Berlin-based artist Simon Evans has a great exhibition right now at James Cohen Gallery in Chelsea. It’s the New York debut show for the London-born artist, who is a former pro-skateboarder and writer. The show’s title is “Island Time,” which is a nod to Robinson Crusoe and the handmade objects he needed to survive on a desert island. Evans implicitly compares being shipwrecked, to the role of the artist as an outsider, to his own experience living in a foreign city. He’s also obsessed with counting and charting, “an activity key to survival as a castaway,” says the gallery.
Evan’s text-based works are collaged and assembled from prosaic materials including found paper, scotch tape, pencil shavings, colored pencil and white out. My favorite piece is the “One Hundred Mix CDs for New York” which is a collection of album covers that are arranged together in one frame. Evans attempts to encapsulate his feelings regarding the gesture of exchange that typifies the making of a mixed CD.