Artists: Irma Blank, Alighiero Boetti, Martin Boyce, Henri Chopin, Michael Dean, Jimmie Durham, Robert Filliou, Mark Leckey, Mark Manders, Jean-Luc Moulène, and Michael E. Smith
“Concrete Islands” offers a poetic investigation into the intersection of words and objects. Inspired by Marcel Broodthaers’ 1964 sculpture Pense-Bête in which the artist took the unsold copies of one of his books of poetry and encased them in plaster creating an object that literally solidified poetry into a concrete form, Concrete Islands posits the question: where does language end and the world begin? The exhibition looks at a number of artists whose work follows in the wake of Broodthaers’ epiphany. Working in a wide range of media from sculpture and film to embroidery and typewritten drawing, this inter-generational group of artists, each in their own way, cross the boundaries between the immaterial and the material, between language and things, and between concrete poetry and concrete objects.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a book designed and co-published by ROMA Publications in Amsterdam includes an essay by Douglas Fogle and Hanneke Skerath along with additional images of works by Bas Jan Ader, Joseph Beuys, Marcel Broodthaers, Dom Sylvester Houédard and Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt.
For his second solo exhibit Green River at Brand New Gallery, Raffi Kalenderian draws on an array of techniques that illuminates his process and expand on his Californian vision.
His attentiveness to image-making draws on qualities of both darkness and the vibrancy of flash photography. He once again portrays a milieu of Los Angeles creatives - fellow painters, poets, actors, artists – emerging from a hypnotic blackness, imbued with an awkward dignity. Even when he departs from portraiture it remains an anchor that grounds his corpus, as does his process, in the psychological. The subjects seem to be waiting for someone or something, with their gazes often lost in the void, absorbed in a narrative that seems to have no limits in either space or time.
In this body of work, space bends, brush marks dissolve images, and darkness is built-up in layers, creating moments where paintings mechanisms are the real subject. Kalenderian’s approach to landscape is activated by an abstraction and freedom that set them apart from the pastoral, existing instead as a reckoning with an environment impacted by crisis.
The shows title is borrowed from a song by seminal Californian rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival:
“You’re gonna find the world is smouldrin’. And if you get lost come on home to Green River.”
(b. 1981, Los Angeles, CA) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.
Raffi Kalenderian received a BFA from University of California Los Angeles and spent his residency in St. Barthélemy, French West Indies.
Recent solo exhibitions: For the Dead, Susanne Vielmetter Gallery (Los Angeles, CA, 2016); To Walk Trough The Night, Galerie Peter Kilchmann (Zurich, CH, 2015); Raffi Kalenderian, Buchmann Galerie (Berlin, DE, 2014).
Recent Group exhibitions: Painters’ Painters, Saatchi Gallery (London, UK, 2016); A Verdant Summer, Taymour Grahne Gallery (New York, NY, 2016); Imagine, Brand New Gallery (Milan, IT, 2016); Blood Red Sun of Fantastic L.A., Praz-Delavallade @ Piasa (Paris, FR, 2015); Reliability of Recognotion, BolteLang (Zurich, CH, 2015); Another Cat Show, 356 Mission (Los Angeles, US, 2014); Goldmine, UAM, University Art Museum (Long Beach, US, 2011).