Thursday, December 20, 2012

Kathryn Andrews "D.O.A./D.O.B." at David Kordansky Gallery, Culver City, California

Kathryn Andrews juxtaposes legacies of pop art and minimalism, creating works in which the experience of materials prompts the viewer to reconsider how subjectivity is constructed in contemporary culture. Her work often combines fabricated forms with readymade objects sourced (or seemingly sourced) from Hollywood prop shops, memorabilia stores, party supply outlets and other commercial venues. Rife with socio-economic associations, these readymades pit popular and/or symbolic value against experience of the sculptural whole as material artifact.

The title of the show, D.O.A. | D.O.B. (dead on arrival / date of birth), points to the creation and annihilation that is at stake when images, physical forms, and personae are understood as fixed versus non-fixed entities. It will feature three floor-based sculptures and three wall-based sculptures that incorporate polished stainless steel forms which support, surround, and complicate both found and fabricated objects. Their mirror-like surfaces, meanwhile, transform each into a visual essay on the act of viewership itself, and implicate both viewer and artist as active agents in each piece.

Still Life (Woman with Fruit), for example, consists of a human-scaled stainless steel tube that supports a headdress made of artificial fruits and vegetables. From afar, the object sets up a humorously paradoxical relationship between the industrial, polished cylinder and the ersatz organic matter perched on its 'head'. However, the sculpture is in fact designed to serve as the site of a performance, in which the activated work becomes a complex composition of interiors and exteriors, tangible and projected presence, and lineages of both sculpture and painting.

Painting is also addressed in a series of three inter-related wall sculptures that resemble windows. In these works, the line between fabricated and existing forms is complicated by the stickers that adorn them; each features a unique image of a clown surrounded by imagery specific to one of the four seasons, thus raising questions about how the passage of time can become an active part of otherwise static objects. Based on manipulated versions of found imagery, the stickers represent condensed moments of painterly composition within the rectilinear window frameworks. Furthermore, they are modeled after decals used to alert emergency responders to the presence of children (each work is titled Tot Finder), so that an implied body behind the window competes with the viewer's experience of his or her own reflection upon its surface.

Throughout the show, images and reflections are intimately fused to the materials on and in which they appear. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Lethal Weapon, a work which at first seems to be no more than a tall stainless steel cylinder with a small hole. Looking into the darkness of the cylinder's interior slowly reveals that it contains a pistol pointed at the viewer, and only upon reading a description does he or she realize that this is a gun used on the set of the film that shares its title with the piece. The formal vocabulary of minimalism conceals the most loaded and symbolic of popular objects, and the absences represented by the tube's opening and the gun's barrel threaten to override an otherwise overwhelming experience of materials and cultural references.

In 2013, Kathryn Andrews will be the subject of a solo exhibition at Museum Ludwig, Cologne. Earlier this year she was included in Made in L.A. 2012 organized by the Hammer Museum and LAXART, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; First Among Equals, ICA, Philadelphia; and When Forms Become Attitudes, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (traveling to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit). Other recent exhibitions include American Exuberance, Rubell Family Collection, Miami; Modify, As Needed, MOCA, North Miami; and George Herms: Xenophilia (Love Of The Other), MOCA, Los Angeles. She has also created numerous performance works; in 2012 these have included Voix de Ville at Art 43 Basel and Fork Hunt at Graystone Mansion, Los Angeles (organized by LAXART). Andrews lives and works in Los Angeles.

David Kordansky Gallery
3143 S. La Cienega Blvd. Unit A
Los Angeles, CA 90016
Tel. 310-558-3030
Fax. 310-558-3060

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