Julian Montague: To Know The Spiders

Image: Julian Montague: Specimen Vials 2, digital pigment ink print , 2008 /  ©Julian Montague

Image: Julian Montague: Specimen Vials 2, digital pigment ink print, 2008 / ©Julian Montague

Press Release / June 5 - July 12, 2008

BLACK & WHITE GALLERY // Chelsea is proud to present To Know The Spiders by Julian Montague. 

Investigations into overlooked realms of daily life, continues to be at the heart of Montague's art practice. In his highly acclaimed The Stray Shopping Cart Identification System project exhibited at Black & White Gallery in the fall of 2006, his method was to build a system of classification around a mundane object. In To Know the Spiders, Montague mounts a visual exploration of seemingly mundane animals – the spiders that occupy the peripheries of human architectural space. His process begins with the collection and killing of a spider. He then studies its face under a microscope and from the resulting drawings creates a portrait of the spider in the form of a fabric banner. The banner is then placed and photographed in the exact spot of collection. The banner illuminates the presence of a silent witness and sometime symbiotic partner while also serving as a memorial to the spider that had to die for that understanding to be gained. 

Since his graduation from Hampshire College in 1996 with a BA in Media Studies, Julian Montague’s photographs and other works have been exhibited in solo and group shows at Hallwalls Contemporary ArtsCenter in Buffalo, NY, Real Art Ways in Hartford, CT, Spaces Gallery in Cleveland, OH, Art in General in NYC, Light Factory in Charlotte, NC and at the Collectors Gallery at Albright - Knox in Buffalo, NY. In 2005 Montague’s work was included in the Albright Knox Art Gallery Beyond/In Western New York biennial at the Castellani Art Museum in Niagara Falls, NY. In 2006 the book version of the Stray Shopping Cart Identification System project, The Stray Shopping Carts Of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification was published by Harry Abrams and is now widely available in bookstores and on most online book sellers. Julian Montague is the winner of the Diagram Prize for the Oddest Title of 2006. Montague’s work has been recently acquired by The Margulies Collection in Miami, FL and Albright - Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, NY. His site-specific installation is currently on view at the Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City in Waste Not, Want Not exhibition. Julian Montague lives and works in Buffalo, NY.