Thierry Goldberg Gallery




Its Endless Undoing
Larry Bamburg, Sebastian Black, Richard Evans, Dominic Nurre, Martin Oppel, Jonathan Peck, Sreshta Rit Premnath, Lauren Seiden, Colin Snapp, and Cody Trepte

June 10 - July 15, 2012

Images

Thierry Goldberg Gallery is pleased to present "Its Endless Undoing," a group exhibition with works by Larry Bamburg, Sebastian Black, Richard Evans, Dominic Nurre, Martin Oppel, Jonathan Peck, Sreshta Rit Premnath, Lauren Seiden, Colin Snapp, and Cody Trepte.

The show takes its title from Cody Trepte’s series of the same name, which refers to the idea of representing absence. By way of reference, that which is disappearing, or has already disappeared, is made present. As a result, whether in idea or form, the line between “something” and “nothing” is blurred. The real, however fragile, becomes that which takes shape through its very undoing.

This sense of the subject of the work as being present without necessarily being made manifest in any single work is apparent in Cody Trepte’s piece on view, in which a ghostly outline of the phrase “Its Endless Undoing” hovers over a fuzzy gray background. The artist initially cuts the text out of a photocopied sheet, only to repeatedly scan and reprint it until the extracted letters became visible again. To add another layer of printing artifact to the piece, Trepte half-toned and silkscreened the image so that the text (and the image) could further emerge (or reemerge).

In Sreshta Rit Premnath’s, “Zero Knot,” the idea that by pointing to what is missing, that which lacks arises within the work, is likewise investigated. Here, a statue on a pedestal is wrapped entirely in blue tarp, and, as such, is representative of some type of undisclosed monument, hauntingly ambiguous in its obfuscation. Like the mathematical zero knot, the piece acts as code or cipher, present in its concealment. The saluting gesture of the unrevealed figure emphasizes the spectral quality of the monument, while recalling political statues of leaders who are either about to be deposed, or have yet to be inaugurated. In this sense the piece presents that which might still emerge, or else is no longer existent—that which is, and is not, are both contained in the work, posing alternately as past artifact and future artifact.

Jonathan Peck’s installation, “Abject Biography,” displays a series of objects, which, when combined, play on the notion of portraiture. The title itself is a reference to the term “object biography” used in archaeology and anthropology to describe the process whereby the identity and function of objects are determined. Assembling items from the artist’s childhood that are personally significant—a cast iron piggy bank, a starter jacket, glasses, among other things—the selection operates as a self-portrait of sorts. Once transplanted and placed out of context, however, the relics are no longer recognized as such, and become anonymous. As such, portraiture is revealed as a series of signs (contained within this convergence of myriad “things”) mapping the unknowable. The real is presented as a kaleidoscope of various meanings composed of what is seen, unseen and un-seeable.

Though her exploration of the relationship between light and line, with attention to form, texture and surface, Lauren Seiden creates atmospheric work that posits itself within the realms of the ambiguous. "Other Spaces" 2012, deals with the essential elements of process and materiality, where layerings of graphite tests the conventions of drawing, pushing the parameters of the media through the physical transformation of the paper into metallic forms. The subtle but distinctive variations in each drawing are made through changes in applied pressure and speed. This rhythmic mark-making results in compositions of line whose subtle motion creates a tension that toys with the balance between control and chance. With a surface as absorbent and dark as it is reflective, the density of the graphite allows for a simultaneous diminution and deflection of light, so that the work continually pivots—a kind of stasis in motion.

Sebastian Black is another artist whose works exist within the liminal spaces of the ambiguous. His Period Pieces are made using sign painting materials: black and white enamel on hand engraved Dibond. Each piece is a painted facsimile of a collage made by altering Chartpak vinyl letterset sheets. The compositions resist categorization either as pure form or textual inscription. Beneath the enamel there is an aluminum support layer that has been scored to suggest the residual imprint of a vinyl lettering press. The spectral letters of this sub-layer are prearranged by Chartpak to maximize efficiency of space upon the 6"x10" format of their product. It is a readymade composition of permanent-like markings that follows the logic of "bang for your buck,” a literal economy of forms. Through the arrangement of shape, and the categorical uncertainty of those shapes, each painting becomes a continual palimpsest upon whose surface the very possibility of meaning is simultaneously inscribed and erased.

Dominic Nurre's “Untitled (Model To Elicit Action)" is a hinged gate-like structure that swings in and out of the entrance to the gallery’s main space. However minimally, the sculpture functions as a gate that people have to push aside or maneuver in order to enter the back of the gallery (when pushed forward, it also frames the front desk). As such, the sculpture interferes with the flow of space and the freedom of motion—blocking or impeding movement, and at the same time forcing or directing the viewer’s (or the gallery sitter’s) movements. The other sculpture “Untitled,” a thin rod and tube of copper and aluminum that extend from the pillar at the back of the gallery to one of the walls, also transects the space at about eye level, and requires them to maneuver themselves in relation to the work by ducking under it in order to move past it. Both works ask viewers to actively commit or participate in the work, while simultaneously rending the viewer passive by impeding movement/action and forcing physicality, all of which directly implicate them in the "success" of the work.

The fragility of the work, and its equally fragile relationship to the viewer is apparent in Martin Oppel's floor sculpture here on display, which utilizes two shades of sand in a pattern of squares to depict an IKEA-like rug design. The viewer, in some cases, is invited to walk on the rug, therefore destroying it, or else asked to abstain from touching it (as with most art). In either case, tension is built by the work’s frangibility and vulnerability. Its possible “undoing,” at least in its original pattern and form (the signature and product of the artist’s hand) is always pointed to. A stranger’s interaction with (and distortion of) the work is a sign of its ultimate precariousness. Thus, Oppel raises questions regarding the value of objects (whether mass produced or unique) and their subjective impermanence.

Larry Bamburg’s bone stack sculpture (as part of a larger series) is an investigation into the fundamental nature of sculpture. This particular work is comprised of different bones from a range of species in a variety of sizes that the artist amassed and then reassembled, inserting one bone from each species into another to create a singular spire—a corrupted infinite column of sorts. The variety of species insures that with enough trial and error, a certain bone from a certain species of a certain age will eventually fit into another. The decorative sconce that materializes from this endeavor embodies a specific kind of developing expertise of the animal world, one that favors accessibility over treatment, density and diameter over sustainability and value. Since a bone’s morphology, strength, density, absorbency and color all take turns providing the directive for a fairly straightforward, matter-of- fact act of engineering—the sculptures are a simple test of what is possible. As such, by creating “unnatural” replicas of what has been already been deconstructed (in this case by nature), the artist builds “impossible” structures out of the dismantled, discarded, and disseminated.

Derived from his video footage “Leica Toll,” Colin Snapp’s “Barclay, 2012,” is part of a new body of work shot during the artist's recent travels in southern Morocco. The still here on display is a close up of the hands of a man, otherwise anonymous, ashing his cigarette into an ashcan. Blurred due to the fact that the hands are in motion, the image is all the more obscured by the darkness of what seems to be an urban night scene, with external light sources reflecting vibrant emeralds and magentas. The visual limitedness of the close-up emphasizes all that which has been excluded. Viewers are not getting the “big picture,” quite literally, and are made aware of the information they are deprived of—a information that might help them more readily glean the contents of, and thereby more fully identify, the image. In this sense, the artist’s interest in the theme of tourism is made evident: just as the photographer, as tourist, is denied full access to the landscape and its inhabitants, so too is the viewer. Thus, the image functions as a kind of field recording that is all but a fragment, highlighting the instance of collision between the observer and the strictures of seeing and knowing. It is subjectivity of the artist that both restricts and enables access to the real.

Richard Evans' sculptures explore the relationship between matter and form, and the ways in which structure simultaneously conceals and exposes the multiple ways of presenting material. “tik_tik,” is comprised of an organic mass of materials such as coconut husk, and wax, which is skewered by steel square tubes. The brownish bulk that in places assumes the quality of bark, melting wax, and in others a kind of fleshy, clotted translucence, resembles a body of sorts—somewhere between the bust of an ancient bronze sculpture whose limbs have been loped off, and an ambiguous aggregate of dredged-up natural matter—all of which is both held together and impaled by the long tubes which protrude out from it at various angles. The other piece, “bad-water,” is named after a place in Death Valley where there is a large dried pool of minerals in a vast basin of rock and sand. The white element in the center of the sculpture is made from wax based on photographs the artist took of this particular mineral formation. Traditional sculpture is challenged by exposing hidden elements of the sculpture: the armature becomes the support and framing devise, debris from the studio floor is presented in upturned vitrines, negative spaces are cut out and pierced by guitar strings which subvert their original meaning from sound to form, finally material for the sculpture; bees wax mixed with salt has been collected from the sculptures inspiration, the floor of Badwater basin in Death Valley. Although the piece references a psychological relationship between materials in art, it is also a fracturing and rearranging of geographical places and materials that come from those places. It can be seen as a 3D map exploring the connections between the landscape and the viewer, and the ways in which both are necessarily mediated through materials and structures.

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Larry Bamburg was born in 1974 in Houston, TX. He lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He has exhibited at Hauser & Wirth, New York, NY; Grimm Gallery, Amsterdam, Holland; and Peter Blum, New York, NY. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Artforum, Frieze Magazine, ArtNews, Art Review, and The New Yorker.

Sebastian Black (b. 1985) grew up and resides in New York, NY. He holds an MFA from Columbia University and a BA from Vassar College. He has exhibited at Metro Pictures, New York; Harris Lieberman, New York; Marlborough, New York; Deitch Projects, New York; Kathleen Cullen, New York (solo); Clearing, Brooklyn, NY (solo); and Tomorrow Gallery, Toronto (solo).

Richard Evans was born in 1976 in Birmingham, UK, and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He has had solo exhibitions at Southfirst, Brooklyn NY, and at Maureen Paley, London, UK. His work was also exhibited at the Saatchi gallery, London; The Hermitage, St. Petersburg; James Cohen Gallery, New York, and Foxy Production, New York. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Art Newspaper, and Flash Art.

Dominic Nurre was born in Mankato, MN, 1980 and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He earned his BA in Fine Arts from Hamline University and his MFA from Hunter College. His work was included in “Greater New York,” 2011, at MoMa PS1, as well as in exhibitions at Gavin Brown, New York, NY; West Street Gallery, New York, NY; and Asia Song Society, New York, NY (solo).

Martin Oppel was born in 1976 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He lives and works in Miami and New York. His work has been shown in The 2nd Athens Biennial; The Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, Florida; The Miami Art Museum; Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris, France (solo); Zero, Milan, Italy; and Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo, Japan.

Jonathan Peck (b. 1980 in Boston, MA) lives and works in New Haven, CT. He graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute with a BA in 2002. He has exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, FL; The Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha, NB; Fred Snitzer Gallery, Miami, FL Deitch Projects, New York, NY; and Silver Shed Gallery, New York, NY. His work has been featured in several publications including the books “Miami Contemporary Artists” and “The Nude Male: 21st Century Visions”, published by Rizzoli.

Sreshta Rit Premnath was born in 1979, in Bangalore, India. He holds an MFA from Bard College, a BFA from The Cleveland Institute of Art, and he also attended the Whitney Independent Study Program. Premnath has had solo exhibitions at Tony Wight Gallery, Chicago, IL; Galerie Nordenhake, Berlin; and Gallery SKE, Bangalore, India. His work was also included in group exhibitions at The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA; Balice Hertling, Paris; Thomas Erben Gallery, New York; and Bose Pacia Gallery, New York. He is also the founder and co-editor of Shifter magazine.

Lauren Seiden was born in 1981 and lives and works in New York. She received a BA in Painting and Drawing from Bennington College in 2003. Her work has been shown at Josee Bienvenu Gallery, New York; Momenta, Brooklyn, NY; Family Business, New York; The 2012 Brucennial, New York; The Chelsea Art Museum, New York; Storefront Gallery, Brooklyn; and Foley Gallery, New York; She also co-founded “The 121 Ludlow Art Collective” which ran from 2007 to 2011.

Colin Snapp (b.1982, Lopez Island, WA) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He holds a BFA from The San Francisco Art Institute. He has exhibited at The Journal Gallery, Brooklyn, NY (solo); Martos Gallery, New York, NY; Ibid Projects, London, UK; and The Tabacka Cultural Center, Kosice, Slovakia; His work has been featured in The New York Times T Magazine, The New York Observer, The Journal, Bullet Magazine, and Dossier Journal.

Cody Trepte (b.1983 in Austin, Texas) currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. He received an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 2010, and a BFA from New York University in 2005. His work is currently on view in “Made in LA,” The first Los Angeles biennial at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA.  Trepte has also exhibited at The California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA (solo); The Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC; Luis de Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Dan Graham, Los Angeles, CA; Eleven Rivington, New York; Museum 52, New York; and Sara Meltzer Gallery, New York.