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SPRING/BREAK 2020 'IN EXCESS': David B. Frye: Milking the Golden Bull

Mechanized figure on stool milking a golden bull, imagery on bull of christ carrying a cross with onlookers
In foreground: The Day and Night Mockery of Christ, 2019 Acrylic on panel in carved wood kinetic sculpture with chopper parts 110 x 67 x 54 inches

Exhibition dates: March 5, 2020 11am-9pm, March 4-9, 2020 11am - 8pm

625 Madison Avenue, NYC, Booth #1036

Milking the Golden Bull is an exhibition of new works by David B. Frye. A series of paintings on panel in carved wooden frames and a mechanical wood sculpture elucidate contemporary takes on the Biblical story of worshiping the golden calf. In Frye’s hands, the story grows to reflect all manner of contemporary rituals of forgetting, misplaced adoration, and greed.

The Golden Bull motif is the golden calf of the Bible, all grown up. The functional milking stool sold back to us as a souped-up readymade, depicting an automated portrait of excess. Regarding the Biblical roots of the story, Frye states that “the Ancient Isrealtes were on a journey to a new place, and one would think informed by the realities of their deliverance. They had after all witnessed divine intervention, miracles, and the fury of God himself. Yet the uncertainty of waiting got to them. So, it is with us.” Frye shows us humanity in a state similar to that of the Ancient Israelites: stuck between the discoveries and innovations of our past and the world of equality and plenty that we hope is our future. Here we are, uncertain about waiting.

Paintings on wood panel show humanity traveling through time with the golden calf as it multiplies and matures. The golden calf comes down from the pedestal of worship and into a more complex relationship with the worshiper as the Golden Bull. Frye depicts scenes of predecessors and contemporaries in various stages of worship of the false idol. Frye reflects on the colloquialism stating that “milking a bull is about futility, backwardness, the fool’s errand. It is not the first picture that forms in the mind’s eye when one thinks of dairy farms. Rather it is meant as a metaphor for our time. Our age when we have forgotten our miracles, whatever their source.”

Part idolatry and part homage to these forgotten miracles, Milking the Golden Bull depicts scenes from the early days evolving into the distracting world of the spectacle in late Capitalism.




"This curator-driven fair has been, as its name suggests, the youngest, most raucous and most egalitarian of the New York fairs...the fair remains the place to find new art." - Roberta Smith, The New York Times

"As always, curators have brought with them an impressive squad of artists, many emerging, and a bold vision, collectively transforming the unconventional space into the city’s coolest art venue." - Sarah Cascone, Artnet

"Spring/Break, now in its eighth edition, is unlike any other exhibition at this time of year – it puts statement before sale." - Nadja Sayej, The Guardian

“Now in its eighth year of bringing weird and wonderful art into unlikely spaces, Spring/Break [is] traditionally the best show in town during jam-packed Armory Arts Week.” - Scott Lynch, Gothamist


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