Liz Deschenes / Jutta Koether / Daniel Lefcourt / Scott Lyall / Sean Paul / Eileen Quinlan / Blake Rayne / Reena Spaulings / Cheyney Thompson
10 June – 23 July 2016
Campoli Presti, Paris
Campoli Presti is pleased to present a group exhibition featuring works by Liz Deschenes, Jutta Koether, Daniel Lefcourt, Scott Lyall, Sean Paul, Eileen Quinlan, Blake Rayne, Reena Spaulings and Cheyney Thompson. This generation of artists, which the gallery has represented since the beginning, has markedly contributed to redefine notions on medium-specificity and artistic agency. Their work was recently included in the exhibition “Collected by Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner” at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York which has travelled to the Centre Pompidou in Paris and is currently on view.
Making use of the medium’s most elemental aspects, namely paper, light, and chemicals, Liz Deschenes has recently worked without a camera to produce reflective photograms. These are obtained by exposing sheets of photosensitive paper to the ambient light of night before fixing them with silver toner. Deschenes’ work is increasingly concerned with architectural and historical contexts of exhibition display. Spatial factors and tangible conditions of display become inscribed in the physicality of the artwork rendering the photograph as a framing-device that intends to ‘bracket’ the space and activate the viewer. The reflective surface of the new photograms on view engages the movements of the viewer and the surrounding architecture.
Jutta Koether’s practice often involves appropriations of literature and art history masters, negotiating questions of aesthetic consensus and of the social-economical networks in which artistic practice operates. Based on Helios and Phaeton by Nicolas Poussin, Koether’s work presented in the exhibition alludes to the geometrical landmark of Western Art while defining a field of play. Locked in the material structure around it, the figure is engaged in a broader movement, organising different zones of contact. By addressing the attraction between archaism and metrics, Koether’s systematic application of paint engages the viewer in a micro-contemplation, comparable to the visual experience of picking up pennies from the ground. The painting forms part of a broader series of works that explores the allegorical figure of Fortune’s wheel and the medieval goddess Fortuna, a metaphor of role of chance in time’s passage.
Throughout his career, Daniel Lefcourt has continually engaged the space between painting and technical imaging. Lefcourt’s work reflects on contemporary image production and the digital economy of images while negotiating the reality of material procedures. His production techniques use aspects of photography, computer modelling, digital fabrication, and sculptural casting. For his Plot Fill and Cast series, Lefcourt has used computer-controlled router, digital scanning and machining techniques as the basis for a play with written and visual communication and the languages of painting. His new body of work from 2016 collapses both series, exploring the space between writing, drawing and painting. Entirely mechanically produced, Untitled (Machine Painting), 2016 is based on geometric drawings that program the path of the brush. Developed from Lefcourt’s interest in digital technologies, the works push the boundaries of painting, juxtaposing the mechanical with the chance of the material.
Scott Lyall’s recent series of works research on the status of digital colour as a code that is constantly translated, transformed, and materialized; continually delaying or deferring its meaning. His printing technique extends this act of translation as it turns information directly into colour. The canvases are produced by combining ink and its erasure, in multiple passes, through a UV-based printer. These graphic assemblages of colour data – ‘non-images’ in a certain way – form visual atmospheres that shift depending on different viewpoints, inscribing within the process an actual experience of ‘colour’.
In Sean Paul’s Arrangement 15, Front/Top/Bottom/Right/Left/Back, a still life assembled from domestic products (cup, bowl, saucer, and plate) is marked with black squares of tape; the black squares function as tokens, which allow the spatial geometry of the still life to be discerned. Following standard practices of technical representation, used for example in the fields of architecture or product design, the still life is pictured from six perpendicular planes forming a box of views composed of the front, back, left, right, top and bottom angles. This plane then becomes the array, which informs the material images’ unfolding into lived space, or a domestic scene. Madame Leblanc, Rerversed, 2012 is based on the Ingres masterpiece “Madame Leblanc”. This print admits 4 different folds, therefore 8 possible configurations on the wall. It is imagined as being folded upon an idealized architectural plane. The type of fold represented above is mapped into a 90 degree convex angle of an existing space.
Eileen Quinlan explores photography’s capacity to be both record of physical facts and deceptive illusion. Employing analogue techniques in an era of digital manipulation, Quinlan creates atmospheric abstract images using the standard tricks of commercial film photography. Based entirely in the studio, Quinlan’s work uses pre-digital photography techniques—such as gels, strobes, smoke and mirrors—to create mesmerizing abstract compositions of light, colour, and texture. Her works recall the pure abstraction of Modernist painting, but are actually direct representations of the items used to create backdrops in commercial photography. The polaroid plays an important role in Quinlan’s practice, often employed as a first take when photographing the still lifes she stages in the studio.
Blake Rayne’s last series of paintings related to his interest in recording sequential streams of movement into painting, drawing a continuous wandering line throughout the picture plane. Rayne freely paints the line tracing the surface in an intuitive movement that recalls automatic writing techniques, evoking the wandering and errant traces of digital interfaces. His new body of work from 2016 further explores these concerns by collapsing line and process. For Untitled, 2016 a steel banding commonly used in the shipment of crates was utilized as a soft stencil to create a white looping line lightly dusted with aerated acrylic paint in layers of various colours. The paperclips that initially held the banding together were released to allow for expansion into the final shape of each of the line compositions, now appearing as silhouettes.
Reena Spaulings’ The Dealers (2007) and The New Dealers (2013) were portraits of gallerists based on images downloaded from Artforum.com’s ‘Scene & Herd’ and other art world-related websites depicting friends and professional colleagues that Spaulings worked with over the years. The portraits from 2013 – the second instalment of the series first shown at Kunsthalle Zürich in 2007 – featured a more recent generation of art dealers, exposing the increasing social interests that rule the art market by turning the traders into commodities themselves. Executed in active brushstrokes the portraits play with various features of expressionist figurative painting from the 80s, such as the preference for parody or working from found images. These irreverent portraits of prominent gallerists reflect Spaulings’ interest in art’s status as an exchangeable commodity, whilst addressing the specific displacements, social networks and ambiguities Reena Spaulings inhabits in her double identity of both artist and gallerist. The Complete Dealers features a rack with promotional postcards based on the paintings of both generations of dealers, on a display that evokes their rotating popularity and the visibility features of a retro marketing tool.
Cheyney Thompson’s work focuses on the technology, production and distribution of painting within the context of current abstract economy. Thompson presents us with a visual equivalency for the intangibly complex processes governing our economic systems. The works on paper on view are based on the « Drunken Walk » algorithm, an aleatory path that is used in financial theory to predict stock prices. The algorithm belongs to the study of certain seemingly random types of motion, from botanist Robert Brown’s 19th-century observations of pollen floating on water as well as mathematician Louis Bachelier’s early 20th-centry application of Brown to model fluctuations in stock markets. In this case the “random walk” taken by Thompson’s entity produced a new sequence of values, which he then mapped onto a path, akin to the path of a labyrinth.
Liz Deschenes’ work is part of the permanent collections of Centre Pompidou, Paris; MoMA, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; The Art Institute of Chicago; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C; Corcoran Museum of Art, Washington D.C. and CCS Bard Hessel Museum, Annandale-on Hudson. Deschenes has an upcoming survey exhibition at the ICA Boston opening on 28th June. She recently had solo exhibitions at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis and at MASSMoCA, North Adams. Deschenes’ work was recently included in Collected by Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner at the Whitney Museum, New York and in Sites of Reason: A Selection of Recent Acquisitions at MoMA, New York. Past exhibitions include a solo exhibition at Secession, Vienna (2012-2013); the Whitney Biennial 2012 and Parcours at the Art Institute of Chicago with Florian Pumhösl (2013).
Jutta Koether was born in Cologne in 1958. She lives and works between New York and Berlin. Her work forms part of the permanent collections of MoMA, New York; the Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris; Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles; Nationalgalerie in Berlin and Kunsthalle Bern. Koether has an upcoming survey exhibition at Brandhorst Museum, Munich in 2017. Her work was part of Painting 2.0, Expression in the Information Age at Brandhorst Museum travelling to Mumok, Vienna. Koether has had solo exhibitions at DCA – Dundee Contemporary Arts (2013); Arnolfini, Bristol (2013); Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2011), Bergen Kunsthall, Norway (2008); Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland (2007) and Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne (2006). She was included in the Shanghai Biennial in 2014, in the Whitney Biennial in 2012 and 2006 and in the 2012 Sao Paulo Biennial.
Daniel Lefcourt lives and works in New York. His work forms part of the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and MOCA – Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Lefcourt’s work was recently on view at the Whitney Museum, New York in Collected by Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner. His work has been featured in numerous exhibitions including MoMA P.S.1; the Sculpture Center, Long Island City; ICA Philadelphia; de Young Museum, San Francisco; Malmö Konstmuseum and Kunst-Werke Berlin. In 2013 the Dia Art Foundation commissioned a web project by the artist. He received his MFA from Columbia University and is a member of the faculty of Rhode Island School of Design.
Scott Lyall is part of the collection of the Whitney Museum, New York. Lyall’s work was recently on view at the Whitney Museum, New York as part of Collected by Thea Westreich and Ethan Wagner. Past exhibitions include The Colour Ball at The Power Plant in Toronto (solo); the little contemporaries at Sculpture Center, New York (solo); When Hangover Becomes Form (with Rachel Harrison), Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; Anti-Establishment, curated by Johanna Burton, at the CCS Bard Hessel Museum; Schnitte im Raum, Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen; Tentation d’Hazard, The Montreal Biennial 2011; Collatéral, Le Confort Moderne, Poitiers; The Lining of Forgetting, Austin Museum of Art, Weatherspoon Art Museum; and SITE Santa Fe, 7th International Biennial 2008.
Sean Paul (b. 1978 in Salt Lake City, Utah) lives and works in New York. He received a MFA from Columbia University, NY. Past solo exhibitions include Communication in the Presence of Noise and Service Relations, Thomas Duncan Gallery, Los Angeles; A Moveable Feast, Part II, Campoli Presti, Paris; and Every Hair of the Bear, Front Desk Apparatus, New York and Symposium, Sutton Lane (Campoli Presti), London. Recent group exhibitions include Collected by Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Blueprints, Hessel Museum of Art, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY and Collatéral, Le Confort Moderne, Centre pour l’Art Contemporain, Poitiers.
Eileen Quinlan lives and works in New York. Her work is included in public collections such as MoMA, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and FRAC (Fonds Regional d’Art Contemporain), France. Her work was recently shown at the Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens and presented at Bergen Kunsthall, Norway in 2015. It formed part of Collected by Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner at Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2015/16) and New Photography 2013, curated by Roxana Marcoci at MoMA, New York. Quinlan had a two-person exhibition at The Kitchen, New York in 2012 and a solo exhibition at the ICA in Boston in 2009.
Blake Rayne lives and works in New York. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and Fonds Regional d’Art Contemporain, France (FRAC). His upcoming survey solo exhibition at the Blaffer Art Museum de Houston, Texas will open in October 2016. His work recently was on view at the Whitney Museum, New York in Collected by Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner. Past exhibitions include Künstlerhaus Graz, Austria (2013), Langen Foundation, Germany (2011), Kunsthalle Bergen (2010), The Kitchen, New York (2010) and Le Confort Moderne, Poitiers (2009).
Cheyney Thompson has had solo exhibitions at the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts (with an accompanying monograph), and the Kunstverein Braunschweig, Germany; and his work was included in the 2008 Whitney Biennial. Group shows include: Une Histoire, Centre Pompidou, Paris, Chat Jet – Painting ‘Beyond’ The Medium at Künstlerhaus Graz; The Indiscipline of Painting, Tate St. Ives; Systems Analysis at West London Projects and Langen Foundation, Germany; Greater New York at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center and The Venice Biennale, Italy in 2003.
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