Oct 23rd 2010

Curtis Mann: everything after and James Krone: Trickle Down Ergonomics

@ Kavi Gupta Gallery

835 W Washington Blvd, Chicago, IL 60607

Opening Saturday, October 23rd, from 5PM - 8PM

On view through Thursday, December 30th

In Mann‘s most recent works, found photographs of conflicted and historically complex places throughout the Middle East are subjected to a process of selection and erasure. By painting on portions of enlarged color photographs with a clear varnish and then bleaching away unprotected portions of the image, new and abstract meanings are sought from appropriated family snapshots, travel photographs, and casual documentations. The photograph is physically and contextually altered; as a result, the work oscillates between image and object, photography and painting, real and imagined.

In a recent interview Mann states, “I am constantly trying to force these found images to function outside of their initial utility and use photography’s inherent, malleable nature as a way of coming to an ulterior understanding of the complex and the unfamiliar. Coming from a mechanical engineering background, I have always been curious about the paper, the chemicals and the inks used to produce photographic images. They are the birth of the image and their manipulation holds a lot of potential for disrupting the powers of the flat, conventional image.”

For his exhibition at the Kavi Gupta CHICAGO, Mann will present a selection of new works, including large chemically altered mural grids, panoramic landscapes and haunting distorted figures.

Kavi Gupta Gallery is proud to present Trickle Down Ergonomics, the debut Chicago exhibition by the Berlin artist, James Krone. Comprising the exhibition will be select works from Krone’s Ceremonial Paintings (2010), a suite of paintings and chairs entitled Chair Paintings (2010).

Krone’s Ceremonial Paintings (2010) relate the repetitious role of painting in an artist’s life to the historical indexing of the modern black painting. The works problematize the rigid interpretations often produced by art history’s associative patterns. As what the artist calls “paintings in drag,” Krone’s Ceremonial Paintings are freed from the immediate and standard references to Stella or Reinhardt. Instead, they bring the entire process, whether it be the individual who makes work in the studio or the combined effort to historize art, under scrutiny.

With a similiar approach Krone created the suite of Chair Paintings (2010). Rather than treating the production of art as an exploration into all the outlying possibilities, the Chair Paintings delineate a single banal event; specifically, the making four paintings to correspond to the floral patterned cushions on four chairs in the artist’s studio. Like the extended activity that contextualizes the Ceremonial Paintings, this suite of floral paintings calls into question how one defines finitude and specificity.

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