Henry J. Simonds - Requiem for the Super Ball, closes 9 October

28 July - 9 October 2011

Charles Bank Gallery is pleased to present artist and filmmaker, Henry J. Simonds, New York gallery debut with the multi-media exhibition, Requiem for the Super Ball®.

Charles Bank Gallery will hold the solo show in the Projects space from July 28 through September 11. The exhibition celebrates one of the world's most dynamic toys, as it explores the beauty and allure of the iconic ball introduced in 1965 by the Wham-O Manufacturing Co. The Super Ball®, invented by chemist Norman Stingley, has been the subject of fascination and play for almost half of a century. Simonds invites viewers to reflect on the unique charm and character of the bounciest of balls through film, photography, sculpture, and performance.

"For as long as I can remember, I have been a collector," Simonds explains. "Matchbooks, key chains, rubber bands. You name it." The artist is inspired by the beauty and mystery of ordinary, everyday objects.

He now focuses on one such collection: an old coffee can filled with candy store Super Balls®. Simonds states, "almost ten years ago, I came across this can of balls and decided I would do something with them: maybe put them in a display case. I never imagined that it would lead me to creating a scientific discipline." Simonds was captivated by the range of colors, forms, and designs, and he believed that the Super Ball® warranted further investigation into its history and composition. He approached the collection much like an entomologist or gemologist would, and has created a system of classification using taxonomic principles.

After realizing that others were equally entranced by these little spheres, he formalized his practice. He created the discipline of Sphereology, and co-founded the International Spheraolgical Society. The ISS is committed to studying the history and dynamism of the Super Ball®. With the exhibition, Requiem for the Super Ball®, the ISS makes its public debut and invites anyone interested in the Super Ball® to join and participate in its activities. According to Simonds, "It's all about fun, really, but there are some truly interesting things about culture, society, and history that you can learn from exploring something as mundane as a toy. We just want others to be part of that dialogue."