Thursday, June 12, 2014

Raffi Kalenderian and Nick Aguayo at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Culver City, California

Raffi Kalenderian

Kalenderian’s intimate portraits are concerned with process, solitude, and psychological states. These new paintings continue to feature the artist’s friends, often other artists, musicians, and writers. Kalenderian’s close relationships with the subjects of his paintings elevate their intimate mood. While Kalenderian does occasionally paint from photographs, most of his subjects sit for their portraits. Some are painted in private spaces, amongst their belongings and personal affects. Others sit for Kalenderian at his studio, and in these works we see a playful referentiality — his subjects among the canvases, either freshly prepped or in allusion to works in progress — illuminating the studio as a site of both creative and contemplative interaction. These paintings within paintings allow not only for an opportunity for an artist to crystallize a moment in the studio, but also to reveal the process itself as an open, yet personal system.

Kalenderian’s new body of work exhibits a new refinement and maturity, not in the familiar content, but on the surfaces of the paintings themselves. The canvases are thick with impasto, stain, and glaze. The process of applying the paint is slow and diligent, charging the paintings with emotional information and creating a palpable atmosphere around his often languid and melancholic figures. It makes for an unconventional portraiture, concerned less with the body of its muse as with the fragility of their psyche, the details of its surroundings, the relationship between inner and outer states and the phenomenology of the mundane.

Raffi Kalenderian graduated with a BFA from UCLA in 2004. His work has been featured in solo exhibitions at Buchmann Galerie, Berlin, Germany; Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zurich, Switzerland; Brand New Gallery, Milan, Italy; Marc Jancou Fine Art, New York, NY; and at the Black Dragon Society, Los Angeles, CA. Kalenderian’s work has been featured in group exhibitions at the Saatchi Gallery, London, UK; University Art Museum, Long Beach; Kunstmuseum St Gallen, St Gallen, Switzerland; Eleven Rivington, New York, NY; Co-Lab, Copenhagen, Denmark; and at Kantor/Feuer Gallery, Los Angeles.

Nick Aguayo

Aguayo’s new works are an attempt to dissect the compositions he develops, like an anatomy lab for painting. Aguayo achieves a particularly tactile, matte surface by mixing marble dust into the paint, thus enhancing the handmade aspect of his compositions. His compellingly layered abstract works reveal an inventive approach to the materiality and physicality of paint. Emphasizing the performative aspects of dragging, pressing, brushing, and rolling paint onto canvas, Aguayo layers hand-rendered geometric shapes, building his compositions around the tensions between erasure and transparency, accumulation and excavation.

Aguayo received an MFA from the University of California Irvine in 2012 and a BFA from UCLA in 2007. His work has been featured in exhibitions at Samuel Freeman Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; the Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA; Post Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; LAXART, Los Angeles, CA; Autonomie, Los Angeles, CA; and the Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA.

Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects is located at 6006 Washington Blvd in Culver City, 1 block west of La Cienega at Sentney Avenue. Gallery Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am - 6 pm and by appointment.

6006 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
p: +1 (310) 837-2117
f: +1 (310) 837-2148

Gallery hours are Tuesday - Saturday 10 am to 6 pm and by appointment.

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