max c fields

Barry Elkanick: Proceed to the Nearest Exit
She Works Flexible: Flex Space, Houston, TX
January 9–February 9, 2016

Proceed to the Nearest Exit is the first solo-exhibition featuring Houston-based artist Barry Elkanick to be presented in Houston. The exhibition’s conceptual narrative is driven by a series of conversations held over the course of several weeks between Suplex curator Max Fields and Elkanick. These conversations were anchored by the question “if you proposed to construct a solo-exhibition without physical or financial limitations, what form would that exhibition take?” Using that question as a starting point, Elkanick reverse engineered the utopian construct to identify key points he considers essential to creating a utopia exhibition: The work would exist in a white cube. The work would fill space completely,  be expansive, and would exist as an installation. And, the exhibition would respond to the imitation of reality.

Those key points became fuel for new conceptual narratives and created the curatorial framework in which Proceed to the Nearest Exit would exist. His response has taken the form of an installation that explores themes of utilitarian labor, process, and ethical hierarchies.

For Proceed to the Nearest Exit, Elkanick will build a collection of both functional and structurally compromised painted staircase sculptures that surround the gallery and lure eyes toward paintings hanging high above. By raising the hanging height of his paintings well above eye level, Elkanick positions the work to confront the viewer from moral high ground.

Barry Elkanick (b.1991) is an artist living and working in Houston, TX. Elkanick’s art work combines process-based abstract painting with conceptual narratives that explore inner subjectivity, personal histories, and contemporary cultural phenomenon. His work has been featured in numerous group exhibitions at venues including Barbee Manshun, the University of Houston, and most recently in the exhibition J-Card at ATM Gallery (Austin, TX). In 2014 Elkanick’s paintings were featured in a solo exhibition titled No Nonsense curated by Travis Kent and Mikaylah Bowman at Farewell Books (Austin, TX). Elkanick is an accomplished musician and has toured with his band Back to Back across the country since 2012. He is also a member of the much lauded Austin-based band Institute (Sacred Bones). His artwork is due to appear on the upcoming record covers of bands including Secret Prostitutes and the critically acclaimed psych-rock band Destruction Unit (Sacred Bones).


Opening Reception: Barry Elkanick: Proceed to the Nearest Exit
Saturday, January 9, 2016 | 8-10PM

Artist/Curator Talk
Sunday, January 10, 2016 | 2-3PM

Film Screening: Dream City (Traumstadt)
Thursday, January 14, 2016 | 7:30-9PM

Erasing Towers: How Visual Language Enforces Hierarchies (and then how to break them)
Wednesday, January 20, 2016 | 7:30-9PM


Barry Elkanick: Proceed to the Nearest Exit is accompanied by a 16 page exhibition catalogue printed on newsprint in black and white. The catalogue is designed by Austin-based artist Moses C. Brown and featuring stunning prints of Elkanick's artworks and essays by Max Fields and Rachel Vogel.

To pre-order the 16 page publication email with the amount you would like to purchase. $8.00 + S&H. Availability is extremely limited. Preview below.