Projects in New York and Documenta 11 in Kassel, Germany – adopted the mood and aesthetics of America’s counter- and nomadic cultures. SIMPARCH has since surveyed environmental and military-industrial concerns, opening the dialogue to include the empirical and physical structures of authority – either by altering traditional frameworks or introducing independent solutions. (Dirty Water Initiative (2005) is a set of small-scale, solar-powered water distillers designed for, and eventually gifted to, individuals living in low or no infrastructure environments.)

exhausted, an ambitious – and drowsy – take on the iconic Japanese monster Godzilla, is a 50-foot long and 10-foot tall wood-framed sculpture. Traditionally a destroyer of buildings and beasts, the monster responds to decade of social and political crisis (and to the unshakable calm of Bellevue’s aloof cityscape) by lying down to sleep. Co-collaborator Kevin Drumm supplies a soundtrack to the collapse and fatigue.


Exhibition Dates
August 19, 2009 – October 3, 2009

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Opening Event
Wednesday, August 19, 6-9 PM

Artist Lecture
Friday, August 7, 7:30 PM
Henry Art Gallery auditorium, members free / $5 general

Press Release [ 28kb, PDF ]

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Photography credits: Malcolm Smith