Adam Eckstrom

2005
Rhode Island School of Design, MFA Painting with Honors
1999
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, BFA Sculpture and Photography

Lauren Was

2004
Rhode Island School of Design, MFA Sculpture with Honors
1999
School of the Art Institute of Chicago, BFA Concentration in Sculpture

Solo Exhibitions

2015
Better is THE END – Deep End, Wassaic Project Exhibition, USA
Gone the Sun, Galerie Paris-Beijing, Paris, France
Looking Up, Davidson Contemporary, New York, NY

2013
Day is Done, Galerie Paris-Beijing, Brussels, Belgium (catalogue)
Collapse of Promise, Zadok Gallery, Miami, Florida

2012
Forever Almost, Davidson Contemporary, New York, NY
Remember When Tomorrow Came, Colorado Springs Fine Art Center Museum, Colorado Springs, CO
Sky’s the Limit, Hunterdon Art Museum, Clinton, NJ
Our Favorite Pastimes, MCC Gallery, Omaha, NE

2011
we spend our lives as we spend our days, Gallerie Christoffer Egelund, Copenhagen, Denmark
Everybody Wants Some Heaven, Art First, Santa Maria Della Vita, Bologna, IT curated by Julia Draganovic

2010
The Price of Happiness, Galerie Paris-Beijing, Beijing, China
One in a Million, Vierter Stock Projektraum, Berlin, DE
Future Perfect, The Freedman Gallery at Albright College, Reading, PA
This is it, Volta 6 New York, Cynthia Corbett Gallery

2008
Ghost of a Dream, Space at Alice Rhode Island, Providence, RI

Selected Group Exhibitions

2015
In Praise of Folly, NARS Foundation, Brooklyn, NY
The Ecstasy of Influence, Spring Break, NY
Here There Nowhere, Galerie Paris-Beijing, Brussels, Belgium

2014
State of Art, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AK
Artist Ball, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
Summertime, Galleri Christoffer Egelund, Copenhagen, Denmark

2013
SHINE, Textile Museum of Canada, Toronto Ontario
Wish Meme, at Old School for The New Museum’s Festival of Ideas, NY, NY
Homeward Found, Wassaic Project, Wassaic, NY
Debris Field, Castle Gallery, College of New Rochelle, New Rochelle, NY

2012
How Much do I Owe You? No Longer Empty, LIC, NY curated by Manon Slome
Summertime, Gallerie Christoffer Egelund, Copenhagen, Denmark
Return to Rattlesnake Mountain, Wassaic Project, Wassaic, NY
HOPELESS, DUMBO Arts Festival, DUMBO, NY
Trash Talk, Spattered Columns Art Connects, NY, NY
COME AND GET IT, Hendershot Gallery, NY, NY

2011
Art Prize, Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Grand Rapids, MI
A Strange Attraction to the Beautiful and the Dreadful, Hendershot Gallery NY, NY, curated by Maureen Sullivan

2010
Exhibitionism-The Art of Display, The Courtauld Institute, London, UK

2009
Fly By’s, Galleri Cristoffer Egelund, Copenhagen, Denmark
Young Masters, Cynthia Corbett Gallery, London, England (catalogue)
Will it Happen, Elga Wimmer Gallery, NY, NY
Word Up, Broadway Gallery, NY, NY

2008
In other Words, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA-This is not New York, This is Berlin, Salon Mastul e.V., Berlin, Germany
Inaugural Exhibition, DIEU DONNU+00C9, NY, NY
Suckers and Biters, Chashama Gallery, NY, NY (catalogue)
Devotion Reconstructed, Broadway Gallery, NY, NY

2006
RISD Biannual NYC, Exit Art, NY, NY, curated by Robert Storr
Two Continents and Beyond: Waterways, Istanbul Biennale, Istanbul, Turkey
Flora, South Bend Regional Museum, South Bend, IN

Awards, Grants and Fellowships

2014
Process Space, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council five-month A.I.R., Governors Island, New York

2013
Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, NY, NY
Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant, NY, NY
Jerome Foundation Grant, (gifted through Smack Mellon), Minneapolis, MN
La Napoule Art Foundation, funded A.I.R., Mandelieu-La Napoule, France

2012
Smack Mellon, year long funded studio program, Brooklyn, NY
New York Foundation for the Arts Emergency Grant, NY, NY
Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, three-month funded A.I.R., Omaha, NE

2011
Hot Picks, Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY
Wassaic Project Artist Honorarium, Funded by Dutchess County Arts Board NY
Voted top installation at Art First, pole by the Corriere Di Bologna, Bologna, IT

2010
Vierter Stock Projektraum, Berlin, Germany 2-month A.I.R. Funded by US Embassy

2009
The Art Prize, Young Masters and AXA Insurance, London, UK
IAAB, six-month funded A.I.R., Basel, Switzerland

2008
Artist Projects, RISD, Material grant and student labor to make an installation
Oxbow Fellowship (re-granted from The Joan Mitchell Foundation) NY, NY
City Sol, Material Grant, NY, NY
D.U.M.B.O. Improvement District, Material Grant, Brooklyn, NY

Curatorial Projects

2013
AKA, Davidson Contemporary, New York, NY
In the Details, Wassaic Project, Wassaic, NY

2012
Another Side, The Re-Institute, Millerton, NY

Bibliography

2014
Ghost of a Dream. Gone the Sun, anti-utopias, December 22
Pulse Dives Into New Waters in Miami Beach, Blouin ARTINFO, December 4
Piecing Things Together at PULSE Miami Beach, HYPERALLERGIC, December 8
Pulse launches 10th year with move to Miami Beach, Miami Herald, December 4
Kim Rugg and Ghost of a Dream Stand Out at PULSE, NewYork Observer, December 4
AMERICAN BEAUTY, Vogue Magazine, August issue
BROOKLYN ARTIST BALL SETS THE TABLE, Interview Magazine, April 17
At the Brooklyn Artist Ball, Gallerist/Observer, April 18
The Brooklyn Artists Ball Had It All, Bedford and Bowery, April 17
Highlights From The Brooklyn Artists Ball, Art F City, April 21
Night at the Museum, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 17
Ghost of a Dream, The Glamourai, March 26

2013
Jour de Chance, Arts Libre, La Libre Belgique, Brussels, BE, December 20
GHOST OF A DREAM, Le Soir, Brussels, BE, December 21
HAUNTING AND COLLECTING, Agenda, Brussels BE, December 5
Get Lucky, Marie Claire, Brussels, BE December
Cinquante degrés Nord, Arte Belgique, Brussels, BE, December 4
Entre Triomphe et Tragedie chez Paris-Beijing, FEEVER, Brussels, BE, November 26
reative Time’s Sandcastles Return, Rockaway Beach, Art In America, August 13
Creative Time Sandcastle Competition, Art F City, NY, NY, August 12
Second Annual Creative Time Sandcastle Competition, Time Out NY, August 12
Creative Time’s Sandcastle Competition, W Magazine, August 12
Lottery Ticket Sculptures ‘Ghost of a Dream’, Huffington Post, May 20

2012
Seven Deadly Sins, Beautiful/Decay, Fall
Recommended GO Brooklyn Studio: Ghost Of A Dream, ART F CITY, September 7
London Show Draws Winners, The Independent, London, UK, January 19
Watch the Birdie, The Metro, London, UK, January 18
In Your Dreams, Phoenix, London, UK, February issue #6
Ghost of a Dream Remember When Tomorrow Came, Artlog, February 15
Why Weren’t You in Wassaic This Weekend?, hyperallergic.com, August 8

2011
The Wassaic Project: Our Favorite Art, Village Voice Online, August 8
Collectors Call, ARTFORUM online, May 6
Giant Sculptures Made From Lottery Tickets, Wired UK, August 5

2010
Luck of the Draw, City Weekend, Beijing, China, October 28-November 10
Husband-and-wife ‘found’ art team’s exhibition weighs The Price of Happiness, Global Times, Beijing, China, October 12
Dream Ticket, World of Interiors, July
VOLTA NY: Ghost of a Dream, Whitewall Magazine, March 5
The American Dream as Illusion, The Reading Eagle, Reading, PA, March 28
Medium Voltage, ARTINFO, March
The Art of Discarded Lottery Tickets, Yatzer.com, August 4

2009
Award-Winning Artist Master Raphael and Durer, The Independent, London, November 13
Young Masters, Art of England, Issue 63
Scope Basel, Premier Art Scene Magazine, 2009
Top 10 Artists at Art Basel, Volta and Scope, Satchi.com, June 10

2008
Time Out New York, NY, NY, December 18-31
For Biennial Fans, Providence Journal, Providence, RI, March 6
Dream Ride, Intersection Magazine, Spring Issue
Lottery Tickets become Dream Car, Providence Journal, Providence, RI, March 18

  • INTERVIEW OF GHOST OF THE DREAM

GHOST OF A DREAM

Press release by Galerie Paris-Beijing

The Galerie Paris-Beijing is pleased to present a comprehensive insight into Ghost of a Dream’s most recent developments within their artistic practice, which invites us to reflect on today’s escapist society and its cultural aspirations.

The New York-based collaborative Ghost of a Dream, comprised of sculptor Lauren Was and painter Adam Eckstrom documents and critically explores the futile hopes and dreams of contemporary materialist society that is constantly on the search for a newer, better life. Their work focus on the different activities people de- lusively engage in to realize their dreams of instantaneous gratification: from gambling to reading romance novels or watching romantic movies. Was and Eckstrom mine popular culture for real people’s discarded dreams, such as old lottery tickets, romance novels, baseball cards, trophies, art postcards or so-called “nudie cards”. These escapist objects form the material from which the artists re-create the faded hopes and dreams into large-scale immersive installations, sculptures, collages or text-based work. Their show in the Galerie Paris-Beijing plays with the bitter discrepancies between fantasy and reality and asks to which expense the universal (and often simultaneous) quest for wealth, success and perfect romance actually comes.

The fine line between appearance and reality is tested in Ghost of a Dream’s series of collages, sculptures comprised of countless strangers’ competition trophy bases, or in their site-specific wall drawings. In Triumph and Tragedy (2013) we are reminded that “One man’s loss is another man’s gain”: closer inspection reveals that the word we read from a distance, ‘Triumph’, in fact consists of the one same word that is written over and over again like a mantra: tragedy.

A similar unsettling discovery is inherent within the diametric contradiction of what from afar appears to be a drawing of a sunset, yet upon closer inspection reveals to be no more than countless multi-colored lines of the word “tragedy” (Tragedy Sunset 2013). Sunsets represent the moment of perfect, lasting romance, yet rarely live up to what the promise. For their multi-media installation This mess between us (2013) Was and Eckstrom scoured through numerous films to amass a digital archive of sunsets that play on an loop on countless television sets. Critically exploring the role of the media in creating and fostering such fantasies in society, they confront us with our own habits of seeking comfort and hope for perfect love in movies. Their immersive work hauntingly reminds us that many of our fantasies and dreams, creating a bright future that will never exist, make us lose much more than we will ever gain.

Lauren Was and Adam Eckstrom were both born in the USA and met while attending the Rhode Island School of Design. Eckstrom received a MFA Painting (Honors) in 2005 and Was a MFA Sculpture (Honors) in 2004. Their collaboration began in 2006 when they became intrigued by the question of what people dream about when they buy a lottery ticket. They founded the collaborative Ghost of a Dream in 2007 and a year later made their first piece in the Easy Money series, The Dream Car. Their work has been exhibited in Europe, China and int the USA and also has been featured in The Guardian (London), The Independent (London), Time Out (New York), and ArtForum.com among other publications. Ghost of a Dream have had various residencies in Germany, Switzerland, USA and France. The collabo- rative has been the recipient of the 2013 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and the Jerome Foundation grant and received the first annual Young Masters Art Prize in London in 2009. They have had solo exhibitions notably at the Hunterdon Art Museum, New Jersey (2012) and were featured in group shows at the Courtauld Institute of Art (2009).

 

Better Odds Through Art: Ghost of a Dream Take On the Global Lotto Machine

Christian Viveros-Fauné

 

Some artists wait around for their retrospective. Others, like the young collaborative team of Lauren Was and Adam Eckstrom, a.k.a. Ghost of Dream, design their own survey. A reflection on “what we’ve done and how we got here,” their new exhibition, “Day is Done,” presents older styles of their work in brand new guises. Lurid but thoughtful, their most recent display mulls over this duo’s signal triumphs and failures (thematically, at least, they could be one and the same). It also proposes novel ideas for instantaneous overnight success. They’ll come in handy for picking a “winner” — if you still believe such a thing exists after seeing their show.

SFeaturing large-scale and discrete pieces made from Lady Luck’s recycled leavings, Ghost of a Dream’s current exhibition sources its material straight from the global fantasy factory. Drawn from sources like casinos (playing cards), convention centers (carpet), corner delis (lottery tickets), sports shops (the discarded marble bases of old trophies), the inspirational and easy reading sections of cheap bookstores (self-help and romance novels), and Lalaland itself (video clips of old movies and songs), their many found objects are repurposed as sculptures, collages, room-sized installations, and moving image and auditory works. Taken together, they sound a uniformly brassy Wah-Wah note — like the losing wail on The Price Is Right. Despite their peppy peacock coloring, these works advertise something other than scratch-off happiness and rosy dreams deferred. Instead, they brutally pump the pathos of $1.50 ambitions, ideals crumpled, illusions trashed, and dreams roughly and cruelly trampled underfoot.

SThough Ghost of Dream very much enjoys mixing and matching cast-off items for their aesthetic value, the artists rely chiefly on simple language to establish their complex conceptual conceits. One set of works on view, for example, features the words “Triumph” and “Tragedy” written out explicitly in modest marble slabs. Another, a drawing, assembles more than 700 bank slogans (HSBC, for example, publicly purports to be “Your local bank”) into a large panel spelling out the word “Trust.” A third instance of the duo’s use of text is reflected directly in the show’s title. Taken from the tune Taps — the song’s mystery lyrics laconically intone “Day is done, gone the sun… God is nigh” — its canned sentiment suggests two alternate meanings for the pair’s sprawling effort. In Churchillian terms, “Day is Done” announces the world’s current economic and artistic blitz — as evidenced by, among other phenomena, massive income inequality and the present market for blue-chip art — to be, at present, either at the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning.

SFew ideas today could appear more fustily rhetorical. A bald-faced manifestation of the status quo, Ghost of a Dream effectively reframes the willing confusion engendered by this go-along “Day is Done” attitude by recycling “triumphs” and “tragedies” into a larger, collective mosaic. Their exhibition, in a nutshell, represents thousands of instances of misplaced trust and ill fortune for which there will be no second acts. A multipart picture, it also constitutes an oddly itemized, harshly condemnatory, ultimately empathetic portrait of our merciless get-rich-quick age.