The Norwegian painter Bjarne Melgaard will stage a show in the West Village’s Karma bookstore later this month. The planned exhibit features a hefty group of sculptures, drawings, and posters that will all but devour the shop’s modest footprint.
“Obviously we don’t really know what the whole project is going to be,” said Karma founder and Melgaard collaborator Brendan Dugan in an interview. “We’re just assembling all these elements for him.”
Mr. Melgaard’s shows are frenetic events, hastily curated and playful—as Andrew Russeth saw first-hand in his coverage of Mr. Melgaard’s show at Maccarone gallery this past October. Among the materials to be featured at Karma will be Mr. Melgaard’s political posters from the most recent Venice Biennial, in which he takes 1980s anti-AIDS activism to task for not being adequately straightforward (“DON’T GET FUCKED UP THE ASS,” reads a rainbow-colored one. “PERIOD.”) Sketched on these posters, Mr. Melgaard will showcase new drawings inspired by the porn star Savannah, part of a series that impressed Observer columnist Adam Lindemann during a recent visit to Mr. Melgaard’s studio, along with some some 20 or so marble nameplate sculptures.
“The nameplates kind of feel like paperweights, so everything is slightly paper- or book-related,” Mr. Dugan said, adding that, despite this, the show will not have a central theme. “I think he takes a lot of his projects in the same way—he’s working with all these different materials at a given time and whenever a show happens it’s just all the things he’s thinking about at that time.”
The show opens on January 19 at Karma, 21 Downing Street.