In his sixth solo exhibition at the gallery Meuser presents a group of new wall-based works and freestanding sculptures under the exhibition title “Kann ich mich hier auch selbst einweisen?“ (Can I Admit Myself To This Place?), a title that seems a logical follow-up to his 2014 show ”Herr Ober, zwei Doppelte“ (Waiter, Two Double Shots).
For more than 40 years Meuser has been finding his material, discarded industrial objects made from steel or iron, primarily at the scrapyard. The search for a suitable industrial relic is an essential part of his artistic process; as Meuser puts it: ”Scrap, there is tons of course but it contains a lot of rubbish." Ignoring the original function of the often bulky found objects, Meuser reworks them in the studio, welds them together, or sometimes simply paints them. With minimal interventions the artist thus constructs three-dimensional works that oscillate between sculpture and painting. The arrangement of the objects in the manner of an installation—in particular his wall-based works—facilitates an experience that is rather pictorial. Obvious signs of wear, like marks and scratches, in the material evoke painterly gestures. This effect is enhanced by coating the found objects with ordinary industrial paints and oil. At the same time, the monochrome color infuses the metal fragments with an amorphous vitality and physical presence, evoking an illusion of lightness, which counterbalances the actual physical weight of the material.
The unpretentious and modest vocabulary of Meuser’s more geometric body of work has a constructivist formal clarity that is reminiscent to strategies of Minimal art, especially considering his specific use of materials. With his so-called “Knautsch” works (roughly translated from the German, it means “crumpled“), Meuser expanded this idiom and since 2011 he has developed works that are literally crumpled: i.e., squeezed, crushed, and bent. As a student of Beuys at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Meuser developed his abstract constructivist vocabulary particularity in the context of the work of older colleagues such as Blinky Palermo and Imi Knoebel, who—like Martin Kippenberger—had significant influence on his work. With Kippenberger he shared an ironic and down-to-earth approach to artmaking and he sometimes visited his friend to create titles for the works (“Titel kloppen”), just as one would slam cards on the table in a game of skat.
Ultimately, with his specific handling and installation of the works, but especially with his idiosyncratic titles, Meuser ironically transfers his materials into an everyday world oscillating between banality and poetry. Meuser’s hilarious and disrespectful titles are inspired by the distinctively blunt and irreverent everyday rhetoric of the Ruhr valley, as well as popular songs (“Schlager”), proverbs, or jokes. These titles are found fragments just like the scrap metal, extracted from their original realm of meaning. They render the work as a self-referential whole composed of image and text and allow for new iconographic interpretations and various—sometimes anarchic—associations.
Matthew Marks is pleased to announce Ron Nagle: Ice Breaker, the next exhibition in his gallery at 1062 North Orange Grove. With over twenty new sculptures and a selection of new drawings, this is Nagle’s largest West Coast exhibition to date.
The sculptures, all from 2016, are presented in niches and glass vitrines designed in collaboration with the artist, their heights determined by his ideal viewing angle for each work. The lowest vitrines display sculptures with titles such as Elderweirdos and Cemeteriyaki, which the viewer is meant to look down upon, while the niches present several works, including Disposable Thumb and Glorious Assemblage, whose branch-like forms and scroll-like bases evoke the art of bonsai. Although several sculptures employ crackle glaze and other nods to traditional pottery, the works in this exhibition are notable for the wide range of effects achieved with such contemporary materials as epoxy resin, catalyzed polyurethane, and high-gloss automotive paint mixed to the artist’s specifications and applied with an airbrush.
Nagle has referred to these works as three-dimensional paintings. Most can be read as either still lifes or miniature landscapes, and all are composed with the same formal considerations of color, texture, and proportion. Among his primary aesthetic influences, Nagle cites shibui, the Japanese notion of simplicity balanced with complexity. He has also spoken of his experiences with San Francisco’s hot-rod culture of the 1960s and the connection he feels to the art of Ken Price and Billy Al Bengston, both of whose work he first encountered at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles.
Nagle was born in San Francisco in 1939 and began working with ceramics during the 1950s as a high school student. In 1961 he apprenticed to Peter Voulkos and later exhibited his work alongside Voulkos, Price, and other innovative West Coast artists working in clay. His first one-person exhibition took place in 1968, and since then his work has been shown at numerous museums, including one-person exhibitions at the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, the San Diego Museum of Art, and the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam. In 2013 his work was included in the exhibition “The Encyclopedic Palace” at the 55th Venice Biennale. He lives and works in San Francisco.
Ron Nagle: Ice Breaker is on view at 1062 North Orange Grove from January 21 to April 8, 2017, Tuesday through Saturday, from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
For additional information, please contact Helen Brown at 323-654-1830 or email@example.com.
Acrotony is the tendency of most trees and plants to give nutritional priority to the lateral shoots nearest the apex of the main shoot — to put the emphasis on spiritual nourishment, you might say. It also provides Leonor Antunes with an opportunity to reflect on the colonisation of plants: not only directly — by other plants — but also by the host of varieties transported by humans. For this, her third exhibition at Air de Paris, the artist has opted for interaction between a selection of species and her new sculptures. The upshot is a discrepancy, an expansion similar to the blow-up process involved in the creation of those sculptures; an enlargement in a different, non-classical sense notably directed at the repetition of a module within a whole, or at the transition to another material — since this particular amplification has a blanket effect on the original dimensions and materials which renders the initial motif unrecognisable. Alternating wood, rope and metal tubing, the works’ contours are lifted from “functional” forms: buildings and furniture emblematic of a modern movement.
Here we recognise only an evocation of the lines of this design heritage, and this in turn focuses the eye more closely on its — now disembodied — functional state. Is it actually possible to create a totally new object, emancipated of all context and of any generic history of its own? This is one of the questions inherent in the discovery of the Antunes oeuvre, a large part of which is titled “Discrepancies with.”
This title is at once a summons to some of modernism’s players and a reminder of our connection with tradition and established practices. Thus not only the objects but also the plants making up and dominating our environment are above all bearers of a history, a culture: that of a possibility, or even of an avant-garde.
This third Air de Paris show, then, harks back to pioneers like Sergio Rodrigues, considered the father of Brazilian design; the Milan-based Italian Rationalists Franca Helg & Franco Albini, the latter being one of the first architects to work with a woman in his studio; and Charlotte Perriand.
Acrotony invites us into a space divided into two separate parts by a net screen. This static shot reproduces a component, co-signed by Perriand, of the “Bachelor House,” a temporary space emanating powerful political convictions that was created for the Exposition Universelle — the World’s Fair — in Brussels in 1935. Here it is called upon as a unit of measurement providing a grid of proportions as in the squaring-up procedure invented by Alberti during the Renaissance. And this same visual filter confronts us when we enter the exhibition.
Brand New Gallery is pleased to present In Saecula Saeculorum, Bosco Sodi’s first solo exhibition at the gallery.
The title of the show is a Latin locution that expresses the idea of eternity and is literally translated as “unto the ages of ages” (forever and ever).
The exhibition features a new series of paintings on linen, accompanied by a few small volcanic rocks covered in red ceramic glaze. In Saecula Saeculorum questions and stands out the permanency of objects throughout the time.
Bosco Sodi shows his signature fissured, velvetised and encrusted paintings on linen, a new series of works that he started painting since late 2016. Compared to the prior works, which are heavily encrusted, these show a random and unorganized spatiality in between the matter. The spaces between these pigmented chunks show the absence of the materiality that the work expresses. Absence, can be read not as a lack of something but as a new element that counter balances the rest of the artwork components.
The artist uses a mixture of pure pigment, sawdust, wood pulp, natural fibers, water and glue to create a textured surface that dries into a monochromatic primordial landscape. By doing this process over a clean canvas he explores the volume of color, from deep red to purple and orange, all the way to a simple but strong black. The final result shows a terrestrial surface of which is built up by hand over the course of one or two days.
This is a demanding physical process that Sodi dubs as a continuous action, like a performance. Each piece’s process is influenced by factors beyond his control including climate, altitude, and water density.
It never worries me to let work go. For me making art is about the process not the outcome. (Bosco Sodi)