It is with great pleasure that Simone Subal Gallery announces the opening of zoom, shift, abstract on November 11, 2011. The exhibition features the work of Rey Akdogan, Nancy Arlen, Ana Cardoso, Robert Grosvenor, and Martin Parr and runs through December 4, 2011. Please join us for the opening reception on Friday November 11, from 6–8 pm.
zoom, shift, abstract brings together works of diverse media and content. In their variety of form, which includes painting, sculpture, drawing, and photography, the pieces on view isolate or emphasize real, tangible things in order to evoke a broad spectrum of narrative and interpretive possibilities. That is, the work zooms in on a specific situation, whether an actual material or something represented, shifts its context and therewith abstracting the work’s relation to its original referent.
This process is seen, for example, in Rey Akdogan’s sculptural use of lighting gels, the standard devices for altering the atmosphere in photographs and films, as things in and of themselves such that they play out subtle narratives conveyed by their formal juxtapositions. These re-arrangements of prefabricated materials are developed on the basis of fictional narratives and often result in an amplification of the materials’ temporal and spatial qualities. In a similar approach, Nancy Arlen sourced synthetic materials such as plastics and polyurethanes for her wall-based sculptures from the early 1980s in stores located on Canal Street. Arlen, who was active in the No Wave music scene and played drums for the band Mars translated her punk aesthetic into peculiar forms that grow from the wall. Martin Parr’s deeply color saturated photographs from the late 1990s focus on a specific detail in such an intense manner that the captured subject matter — a foot, a doughnut, the back of a chair — seems strange, even unfamiliar. Parr’s unusual photographic perspective of consumption, leisure, and communication plays with the viewer’s subconscious and enables one to see things that have seemed familiar in a completely new way. It is this sense of awkwardness, of being caught slightly off balance, that fills Ana Cardoso’s abstract paintings. Composed from sewn together fabric that create a canvas of sorts, Cardoso paints atop these irregular surfaces two triangles that indicate the painting’s center, an observation that belies the internal logic of the conjoined cloths. The repetition of these canvases (5 in total) turns the work into a modular composition and enhances the dialectic between the layers of paint and the pictorial ground. Robert Grosvenor’s collages feature found images with pen and ink drawings isolated in a wide expanse of white background. Grosvenor puts in relation heterogeneous but ordinary elements, creating a formal vocabulary that is both recognizable and alien, humble yet thoroughly refined.