Sep 7th 2014

Aaron Carpenter: cartoons & Philip von Zweck: C.A.B.S.

@ devening projects + editions

3039 W. Carroll, Chicago IL

Opening Sunday, September 7th, from 4PM - 7PM

On view through Saturday, October 18th

devening projects + editions is excited to present Cartoons from Vancouver artist Aaron Carpenter and C.A.B.S. from Chicagoan Philip von Zweck. The exhibitions will take place in the off space and will open on Sunday, September 7th from 4 – 7. The exhibition continues until October 18th.

According to Robert Arndt, “Aaron Carpenter’s Cartoons are paintings; narrative abstract action paintings completed as stop-motion films. The paintings showcased suggest a correlation with the 1920′s German movement referred to as Absolute Film. Hans Richter who was associated with this sub-genre of experimental film and produced Rhythmus 21, 23 and 25 amongst others shares a sensibility with Carpenter’s paintings. The Cartoons appear as deadpan establishing shots of short narrative formalist compositions. What is transfixing about Carpenter’s works is the cadence in which these forms transpire and how they deliver a caricature of narration. This cinematic suggestion of narrative is also promoted through the use of title cards introducing each Cartoon. These title cards work in the same manner as was utilized in the silent-film era but here Carpenter uses them as blunt statements that set up the structured emotive sequences.

Satirical overtones emerge within Carpenter’s Cartoons; however, it’s in the acting out of formalist configurations that the absurdist theatricality gives cause for humour. This may suggest our inherent tendency to imbue abstraction and nature with anthropomorphic qualities. The shapes appear to act out as characters unto themselves: in Circle Nudged Incessantly, the lone circle being nudged by other shapes initially suggests a narrative of oppression but ends in one of inclusion. This personification reveals how a reduction in behavioral qualities is all that is required in communicating a symbolic narration – a pantomime in minimalist form.

The stop-motion technique employed in these action paintings present a subtle in-between motion and colour that would not be available if accomplished digitally. The slight shifts in movement complement the forms and extend the characteristics of each of these Cartoons. It’s with this animation of compositions that the real-time narrative abstract action paintings personify and extend the discourse and history of painting.”

Aaron Carpenter was born in Brandon, Manitoba in 1976, which was quite a while ago. After overcoming childhood, he became a juvenile delinquent and learned how to steal cars. It wasn’t hard; he only learned how to steal Honda Preludes because all you needed was a flat head screwdriver, you could crush the steering column and then pretty much just crank the ignition with it and the car would go. He and his friends mostly just went for joyrides. After he was caught by the police several times,his Zionist stepfather sent him to Israel to learn about socialism in action on a Kibbutz commune; instead he learned about monotheism and sex. After overcoming monotheism he went to art school for a while in Vancouver but dropped out in 2002 and became a forklift driver until 2009 when a forklift fell on him and he was mere inches from permanent decapitation. After overcoming the related PTSD he made an artist’s book entitled Exercises in Kinesthetic Drawing & Other Drawing as well as a serious of animations called CARTOONS.

For his first exhibition with the gallery, Philip von Zweck is launching the Chicago Artificial Birding Society (C.A.B.S.). Modeled after conventional birding societies, the project is a platform for a growing, participatory database and map of representations of birds in public spaces in Chicago. Plastic owls and predatory bird decals intended to work as urban scarecrows, lawn flamingos, duck decoys are sought-after targets for society members. The exhibition will include photo documentation of found birds, a location map and other Society-related ephemera related.

Philip von Zweck received his MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago and his BFA from the School. Some of his recent solo projects include exhibitions at INVISIBLE-EXPORTS and Performa11 in New York; The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, 65GRAND, Three-Walls, The Storefront, Gallery 400 and Medicine Cabinet in Chicago. From 1995-2010 he was the host of the weekly sound art radio program Something Else (WLUW, FM Chicago) and from 2003-2006 was co-founder/executive producer of the radio art collective Blind Spot. With Anthony Elms he co-curated the exhibitions Can Bigfoot Get You a Beer at Alagon Gallery, Chicago and A Unicorn Basking in the Light of Two Glowing Suns at the DeVos Museum in Marquette, Michigan. “Artist as Double-Agent,” an article co-authored with Zachery Cahill, appeared in the Summer 2014 issue of Afterall. He currently serves as the President of Thornberry, producer of the world’s finest doorstops. Philip Von Zweck lives and works in Chicago, IL.

These exhibitions are part of Slow Frequency, a tri-city/multi-space project was initiated between Chicago, Vancouver and Berlin in order to circulate the work of artists living in these cities, between these cities. Through studio and site visits, a series of exhibitions has emerged that will be held 2014-2015 between Threewalls, Chicago; devening projects + editions, Chicago; Paris London Hong Kong, Chicago; Or Gallery, Vancouver and Or Gallery, Berlin. This project was made possible by a generous grant from The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s International Connection Fund close ×

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