I sometimes listen to music by Smog and in the song, (In the Pines) The Longest Train I Ever Saw, Bill Callahan sings, “The Longest train I ever saw went down that Georgia Line. The engine went by at six o’ clock and the cab went by at nine. In the pines, in the pines, where the sun never shines and we shiver when the north wind blows. Well I asked the captain for the time of day he said he threw his watch away,” and the lyrics are filled with the stuff of loneliness, sex, and death. As it turns out, the lyrics of (In the Pines) The Longest Train I Ever Saw, resonate on a universal level: it’s a traditional folk tune rooted in the late 19th century with themes durable enough for multiple generations of covers and reconstructions by artists as disparate as Lead Belly, Nirvana, Dolly Parton, Bob Dylan, and R. Crumb, to name a few.
As an exhibition, The Longest Train I Ever Saw, is a way to give a collective (if diverse) vision to some of the ideas within the song by bringing together several artists whose work, whether through concept, imagery, or materials, is related to isolation and loneliness. It is meant to be a moody show, a show for February, and coincidentally, a show opening on Valentine’s Day.
Furthermore, and probably most importantly, the exhibition is an opportunity to fill this new, still-forming gallery space with the energy and surprise that a group show of several exciting artists can bring. In its first year the gallery is comprised mostly of solo shows and with this group show, I want to relinquish a certain amount of control and context and bring together a diverse group of voices to see what kind of new noise they might produce.
Rachel Uffner Gallery represents the artists Josh Blackwell, Barb Choit, Hilary Harnischfeger, Pam Lins, Sara Greenberger Rafferty, and Roger White. Please call 212-2740064 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.