David Kordansky Gallery is pleased to announce Major Works: Rashid Johnson, Tell it on the Mountain, an online exhibition that takes an in-depth look at a pivotal wall-based work from 2013 by the artist. In this work, Johnson employs a system of mark-making that is both powerfully expressive and conceptually rich. The presentation will be on view on our website from August 6 – 13, 2021.
Combining material languages from painting and sculpture, and driven by intellectual, emotional, and visual urgencies with roots in James Baldwin’s novel, Go Tell it on the Mountain, the visual iconography of hip hop group Public Enemy, Black secret societies, and his own experiences growing up as a Black man in Chicago, Tell it on the Mountain (2013) is an encompassing summation of Johnson’s first decade of work and a revelatory window into the artist's advances that would soon follow. Johnson takes on multiple legacies of abstract expressionism, introducing techniques and ideas often considered anathema to it, and thereby revitalizing the discourse for the twenty-first century while posing tough questions about American life in the past, present, and future.
On Friday, July 30, join us for an in-person conversation with Raul Guerrero and Pilar Tompkins Rivas, Chief Curator and Deputy Director, Curatorial and Collections at the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, at 5 PM PT. Please click here to RSVP.
Guerrero and Tompkins Rivas will discuss, Fata Morgana, the artist’s first exhibition of paintings at the gallery. The works in this exhibition include a collection of paintings that examine the artist’s Mestizo ancestry (of Spanish and Indigenous descent) and the various cultural environments in which he’s embedded. Spending significant amounts of time in locations of specific interest, Guerrero approaches his subjects by sourcing and remixing elements that allow him to further excavate histories of place.
The Galaxy Song is an exhibition featuring unique silkscreen prints and paintings by Matthew Brannon, and paintings and sculpture by Elijah Funk & Alix Ross (Online Ceramics), who have become widely recognized for their t-shirt designs, among other projects. For both Brannon and Online Ceramics artists Funk and Ross, The Galaxy Song is an occasion to treat the motifs, cosmic mindfulness, and countercultural narratives associated with the Grateful Dead as springboards for open experimentation. While the 1960s-era, psychedelic origins of the Dead—as well as the band's propensity for inspiring its fans to reinterpret its densely interwoven iconographies—provide the show's major conceptual through lines, it is just as much a celebration of the possibilities inherent to the screen printing process as an improvisatory dive into the dark, weird, humorous spaces in America's past, present, and future.
Andrea Büttner: Grids, Vases, and Plant Beds features several bodies of new work in a broad range of mediums. The exhibition explores a range of interrelated themes: the inextricable link between the modern development of organic planting methods and back-to-the-land tendencies and fascist political movements like Nazism; the role played by grids as organizing structures, especially in modernist aesthetics; the deification of paintings in a secular age; and how devotion, suffering, cultural appropriation, and the tragic sublime reveal individual as well as collective effects. Büttner’s exhibitions are places where emotions and intellect are synthesized in highly visual, often tactile, works that are notable for their rich colors and formal directness. Projects born of historical research exist alongside those in which the presence of the artist’s hand is the most prominent element.
Fata Morgana, our first exhibition with Raul Guerrero, features new and recent paintings by the artist. Spending significant amounts of time in locations of specific interest, Guerrero approaches his subjects by sourcing and remixing elements that allow him to further excavate histories of place. This investigative approach is presented in the exhibition, where three bodies of work (grouped thematically by location: the Great Plains and the Black Hills of South Dakota, Latin America, and present-day Los Angeles) address the myths and realities of the settlement of Southern California, specifically as a region where Native, Latin, and European American identities converge. Taken together, the paintings depict historical contexts that address current themes of displacement, exile, and refuge. For Guerrero, this collection of locations function as a series of metaphors for examining his own Mestizo ancestry (of Spanish and Indigenous descent) and the various cultural environments in which he’s embedded.
David Kordansky Gallery is pleased to welcome Raul Guerrero to the gallery. Our first collaboration with Guerrero is a solo presentation opening on Wednesday, June 16 for Art Basel OVR: Portals. In July, an exhibition of new and recent paintings by Guerrero will open at our gallery. To learn more about Guerrero’s work and career, please visit ARTnews for a profile on the artist.
For over four decades, Guerrero has made work informed by his experiences navigating cultures as an American of Mexican ancestry in Southern California. In his paintings, photographs, video, and performance works, Guerrero utilizes language and cultural signifiers to examine notions of place as a way to understand personal concepts of self. An aspect of his work depicts—and critiques—colonial narratives in the Americas such as the settlement of the Great Plains, the history of Latin America, and imposed notions of the American “West.” With compositions fusing Mexican, American, and European visual traditions, he incorporates influences ranging from the readymades of Marcel Duchamp to conceptually-oriented practices associated with a preceding generation of California artists, including John Baldessari and Ed Ruscha who emerged from Guerrero’s alma mater, the Chouinard Art Institute. A long-time exhibiting artist on the West Coast, Guerrero’s work reflects an intellectually rigorous approach suffused with humor and a deep engagement with legacies of visual art from Southern California and the Southwest.
Raul Guerrero (b. 1945, Brawley, California) has presented solo exhibitions at Ortuzar Projects, New York (2018); Air de Paris (project space), Romainville, France (2014); Athenaeum Music and Arts Library, San Diego, California (2001, 2007, and 2013); CUE Art Foundation, New York (2010); Long Beach Museum of Art, California (1977); and San Francisco Art Institute, California (1977). In 1989, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego presented a retrospective exhibition of his work. Guerrero has been the recipient of an NEA Photography Fellowship (1979) and the San Diego Art Prize (2006). He lives and works in San Diego, California.
David Kordansky Gallery is pleased to welcome Joel Mesler to the gallery. Mesler’s paintings shed light on universal themes by filtering them through autobiography, humor, self-deprecation, and surprising compositional juxtapositions. Childhood memories fuel meditations on design and popular iconography, not to mention the liquid, fluid, and mutable nature of the painting process. In recent years, Mesler has explored the power of acceptance, allowing emotions—as well as the cultural forms in which they become constellated—to exist at the center of his project. Mesler has also broadened his visual range, incorporating new motifs in the patterned backgrounds that provide the foundation for each composition and experimenting with increasingly elaborate ways of rendering typography. Their wry surrealism and emphasis on words and phrases place Mesler’s paintings in dialogue with the work of artists like Ed Ruscha and Christopher Wool, who engage with language and the relationship between text and image. But Mesler’s concerns are very much his own, and however lighthearted their surfaces read upon first glance, his paintings pose serious questions: How is a self constituted when it is not consistent from moment to moment? Where does pain end and healing begin?
New work by Mesler will be featured in the gallery’s presentation at Art Basel, which will take place September 21 – 26, 2021.
Joel Mesler (b. 1974, Los Angeles) has been the subject of recent solo exhibitions at David Kordansky Gallery (2021); Harper’s Books, East Hampton, New York (2020); Simon Lee, London (2018); and Kantor Gallery, Los Angeles (2017). Mesler lives and works in East Hampton, New York.
The Hugo Boss Prize 2020: Deana Lawson, Centropy, a solo exhibition of Deana Lawson's work, is on view now at the Guggenheim Museum in New York through October 11, 2021. The exhibition is organized by Katherine Brinson, Daskalopoulos Curator, Contemporary Art, and Ashley James, Associate Curator, Contemporary Art.
In 2020, Lawson became the first photographer to receive the Hugo Boss Prize, a biennial award administered by the Guggenheim Museum that honors significant achievement in contemporary art and celebrates the work of remarkable artists whose practices are among the most innovative and influential of our time.
To learn more about Lawson's work, please visit The New York Times to read a major profile on the artist, which will also appear in the Sunday Magazine on May 9, 2021.
David Kordansky Gallery is honored to announce the joint acquisition of a major early work by Sam Gilliam, the monumental installation Double Merge (1968), by Dia Art Foundation, New York, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH).
Comprising two Drape paintings, both titled Carousel II (1968), Double Merge has been on long-term view at Dia Beacon since 2019. Before going on view at Dia, these canvases had never before been shown together in public. In 2022, Gilliam's Double Merge will travel to the MFAH and will rotate between the two institutions every five years, allowing for this important work to be consistently on view to the public in both New York and Texas.
"Sam Gilliam’s early experimentations with form and color have had a transformative impact on what we imagine painting and sculpture to be," said Jessica Morgan, Dia’s Nathalie de Gunzburg director. "Having Gilliam’s work on view at Dia Beacon over the last two years, alongside focused displays of work by many of his artistic peers, has expanded our audience’s understanding of this period of art history. Bringing Double Merge, the centerpiece of this display, into Dia’s permanent collection represents just the beginning of a rich and in-depth relationship with the artist, which will span exhibitions, public programs, and further scholarship on both Gilliam and this period overall."
"Over the last fifty years, Gilliam has established himself at the forefront of American abstraction. His groundbreaking investigations blur the boundaries between artistic disciplines, emphasizing the process, materiality, and dimensionality of painting and its display. We are delighted to partner with Dia Art Foundation in bringing this landmark acquisition into both of our collections," said Gary Tinterow, director, the Margaret Alkek Williams chair, MFAH.
To read more about the historic acquisition, please visit the Financial Times.
David Kordansky Gallery is pleased to announce its representation of Lucy Bull. Our first collaboration with the artist is an exhibition of new paintings, Skunk Grove, on view March 20 – May 1, 2021.
Bull’s paintings are visceral works that appeal directly to the senses. Synesthetic fields of shape and color, the paintings are described in sonic, tactile, or even emotional terms that evade rational logic and are unique to each viewer. As their formal attributes function as visual bait, the eye is drawn into the atmospheric spaces of their compositions before encountering a seemingly limitless number of associative openings. Worlds take shape across their varied surfaces and just as quickly fall away again; similarly, just when the act of looking generates optical overload or disruptive dissonance, Bull’s accumulations of marks reveal discernible traces of planning and hard-fought negotiations with her materials, leading the viewer back toward the concrete realities of pigment, medium, and surface. As she engages in these open-ended painterly experiments, Bull makes room for both precision and abandon, inviting viewers to participate in ever-unfinished processes of creation that she choreographs but never fully controls.
Lucy Bull (b. 1990, New York) has been the subject of solo exhibitions at High Art (Arles, 2020; Paris, 2019); Human Resources, Los Angeles (2019); Smart Objects, Los Angeles (2019); and RMS Queen Mary, Mother Culture, Long Beach, California (2017). Recent group exhibitions include Life Still, CLEARING, New York (2020); I Want to Eat the Sunset. We’re Talking About the Cosmos, Even. And Love, I Guess, Almine Rech, New York (2020); and El oro de los tigres, Air de Paris, Romainville, France (2020). Her work is in the collection of the ICA Miami. Bull lives and works in Los Angeles.
David Kordansky Gallery is honored to welcome Derek Fordjour to the gallery. Fordjour makes paintings, sculptures, and installations whose exuberant visual materiality gives rise to portraits and other multilayered compositions. Born of both broad sociological vision and a keen awareness of the body’s vulnerability, Fordjour’s tableaux are filled with athletes, performers, and others who play key roles in cultural rituals and communal rites of passage. In his paintings, Fordjour methodically constructs the ground of each composition through a collage-based process involving cardboard, newspaper, and other materials and pigments. The varied and textural surfaces that emerge are as complex—and physically engaging—as the dynamic subjects that Fordjour inscribes on top, within, and through them. His ability to grapple with many strata of artmaking on physical, conceptual, and straightforwardly human terms alike allows his project to communicate the widest possible array of emotions, from celebration and ecstasy to melancholy and lamentation. This, in turn, allows Fordjour to connect to audiences inside and outside of traditional art venues.
A major, new painting by Fordjour will be the subject of an upcoming One-on-One online exhibition at DavidKordanskyGallery.com in April 2021. A solo exhibition at David Kordansky Gallery will follow in spring 2022.
In 2020, Derek Fordjour (b. 1974, Memphis, Tennessee) was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. In 2018, commissions for the Whitney Museum of American Art Billboard Project and the Metropolitan Transit Authority Arts & Design program resulted in significant public projects in New York. Recent group exhibitions include 100 Drawings from Now, The Drawing Center, New York (2020); Plumb Line, California African American Museum, Los Angeles (2019); and Reclamation!, Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, Virginia (2019). His work is in the public collections of institutions including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Dallas Museum of Art; Pérez Art Museum Miami; Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. Fordjour was the Spring 2020 Alex Katz Chair in Painting at The Cooper Union, New York, and currently serves as a Core Critic at the Yale School of Art, New Haven, Connecticut. He lives and works in New York.