UNSPARING QUALITYCurated by Farrah Karapetian
February 1 - March 29, 2014
Diane Rosenstein Fine Art announces Unsparing Quality, curated by Farrah Karapetian. The group show questions where do Surrealist impulses manifest in contemporary practice? The response involves 28 artists whose photographs, drawing, video, and sculpture investigate the poetic potential of the Everyday. Man Ray’s Indestructible Object (1923/63) sets the tempo: it is a metronome with a cut-out photograph of a blinking eye that opens and closes as the arm swings.
Three contemporary sculptures depict a displaced self, which is a persistent presence in Magritte paintings: Shana Lutker's T. (2010), a mysterious structure shaped like a gallows from a child's game of hangman; Julian Hoeber's Family (2011-12), an installation of adult-sized cradles; and Carmen Argote's L'Altalena (2013), a seesaw fit for tigers. Wigged masks from My Barbarian's Broke People's Baroque Theater (2012) are sculptural artifacts of a collective performance and a perspective on economic inequity.
Two series of self-portraits - one by Claude Cahun (1926) and the other in 2013 by Luke Gilford & Zackary Drucker, titled This Is What It Looks Like (To Go From One Thing To Everything), traverse the subtle terrain of the unseen self. Zackary Drucker's film (with Flawless Sabrina), At least you know: you exist (2010-11) is a symbiosis of identity between two artists and an ode to an attitude of creativity towards one's changing sense of self. Eleanor Antin's I Invoke The Gods Of War (1974) is a suite of photographs in which the artist walks among her people as the bearded King of Solana Beach. Robert Therrien's Untitled (Beard) sculptures are mythic adornments for a variety of bodies.
In Tim Hawkinson's Samoa (2013), a bronze cast of the artist's body includes chain links shackling his tongue to his hands. British artist Jane Wilbraham's Seven Month Frail (2013) is a whittled sycamore pitchfork with claw-like tines part animal/part human. In The Semi Transparent City (1950), Kansuke Yamamoto’s photograph invokes the dystopic undertow of post-war Tokyo in his phantasmic image. Mexico City-based sculptor Martin Soto Climent fashions a perverse poetry from a friend’s pink stockings and leather pumps in Tight on Canvas (Bridget), 2010. New York-based photographer Tim Davis finds that reaction in L'Origine du Monde an image that addresses its subject and the compromise of being seen; while Jacques Villeglé's décollage, Rue du Temple (1967) and Unica Zürn's reassembled drawing similarly display aesthetics of anarchy and distress.
Chloe Piene's charcoal “contour” drawing, Pousette, evokes Hans Bellmer's automatism. Kim Schoen's film, The Horseshoe Effect, showcases the absurd language of commerce. Martha Rosler's photomontages from Bring The War Home: Iraq and Eleanor Antin's epic photographic tableau, The Tourists (from Helen’s Odyssey) (2007), highlight the incongruent experience of those at war and those who visit it at home. Matt Lipps and Deville Cohen use re-photography to collapse perspective on time itself. This exhibition also includes work by Magdalene Odundo, Ray Anthony Barrett, Max Rain, Mie Hørlyck Mogensen, and Masood Kamandy.
A public program of artists' readings and performance will run throughout this exhibition. A catalogue has been published to accompany the show.
About the Curator:
Farrah Karapetian (USA, b. 1978) is an artist who works with cameraless photography in a sculptural field. Recent exhibitions of her artwork include Good Sign, a public installation in abandoned signage for the Flint Public Art Project, Michigan; the 2013 California-Pacific Triennial, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA; and Rogue Wave '13 (15 Artists From Los Angeles), L.A. Louver Gallery, Venice, CA. This year, her artwork will be included in the Centro de Arte Contemporaneo, Puebla, Mexico and three group exhibitions in California at the Armory Center for the Arts, the California Museum of Photography at Riverside and the Torrance Art Museum. Karapetian was the associate curator of The Black Mirror (curated by James Welling and Diane Rosenstein) at Diane Rosenstein Fine Art in 2013. She was a MacDowell Fellow (2010) and an artist-in-residence at the Wende Museum, Culver City, CA (2009). Ms. Karapetian earned a Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for her blog Housing Projects (2012). She received her BA from Yale University (2000) and her MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles (2008). Ms. Karapetian lives and works in Los Angeles.