Archive for January, 2008
David Kordansky Gallery is pleased to present the second solo exhibition of new works by Mark Flores. The opening reception will be held on Friday, February 8th from 6 to 9pm, and the exhibition will be on view through March 8th. Flores’ poetic application of history draws together seemingly disparate motifs in a unique interrogation of beauty and visual pleasure.
At the conceptual core of this exhibition are Flores’ representations of Antinous, the Roman Emperor Hadrian’s adolescent lover who was deified by the emperor upon his premature death. Hadrian commissioned statues of the boy in myriad fantastical incarnations, effectively spawning a cult of the ideal male form. Flores’ Antinous Ubiquitous constitutes a meditation on desire, and speaks to a two-fold model of art appreciation that subsumes academic study and prurient interest.
This body of work alludes to strategies of the early homosexual emancipation movement, which invoked the ancients’ regard for love between men to legitimize homoerotic imagery. Flores’ portraits of actors who played the part of “Cowboy” in Mart Crowley’s Boys in the Band parallel the Antinous series. They are drawn from images in After Dark, an entertainment magazine known for its – ostensibly incidental – homoerotic content. Like Antinous, the character of “Cowboy” is a “beautiful blank” open to the viewer’s designs.
Flores traces a reverence for light from its appearance in ancient faiths to 20th century cinema and modernist color theory. The spirit of Bauhaus painter Johannes Itten inhabits this new work and serves as a link between ideas on tonal brilliance, intuition, and the subjectivity of the viewer. Flores expands Itten’s color grid into a large-scale painting that unites a wider conceptual scheme. Comparative Brilliance / After Itten complements Flores’ drawings of discarded frames from Judy Garland’s Easter Parade. Colored circles, which are by-products of Technicolor color separation, impinge upon her image, imparting a kind of chromatic pathos to the portraits.
Themes associated with gay identity form a vital link in Flores’ critical matrix, but he pushes beyond them to larger issues of visual pleasure. This spirit of investigation is embodied by Narkissos / After Jess, drawn from a photograph of the bulletin board used by the collage artist Jess. His visual index of the male form and canny “paste up” method mirror Flores’ imaginative archive of aesthetic appreciation.
In transferring subjects from one medium to another, Flores not only germinates dialogues between media, but composes a record of his own process of looking. Flores’ exploration of how we receive beauty avoids resolution, accepting it concurrently as an “irrational” phenomenon as well as a thing that can be studied, theorized upon, carved into stone.
Mark Flores has had a solo exhibition at Alison Jacques Gallery, London, England (2006). He was most recently included in Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock and Roll Since 1967, curated by Dominic Molon for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL. He lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.
David Kordansky Gallery
For her second solo show at moniquemeloche, Cindy Loehr found inspiration in the theological poetry of Peter O’Leary and titled her exhibition Twilight Knowledge. The exhibition features Loehr’s Fuel for Constant Light – a multi-media installation consisting of six towering aluminum wings, representing the six-winged Seraphim, complete with audio accompaniment.
Spirituality has always been a concern of Loehr’s, whose meticulously hand-crafted works reference “…the benign communal vocabularies of organized religion and public display.” Lisa Kurzner ArtPapers Loehr’s interest in Angels stems from their role as intercessors between the ineffable abstraction of heaven and the concrete reality of earth. The six-winged Seraphim are the highest order of angels. Described as emanations of pure light, they are the most philosophical of the angels. Their only job is to fly around and sing, but they sing in direct communication with god. In the song for Fuel for Constant Light, human desire is sung as an earthly aspiration towards the divine. This is a subversion of traditional Christian doctrine, which sees desire as the root of all sin. Also on view is Inward Generator – a quilt sewn with photographs taken by Loehr in New York City, from dusk through night, combined with pictures by Randy Russell of his own personal shrine. The quilt is assembled to create an iconic pattern; a ritualized reordering of passing impressions. Inward Generator is inspired both by the cosmological mapping of the mandala and the dark luminance of church stained glass. Like the mandala, Inward Generator is created as a tool for focusing inward.
Fuel For Constant Light was first exhibited at the Hiromi Yoshii Gallery in Tokyo in 2006, and in the group show “Place of the Transcommon” curated by Nicholas Frank at INOVA/VOGEL, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in 2007. The title is taken from Peter O’Leary’s poem “With More Passionate Flying,” which says: “Words of angels are fuel for constant light.” Lyrics are by Loehr in collaboration with Chuck Stebelton, with Carlos Lama (vocals), Ray Chi (cello), and Jesse Peterson (background vocals). The artist would like to thank Brad & Leslie Bucher and Nancy & Gene Hooff for their production support for Fuel for Constant Light and Michael Crocker & Stephen Tan for assistance with Inward Generator.
Cindy Loehr’s work is currently included in “The Puppet Show” curated by Ingrid Schaffner and Carin Kuoni at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), University of Pennsylvania. This traveling exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue and the venues are: Santa Monica Museum of Art, The Contemporary Museum Honolulu, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, The Frye Art Museum Seattle. Selected artist include Nayland Blake, Louise Bourgeois, Maurizio Cattelan, Anne Chu, Dan Graham, Pierre Huyghe, Christian Jankowski, Mike Kelley, William Kentridge, Annette Messager, Paul McCarthy, Bruce Nauman, Dennis Oppenheim, Philippe Parreno and Rirkrit Tiravanija, Kiki Smith, Kara Walker, and Charlie White. Loehr has exhibited widely, including the Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. She was awarded an artist residency with the Core Program of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (2003-05) and earned her MFA from the University of Illinois Chicago (2001). Loehr was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1971 and lives in New York.