Sometimes the lines between work and play blur at Beautiful/Decay. Such was the case last week when I joined premiere art supply manufacturers Royal Talens and Canson for a ten day excursion through Paris and Amsterdam to explore the sites, see the museums, and get a vip tour of the various factories that make the paints, pastels, and watercolors that the Royal Talens brand is known for. If you were keeping tabs of our Instagram (beautifuldecayofficial) and Facebook page last week you may have seen a picture or two from our trip but we thought it would be nice to give you an expanded glimpse into our travels through a three part blog post. Follow us as we start in Paris and make our way over to Amsterdam through out this week!
Franklin Evans examines the processes of making art—the generation of ideas and materials, their transformation from one to the other, and the many varied states in between. For this exhibition, he will present paintings, sculptures, photographs, and a sound piece in an all-encompassing environment. The wall paintings and collage environments of past installations, such as timecompressionmachine from Greater New York 2010 at MoMA PS1, have been collapsed by the artist and transferred to the surface of large-scale canvases. Mundane materials such as artist’s tape that previously played a key role as a barrier, frame, and drawing tool, are carefully recreated as trompe l’oeil representations, as the use of actual tape in the final compositions diminishes.
In the past, Evans has used gallery press releases to create a framing system presented as temporal floor sculpture. This practice has morphed into the usage of visual highlights from the artist’s gallery visits, captured online images, text highlights from books read over the past year, and scanned photographs from family albums. The viewer will discover various aspects of Evans, as an artist and a person: his childhood in Nevada, his mixed Mexican heritage, and his gay male identity. By focusing on the myriad visuals referencing the various aspects of Evans’ personae, some of these “peripheral” images remain on the periphery, while others become a focal point, as they do for indexicalmeasfocalscreen2012. The archive of hundreds of photographs is threaded to create an “image curtain” that divides the main gallery in two and which occupies an artistic space that builds on the Atlases of Aby Warburg and Gerhard Richter.
Entering this tandem exploration of periphery and focus, the viewer walks into the gallery over Evans’ sculptural “library”, an elevated floor and installation object in flux. It starts as a representation of the literal, moves to a residue of process, evolves as the ideas are extracted from the represented books, and settles into the sound piece 1967 in the main gallery room. 1967 consists of 350 fragments from his readings in the past year, ranging from Justin Spring’s biography of Samuel Steward, Secret Historian, to October Files’ Robert Rauschenberg. The text extractions are voiced by five performers and are played on random shuffle. Operating in the slippery non-linearity of memory, 1967 takes us back to Evans’ birth year. Eyesontheedge is on view at Sue Scott Gallery in NYC until April 15th, 2012
Jennifer Mehigan‘s Armed/Luminous series (2010) mixes paint with found imagery to explore the hidden beauty of fire. The Sydney-based artist’s use of bright brushstrokes undermines the scenes of terror behind by destroying the image in both material and metaphorical terms, with a clear parallel to Gerhard Richter‘s Overpainted series.
Montreal-based artist Jon Rafman‘s series New Age Demanded is dominated by a distorted, bodiless figure made from textures and skin taken from paintings by artists – such as Gerhard Richter and Franz Kline – and made anew. With the aid of photoshop, Rafman collages numerous different elements onto the deformed classical bust and its background to mix old with new, high art with low art, and craft with technology. More after the jump.