Sunday, February 19, 2012

"Once Again Particular" Curated by Kevin Hanley at Control Room, Los Angeles, CA

Once Again Particular
Curated by Kevin Hanley for Control Room

Kai Altoff
Floyd Claypool
Jonathan Kroll
Euan MacDonald
Pae White

"A rumor may be regarded as something that is constantly being constructed; when the communicative activity ceases, the rumor no longer exists." "Art functions not un-similarly. Thus if and when artists cease their activities, all previous art will automatically disappear - as art. "

- Jack Burnham citing Simotsu Shibutani in Burnham's essay Alice's Head 1. 

Control Room generates shows that demonstrate the results of experimental curatorial proposals put forward by artists and directed toward their peers working in a particular context. The guest curated group show "Once Again Particular" includes artists whose early exhibitions emerged sometime within 1990 to 1998, constituting a remote scene for the purposes of Control Room's current exhibition. The bodies of work represented in "Once Again Particular" do not enjoy a simple post canonical "anything goes," but rather address more or less responsibly the historical inquiry into the nature of ideas, with committed consideration of form, color and composition. Like the practices that make up Control Room's exhibitions, the practices presented in this guest curated show are ongoing and only become definable as they happen. The thread between the "scene" at Control room, and the "scene" invited to show there, is arguably an ongoing negotiation; simultaneously inheriting and mutually corrupting canons that are defined by resistance to one another. In the space of Control room, these visiting practices offer a momentary passage (a "pass it on") between two "art scenes" at the juncture of "Once Again Particular."

- Kevin Hanley

1. see: Great Western Salt Works, essays on the meaning of Post Formalist art by Jack Burnham. The essay Alice's Head addresses the emergence and influence of "Conceptual Art" following the legacy of "Formalism".

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Daniel Pitin at Nicodim Gallery, Culver City, California

Born in 1977 in Prague, Daniel Pitin is part of a new generation of painters from Eastern Europe currently gaining wide recognition from both institutions and private collections. Pitin’s recent work is focusing on an investigation into the past motivated by an unexplainable impulse of trying to dig up lost experiences that have been buried deep in his subconscious and only through painting he can expose their real significance. Born during Communism regime but growing up in capitalism, Pitin is not trying to illustrate through his paintings the key to open up the past, but rather provide a clue for the direction he is heading. Sometimes his paintings are just a simple reaction to recurring impulses, thoughts and unconscious pressure to find respite in faint memories.

Filmic images play a major role in the work of Daniel Pitin. As the artistic treatment of the interrelationship between images, film provides him with a point of departure and a source of inspiration. With film footage from the Communist period, which was part of his youth, stills from the seventies TV series and detective series, Pitin creates fictional settings by editing images and using the process of painting to create an open space where interplay with memory may have its stage. The motifs and design principles are frequently reminiscent of theatrical stage sets, communicative spaces following different narratives which are also produced when seen by the viewer; an illusion that can fully engage the emotions and is open for interpretation. In this fictional architect’s diary the characters inhabiting the settings are often distinguished by theatrical poses. Their gestures and facial expressions suggest an existential aura conveying an image of a theatrum mundi. The filmic image is deconstructed in various ways: sometimes by ripping and burning paper and canvas, sometimes by adding to the surface in order to disrupt it. Through this process, Pitin breaks down the image as if it wants to disappear, leaving only a trace of its original essence behind like a clue in a crime scene. This tantalizing glimpse of evidence is enough to enroll the viewer in the game of playing detective, prompting them to question what is happening in the work and what has taken place. The situation is heightened by Pitin's attraction to situations where, he says: “you are neither here nor there”. It is a place in between, in common with Foucault's heterotopia of the mirror, a strange land beyond knowable boundaries.

Recently Pitin has begun to work in film, producing experimental narratives such as “Noise” which obliquely references his work. By taking footage from detective movies from the 50’s and editing it sometimes in a humorous way, Pitin creates mise-en-scenes that draw together the fictional, the virtual and the real. The artist is particularly interested in crime films because of the role of the detective. For Pitin, the detective is someone who has access to all levels of society while not belonging to any of them. He has the power to subvert the social strata and to unearth secrets, guilt and longings.

Daniel Pitin was featured in Prague Biennale 3 „Expanded Painting 2“ in 2007, where he won the Mattoni Prize, and in 2009 he curated the Czech section of the Prague Biennale 4. In fall 2010 he showed in the exhibition „After the Fall“ organized by Marc and Livia Straus for the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, NY.

Monday, February 13, 2012

"Center Of The Universe: Flack, Presneill, Ramos" at Raid Projects, Los Angeles, California

Center Of The Universe
Jon Flack, Max Presneill and Jason Ramos
Opening reception February 4th, 2012, 7-10 pm

In the wake of the Torrance Art Museum’s broad survey of the state of LA painting – To Live And Paint In LA, RAID Projects is proud to present current work of the artists behind mounting that exhibition – curators Max Presneill and Jason Ramos, and preparator Jon Flack (whose work can also be found in the TAM exhibition).

All three painters have expanded their studio practice into the other necessary roles for a thriving art community, with a sense of participation and duty that has been a defining mark of Los Angeles contemporary art in recent years. At the center of these artists’ universe has always been their own studio practice, and the current exhibition at the TAM produced by them is a direct line from their specific interests into a larger context.

Center Of The Universe presents these three artists’ work, in an effort to complete a circle of context and provide evidence of the extra-studio trend in art today.

Raid Projects
602 Moulton Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90031

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Jason Ramos

Jon Flack

John Flack

Max Presneill

Max Presneill

Max Presneill

Max Presneill

Max Presneill

Max Presneill

Max Presneill
John Flack

Max Presneill

An Interview with Katja Seib

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