In a profile by Hilarie M. Sheets in The New York Times, Rashid Johnson says, "My work has always had concerns around race, struggle, grief and grievance, but also joy and excitement around the tradition and opportunities of Blackness." With his solo exhibition Black and Blue (on view at the gallery through October 30), Johnson offers a story of recovery—personal and collective—through new bodies of work including painting, sculpture, works on paper, and a 35mm film.
Read "In Rashid Johnson’s Mosaics, Broken Lives Pieced Together" online and in the September 24 print edition of The New York Times.
David Kordansky Gallery is pleased to present our participation in Art Basel 2021, taking place September 24 – 26, with VIP previews from September 20 – 23. Visit us in person at Booth S2 or explore our online viewing room.
Featuring works by Markus Amm, Emanoel Araujo, John Armleder, Huma Bhabha, Matthew Brannon, Lucy Bull, Andrea Büttner, Valentin Carron, Fred Eversley, Derek Fordjour, Jason Fox, Sam Gilliam, Raul Guerrero, Jennifer Guidi, Lauren Halsey, Evan Holloway, Rashid Johnson, Deana Lawson, Calvin Marcus, Chris Martin, Joel Mesler, Ivan Morley, Shahryar Nashat, Ruby Neri, Hilary Pecis, Mai-Thu Perret, Tobias Pils, Torbjørn Rødland, Linda Stark, Ricky Swallow, Tom of Finland, Richard Tuttle, Lesley Vance, Mary Weatherford, Michael Williams, and Betty Woodman.
David Kordansky Gallery is pleased to welcome Hilary Pecis to the gallery. New work by Pecis is featured in our presentation at Art Basel 2021. To learn more about Pecis’s work and career, please visit ARTnews for a profile of the artist.
Pecis makes paintings and drawings in which tableaus rich with interlocking fields of saturated color, geometric patterning, and bold linework provide views of sun-drenched domestic still lifes and landscape environments. Books crowding a coffee table, the remains of a dinner party, and terrains lush with Southern California succulents make frequent appearances in her work; these meticulously arranged interiors and vibrantly rendered exteriors amount to an overarching portrait of the self that identifies objects and locations as signifiers for human characteristics. Pecis combines distorted perspectives and surprising juxtapositions of hue, placing her work in dialogue with modernist art historical movements like Fauvism in which subjective and analytical tendencies are synthesized. At the same time, her interest in images sourced from her personal experience allows her to transform recognizable mise-en-scènes into vivid explorations that celebrate the quiet moments of everyday life.
Hilary Pecis (b. 1979, Fullerton, California) has recently been the subject of solo exhibitions at Rockefeller Center, New York (2021); Timothy Taylor Gallery, London (2021); Spurs Gallery, Beijing (2020); Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York (2020); and Crisp-Ellert Art Museum, Flagler College, St. Augustine, Florida (2019). Recent group exhibitions include Present Generations: Creating the Scantland Collection of the Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio (2021); The Beatitudes of Malibu, David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles (2021); FEEDBACK, Jack Shainman School, Kinderhook, New York (2021); L.A.: Views, Maki Gallery, Tokyo (2020); High Voltage, The Nassima-Landau Project, Tel Aviv, Israel (2020); and (Nothing but) Flowers, Karma, New York (2020). Her work is in the permanent collections of institutions including the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Aïshti Foundation, Beirut; and Yuz Museum, Shanghai. Pecis lives and works in Los Angeles.
Who Is Queen?, Adam Pendleton’s monumental floor-to-ceiling installation, is on view at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York from September 18, 2021, through January 30, 2022. Who Is Queen? transforms MoMA’s Marron Atrium into a dynamic arena exploring Blackness, abstraction, and the avant-garde. In this installation, Pendleton has created a spatial collage of text, image, and sound—a total work of art for the twenty-first century. Challenging the traditional role of the museum as a repository for a fixed history, Who Is Queen? collages multiple voices and cultural touchpoints to generate new relationships between traditionally incommensurable subjects. According to Pendleton, the work “is not black or white. It articulates the ways in which we simultaneously possess and are possessed by contradictory ideals and ideas.”
Who Is Queen? is organized by Stuart Comer, The Lonti Ebers Chief Curator, with Danielle A. Jackson, former Curatorial Assistant, and Gee Wesley, Curatorial Assistant, with the support of Veronika Molnar, Intern, Department of Media and Performance.
David Kordansky Gallery is pleased to present Derek Fordjour in conversation with Ava DuVernay: Bookmaker's Dozen, an online exhibition featuring a new dozen-frame painting that is one of the definitive statements of Derek Fordjour’s career, now live on our website through September 17. In a wide-ranging conversation, Fordjour and award-winning director Ava DuVernay approach his cinematic painting, Bookmaker’s Dozen (2021), as a springboard for meditations on process and labor, framing in painting and film, the historical patterns at play in the making and reception of art, and the Black body.
Bookmaker's Dozen features twelve images of Black jockeys riding their horses; the artist has painted each image on its own canvas, and the entire group is framed in a single, unique frame so that each rider is both on his own and part of a collective. Together, Fordjour and DuVernay talk about how this Eadweard Muybridge-like composition captures the movement of time and the evolution of social structures alike, reflecting on their respective experiences working in different—but related—visual mediums.
ABOUT DEREK FORDJOUR
Derek Fordjour (b. 1974, Memphis, Tennessee) has recently been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Pond Society, Shanghai (2021) and the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (2020). In 2018, commissions for the Whitney Museum of American Art Billboard Project and the Metropolitan Transit Authority Arts & Design program resulted in major public projects in New York. Recent group exhibitions include Present Generations: Creating the Scantland Collection of the Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio (2021); The Slipstream: Reflection, Resilience, and Resistance in the Art of Our Time, Brooklyn Museum, New York (2021); 100 Drawings from Now, The Drawing Center, New York (2020); and Plumb Line, the California African American Museum, Los Angeles (2019).
His work is in the permanent collections of institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Brooklyn Museum, New York; Dallas Museum of Art; Pérez Art Museum Miami; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; and The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. Fordjour served as the 2020 Alex Katz Chair of Painting at The Cooper Union, New York, and serves on the faculty at the Yale University School of Art, New Haven, Connecticut as a core critic. Fordjour lives and works in New York.
ABOUT AVA DuVERNAY
Academy Award nominee and Emmy, BAFTA, and Peabody Award winner Ava DuVernay is a writer, director, producer, and film distributor. Her feature directorial work includes the Oscar-winning Civil Rights drama Selma, the Oscar-nominated social justice documentary 13TH, and the Disney children’s adventure A Wrinkle in Time, which made her the highest-grossing Black woman director in American box office history. Winner of the 2012 Sundance Best Director Prize for her independent film Middle of Nowhere, DuVernay amplifies the work of Black artists, people of color, and women of all kinds through her narrative change collective ARRAY, named one of Forbes Most Innovative Companies. She currently sits on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Advisory Board of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, and the Board of the American Film Institute.
David Kordansky Gallery is pleased to announce Black and Blue, a major exhibition by Rashid Johnson featuring new bodies of work, including paintings, bronze sculptures, works on paper, and the debut of a new 35mm film. Occupying all three of the gallery’s exhibition spaces, Black and Blue will be on view September 18 – October 30, 2021.
Since the beginning of his career, Johnson has pursued formal innovation in a diverse range of mediums while simultaneously honing a sophisticated and deeply personal vision on a variety of themes such as his autobiography, social history, philosophy, and art history. He addresses the existential conditions of his own life and life itself by making works born of both critical insight and free-form material exploration.
In Black and Blue, a group of new canvases that Johnson has titled "Bruise Paintings" represent a further development of themes present in his "Anxious Red Paintings." Made during the pandemic, the "Anxious Red Paintings" embodied the anxiety, isolation, and loss felt by many over the last two years. The "Bruise Paintings" fill the entirety of the North Gallery and are rendered in deep blue oil paint, conjuring the feelings of aftermath, reckoning, and healing, with half-geometric, half-human faces arranged in expressive, viscous fields of line and color.
The South Gallery will be dedicated to Johnson’s latest engagements in bronze sculpture. Totems of head-like forms that resemble the characters in his paintings, these works also function as planters and include living plants that assert their own organic, ever-changing formalism. Their surfaces are covered with frenetic, palpably emotional mark-making that brings them into further relation with two-dimensional disciplines like drawing and painting.
The contrast between the existential and the mundane is a driving force in the new film on view, also titled Black and Blue, which will be projected in the West Gallery. Shot on 35mm film, Black and Blue depicts the movements of the protagonist—played by Johnson himself—as he navigates his daily routine. A persistent melancholia inhabits each of the film’s segments; Johnson returns the gaze to the intimate endeavors of being human, which people do their best to sustain regardless of what is happening in the world at large.
Installed alongside the film in the West Gallery are a group of works on paper in which Johnson demonstrates how his vocabulary pivots between the abstract, the representational, and the conceptual, challenging the notion that these can be understood as separate categories. Their bristling fields of repeated marks have roots in non-objective minimalism and observed forms alike; accordingly, they are vehicles for both internally and externally oriented modes of awareness.
Across the various environments that make up the exhibition, Johnson establishes a continuum in which visceral, unmediated, or ungovernable expressions and aesthetic proposals co-exist with recognizable artifacts and honed visual and verbal languages. The result is a rich and provocative portrait of a moment in time—one that also serves as a self-portrait, a commentary, and an invitation: as has been the case since the beginning of his career, even Johnson’s most pointed examples of self-examination are open, generous documents that brim with possibility and metaphor.
Congratulations to Mary Weatherford, who has been named the 2021 Aspen Award for Art Honoree. The award will be presented on Friday, August 6 during the Aspen Art Museum’s ArtCrush Gala benefiting the museum’s artistic and educational programs, for which Weatherford and Ruby Neri have both donated artworks. To learn more about the ArtCrush Gala, please click here.
Weatherford will be in conversation with Nicola Lees, Director of the Aspen Art Museum (AAM); Simone Krug, Assistant Curator; and Luis Yllanes, Chief Operating Officer, who all worked closely with the artist on her recent AAM exhibition, Neon Paintings. The conversation will take place on the museum’s rooftop Thursday, August 5 at 11 AM MT. To learn more about the talk, please click here.
David Kordansky Gallery's online solo presentation of new paintings by Jon Pestoni for Frieze Viewing Room Los Angeles Edition is now live through August 1, 2021.
Since the beginning of his career, Pestoni has advanced his work by alternating between addition and subtraction, employing both modes to varying degrees and extremes—and sometimes within the same painting. Such is the case in these works, which reflect, on the one hand, a reduced and systematized compositional language and, on the other, an introduction of new elements that destabilize any singular reading of either their conceptual underpinnings or their visual structure. The silhouettes—and sometimes the more complete representation—of a pair of shoes provide one of the presentation’s throughlines. These forms are not always wholly recognizable, but nonetheless, they anchor the images and lend them a hard-to-define legibility. Neither wholly pop-inflected pictures nor wholly exercises in abstract geometry, the shoes constitute just one of the ways in which Pestoni formulates what amounts to a negative theology of painting, describable only by stating what it is not rather than what it is.
David Kordansky Gallery’s online exhibition Major Works: Rashid Johnson, which takes an in-depth look at Johnson's pivotal wall-based work Tell it on the Mountain (2013), is now live on our website through August 13.
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’s solo presentation of paintings by Raul Guerrero for Art Basel OVR: Portals, featuring an interview with the artist, is now live. Please click here to view.
The paintings on view in this presentation address the settlement of Southern California and the American Southwest, both in a historic and contemporary context, through painterly depictions of popular imagery and media. Continuously informed by his experiences navigating cultures as an American of Mexican ancestry in Southern California, the paintings are characterized by visual elements pulled from primary sources such as modern Mexican cinema, European art-historical imagery, and Spanish Golden Age literature. Guerrero’s compositions are remixed and annotated to evoke the shifting realities excavated from intricate, colonial histories of Western regional places of interest to him. Through this process of sourcing, Guerrero utilizes these cultural signifiers and etymological strategies as a method of understanding personal concepts of self.
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.
In conjunction with our group exhibition The Beatitudes of Malibu, which brings together artists whose paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, and poems respond to, depict, question, or are inspired by landscapes of all kinds, David Kordansky Gallery is pleased to present a virtual reading with poets Tongo Eisen-Martin (also reading Bob Kaufman), Gabriela Jauregui, Ann Lauterbach, and Cedar Sigo. To attend the virtual reading (which will feature live closed captioning), please register here.
A selection of poems by Gabriela Jauregui, Bob Kaufman, Ann Lauterbach, Rowan Ricardo Phillips (whose poem, "The Beatitudes of Malibu," inspired the exhibition's title), and Cedar Sigo are included in a complimentary booklet published as part of the show.
Founded by Lauren Halsey, Summaeverythang is dedicated to the empowerment and transcendence of Black and brown folks socio-politically, economically, intellectually, and artistically. As part of Frieze New York's Tribute to the Vision & Justice Project and its founder, Sarah Elizabeth Lewis, David Kordansky Gallery launched a donation matching campaign in support of Summaeverythang that raised over $40,000 to provide hot meals and thousands of boxes of free organic produce from regional farms to neighbors in Watts and South Central Los Angeles.
With our deepest gratitude, we celebrate all of you for supporting and spreading the love. Many thanks to:
Maria Ahverdyan, Anonymous, Teresa Aversa, Tre Borden, Brian Calvin, Leslie Dick, Carol Eliel, Dawn and Chris Fleischner, Sarah Heinemann, Julia V. Hendrickson & Anthony B. Creeden, Steve Hirsch, Raymie Ladevaia, Mitchell Jacobson, Brian Kordansky, Liana Krupp, Nancy Lanier, Kurt Mueller, Nu Nguyen, Ralph Segreti & Richard Follows, Danielle Shang, Brian Sharp, V. Joy Simmons, MD., Carrie Ungerman, Page Wery, Annie Wharton Art Consulting and LADIES ROOM, Emerald Woods, and Danielle Yip.
David Kordansky Gallery is pleased to present a solo presentation of new sculptures and drawings by Huma Bhabha at Art Basel Hong Kong 2021 from May 19 through May 23. Art Basel Live: Hong Kong, a series of online viewing rooms, will run concurrently with the in-person show.
For over 25 years, Bhabha has been making objects, drawings, and other works that depict the strangeness and vulnerability of the contemporary figure. The drawings on view in this presentation depict heads animated by a wide range of moods, colors, and perspectival experiments. Rendered on supports that include collaged images of animals and etching proofs from Bhabha’s own printmaking practice, they are themselves hybrid objects. Beginning with the grounds on which the acrylic, ink, and pastel pigments are applied, and extending to the creatures that take shape on them, Bhabha allows the unpredictable forces of intuition to guide conversations with her creations.
Huma Bhabha (b. 1962, Karachi, Pakistan) has been the subject of solo exhibitions at institutions that include the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, England (2020); Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2018); and MoMA PS1, Long Island City, New York (2012). Notable group exhibitions include NIRIN, the 22nd Biennale of Sydney (2020); Carnegie International, 57th Edition, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (2018); and All the World’s Futures, 56th Venice Biennale, Italy (2015). Bhabha’s work is in the permanent collections of the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. Bhabha lives and works in Poughkeepsie, New York.
大卫·柯丹斯基画廊很荣幸地宣布，将于2021年5月19日至23日香港巴塞尔艺博会期间，推出艺术家胡玛·芭芭（Huma Bhabha）的最新雕塑和绘画个展。伴随现场展览同时进行的是“巴塞尔线上展厅：香港”（Art Basel Live: Hong Kong），为观众带来一系列线上展览。
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 pleased to invite you to a virtual conversation with artists Tobias Pils and Michael Williams in conjunction with Pils’s solo presentation at the Frieze New York 2021 Edition of Frieze Viewing Room. The conversation will take place on Thursday, May 6 at 11 AM PT / 2 PM ET / 8 PM CET. To attend the virtual talk (which will feature live closed captioning), please register here.
Pils and Williams will discuss The Islands, Pils’s new body of paintings and drawings featured in his solo presentation. The Islands are the result of significant changes in Pils’s working methods and constitute the beginning of a major new addition to his material and visual vocabularies. Like all of his work to date, these paintings have been rendered in black, white, and shades of grey. But while Pils has previously painted on the floor—leaving the fronts of his surfaces unprimed—here, he has painted vertically on primed and stretched canvas supported by a large easel. Compositionally, the paintings comprising The Islands are filled with scenes of creatures, humanoid and otherwise, that occupy their own delimited terrains—unique islands of vision and circumstance on which particular laws of nature and states of mind reign supreme.
David Kordansky Gallery is pleased to announce an online solo presentation of new paintings and drawings by Tobias Pils at the Frieze New York 2021 Edition of Frieze Viewing Room, a virtual fair that will run May 5 – 14 alongside Frieze New York at The Shed.
In conjunction with Frieze Viewing Room, Pils and artist Michael Williams will discuss The Islands, Pils's new body of paintings on view in the presentation, on Thursday, May 6 at 11 AM PT / 2 PM ET / 8 PM CET. To attend the virtual talk (which will feature live closed captioning), please register here.
The Islands are the result of significant changes in Pils’s working methods and constitute the beginning of a major new addition to his material and visual vocabularies. Like all of his work to date, these paintings have been rendered in black, white, and shades of grey. But while Pils has previously painted on the floor—leaving the fronts of his surfaces unprimed—here, he has painted vertically on primed and stretched canvas supported by a large easel. The images themselves are developed first in preparatory sketches, so that their allegorical landscapes, fantastical beings, and indelible earthly and cosmological motifs emerge on the canvas with startling clarity. The paintings comprising The Islands are filled with scenes of creatures, humanoid and otherwise, that occupy their own delimited terrains—unique islands of vision and circumstance on which particular laws of nature and states of mind reign supreme.
In 2020, a large-scale installation of paintings by Tobias Pils (b. 1971, Linz, Austria) was inaugurated at Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany, and a major fresco was installed at the Renzo Piano-designed campus of École normale supérieure Paris-Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette, France. He has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Josef Albers Museum, Bottrop, Germany (2017); Le Consortium, Dijon, France (with Michael Williams, 2017); Chinati Foundation, Marfa, Texas (2016); and Secession, Vienna (2013), among other institutions. Recent group shows include Picasso et la bande dessinée, Musée Picasso, Paris (2020); Jay DeFeo – The Ripple Effect, Aspen Art Museum, Colorado (2018); and Spiegelnde Fenster, 21er Haus, Vienna (2017). His work is part of the permanent collections of the Albertina Museum, Vienna; Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany; and Le Consortium, Dijon, France, among other institutions. Pils lives and works in Vienna.
David Kordansky Gallery is proud to contribute to Frieze New York 2021's Tribute to the Vision & Justice Project, an organization dedicated to examining art’s central role in understanding the relationship between race and citizenship in the United States, and its founder, Sarah Elizabeth Lewis.
Now until May 14, through the duration of the fair and viewing room, our gallery will match up to $25,000 in donations to Summaeverythang Community Center, based in South Central Los Angeles. Founded by Lauren Halsey, Summaeverythang is dedicated to the empowerment and transcendence of Black and brown folks socio-politically, economically, intellectually, and artistically. Give today to support Halsey's center, soon celebrating its one year anniversary, and its inspiring example of how each of us can effect change by directly reaching out to the people around us.
Recognizing the devastating local effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including unemployment and food insecurity, Halsey and her collaborators took action by developing—from scratch—systems to source, pack, and distribute now over 2,600 boxes of fresh, organic produce from Southern California farms each weekend to neighbors in Watts and South Central Los Angeles. Ever-responding and evolving, Summaeverythang has recently started providing healthy hot meals on alternate Fridays. These logistical efforts cost upwards of $24,000 each week, and are funded exclusively through sales of Halsey’s art, grants, and the donations requested and matched here.
Upon giving, please email your donation confirmation to email@example.com. We will gladly match donations received up to a total of $25,000 through May 14. Summaeverythang Community Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. All donations are tax-deductible.
The Beatitudes of Malibu includes works by more than 40 artists and poets that respond to, depict, question, or are inspired by landscapes of all kinds. The exhibition borrows its title from a poem of the same name by Rowan Ricardo Phillips; in the poem’s eight parts, the poet engages in a series of encounters with natural, social, and aesthetic landscapes associated with Los Angeles, but also with the full spectrum of myths, narratives, and allusions these landscapes elicit. The Beatitudes of Malibu employs a similarly broad range of approaches to the landscape genre by bringing together artists whose paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, and poems are born of divergent—and often conflicting—legacies.
Among the highlights in this diverse, multi-generational exhibition are new and recent paintings by Sayre Gomez, Jennifer Guidi, Angel Otero, Hilary Pecis, Mary Weatherford, and Jonas Wood; historical paintings and drawings by Milton Avery, Nell Blaine, Charles Burchfield, Jane Freilicher, Miyoko Ito, Helen Lundeberg, Agnes Martin, Richard Mayhew, Millard Sheets, and Alma Thomas; and works by Huma Bhabha, Lauren Halsey, and Sky Hopinka that transcend traditional discipline distinctions.
A selection of poems by Gabriela Jauregui, Bob Kaufman, Ann Lauterbach, Rowan Ricardo Phillips, and Cedar Sigo will be included in a complimentary booklet published as part of the exhibition.
An exhibition of new sculptures by David Altmejd will be the Los Angeles-based artist’s first show at the gallery. Unfolding across the south gallery, four individual chambers will house sculptures depicting faces in various degrees of dematerialization, gradually dissolving visual signifiers of the recognizable human form. Navigating the space, visitors will be taken on a journey inspired by "The Fool's Journey" of the Major Arcana tarot cards—representing the stages and lessons of life—as the artist explores a psychedelic path to self-discovery and change.
Experiencing Altmejd's constructed universe will invite visitors to reflect inward, suggesting a way of being that prioritizes a detachment of consciousness from the body and the mind.
Moving West Again features new paintings by Sam Gilliam that continue the artist’s six-decade exploration of color and materiality. The exhibition includes various scales of Gilliam's signature Beveled-edge stretcher paintings, a typology of work dating back to 1967 and which demonstrates several striking formal advances. The new works are suffused with densely layered materials including tin and copper raw metals, sawdust and aluminum shavings, and pieces of socks sourced from Gilliam's studio. Gilliam flings, splatters, and throws this media onto the canvas, creating cosmic fields of color marked over by the artist's hand or scraped into by a garden rake.
Relentlessly experimenting with the conventions of painting, these new works are thick with rich white, yellow, and blue impasto, demonstrating Gilliam’s ability to compose lyrical depth from the stretched canvas on a beveled frame. This effect, which Gilliam has perfected over decades, makes it seem as if the painting itself is emerging from the wall on which it is hung.
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.
David Kordansky Gallery presents Tobias Pils: Balancing and Coupling, an online solo exhibition featuring two new paintings by the Vienna-based artist. The show is now live at DavidKordanskyGallery.com and will be on view through February 12, 2021.
To access Tobias Pils: Balancing and Coupling, please click here.
Tobias Pils produces paintings that are bracingly contemporary. The two paintings featured in this in-depth look at Pils’ work—Balancing and Coupling 1—speak in both metaphoric as well as concrete terms to the fullest range of issues animating the medium. This includes the irresolvable tensions between figuration and abstraction and the ongoing dilemmas about where and how painting functions on individual and collective levels. But the two works also focus attention on the contemporary moment in even more immediate ways, since they arise from a heightened sense of how a painting emerges in real time, brushstroke by brushstroke, thought by thought, and feeling by feeling. The paintings exemplify Pils’ approach to each aspect of his process as an opportunity for inquiry. They demonstrate, for instance, how Pils, through confining himself to a grisaille palette, is able to evoke subtleties that get to the core of what it means to paint with color. Balancing, with its dark background and looming lunar presence, is a "night" painting while Coupling 1 may be considered a "daytime" one with its frank depiction of bodies engaged in acts of communion that could be physical, spiritual, or ritual. Full of hybrid beings and allegorical landscapes, as well as passages of dissonant abstraction and subtle brushwork, Pils’ new work evokes the paradoxes that characterize life, consciousness, and art as vital, unpredictable phenomena.
David Kordansky Gallery is pleased to announce Nine Stepping Stones, Richard Tuttle’s first exhibition at the gallery, and the first major presentation of the artist's work in Los Angeles in nearly fifteen years.
Featuring a new group of wall-based works, this exhibition highlights the recent production of one of the most representative American artists of the postwar period. Over the past six decades, Tuttle has occupied interstitial positions between several genres, including painting, sculpture, drawing, and poetry. In each case, his work demonstrates how traditional categories of artmaking can function as starting points for wide-ranging investigations into the functioning of perception and language, questioning not only how we see or experience, but also what is being seen or experienced. Such questions ultimately hinge upon how a person—whether artist or viewer or both—inhabits and makes sense of the thing that comes to be known as an artwork. Nine Stepping Stones is dedicated to a series of assemblages whose titles all include the word "head" and whose roughly head-like proportions and shapes symbolize the human (and humanistic) frame of reference through which they can be engaged. Built from plywood that in turn becomes a support for spray-painted marks, each is a lyrical conundrum defined by its mysteries of construction and palpable sense of aesthetic openness exercised within clear (if elusive) limits and expressed via humble materials. In these works, color is nominal and painting is diffracted, revealing a spectrum of constituent parts that goes beyond the visual and pushes the medium into uncharted territory. As has been the case throughout his career, Tuttle achieves visual and conceptual strength not by overpowering viewers or the spaces they inhabit, but by coaxing attention back to boundless acts of seeing, thinking, and feeling that are analogues for human freedom.
The group exhibition These lacustrine homes, curated by Mai-Thu Perret, features works by Valentin Carron, Isabelle Cornaro, Karin Gulbran, Matthew Lutz-Kinoy, and Perret herself.
The title of the exhibition takes inspiration from "These Lacustrine Cities," a poem by John Ashbery inspired by the geography of Switzerland and the social implications of living in proximity to large bodies of water. While the artists in this show hail from different locations, their objects favor an aqueous, amorphous quality that has been historically maligned as overly diffuse by the canon, but which represents a quasi-mystical drive for boundlessness in alternative cultural contexts. Exploring the tension between domestic materiality on one hand and a biomorphic, dream-like strangeness on the other becomes a way for them to consider the intrinsic life force of the art object from a vantage point defined by a kind of covert conceptualism. In a new animation, for instance, Isabelle Cornaro develops metaphors for unbridled consumption that are as humorous as they are horrific. Matthew Lutz-Kinoy’s large-scale depiction of leisure as romantic resistance, meanwhile, pictures nude Lake Geneva bathers embracing and conjures the fin-de-siècle symbolism of Swiss painter Ferdinand Hodler. Valentin Carron’s cast aluminum bathrobes connote the presence of the body precisely by its absence and perform a "dry" reading of the body’s abiding "wetness." Perret’s own ceramic sculptures test the limits of that medium’s mutability in physical and formal terms alike, and the vessels of Karin Gulbran—which take on traditional as well as surreal, animal-like shapes—exude an ensouled warmth that speaks to the transcendental tactility of the natural world. Taken together, the works on view in These lacustrine homes exist at the intersection of the symbolism and the visceral materiality inherent to artmaking.
Surrender, an exhibition of new paintings and works on paper by Joel Mesler, is the artist’s first show at the gallery.
In Mesler’s work, childhood memories and traumas fuel meditations on class, design, and popular iconography, as well as explorations of the liquid, fluid, and mutable nature of the painting process. Surrender finds the artist exploring the power of acceptance, allowing emotions—and the physical and cultural forms in which they become constellated—to exist at the center of his project. Mesler’s new canvases are sharply tuned juxtapositions of language and image in which resonant phrases like "Mom" and "Don’t Cry" are rendered in text that is itself a graphic construction, written in letters made to resemble fire, milk, cocaine, or a Mercedes-Benz hood ornament. The backgrounds against which these phrases appear are also suffused with autobiographical import, evoking key moments from the artist’s past. Mesler reproduces a 1980s Marimekko rainbow pattern, for instance, to channel both youthful wonder and over-determined menace; as the words "Hopes and Dreams" go up in flames atop it, he evokes a happy-sad reckoning with lost innocence. And in his new works on paper, each of which has been executed on a David Kordansky Gallery exhibition poster from the early 2000s, Mesler directly addresses his journey as both an artist and an art dealer, as well as his formative years in Los Angeles and the trials and triumphs that have made the last two decades an unlikely story of personal and professional homecoming.