Karl Haendel & Walead Beshty,
and Barbara Kasten
March 20 – May 15, 2010
This group exhibition considers three different manifestations of black and white photographic abstraction, each questioning the apparent boundaries of the “imitative” medium by introducing the plurality and rich histories of other artistic genres. Though still concerned with the photographic process, these artists look outside the medium to further the discourse around abstract photography.
In the “Plug-n-Play” series, Haendel and Beshty collaborate to make photo/spray enamel/inkjet collages. Beshty’s underlying photographic print tracks the process of exposing light sensitive photographic paper. On top of this base, Haendel places what appears to be an abstract photographic image but is instead unique spay enamel on paper mimicking the photographic look. Then, completely blurring medium-specific imagery, the artists together create an inkjet image, at once a photo and a painting.
Hovsepian pushes photography’s definition with digital manipulation and added sculptural elements. The artist photographs light emitted through holes punched in black paper. The resultant image is then mirrored and enlarged digitally before printing. On top of this meticulously created image, the artist adds the unique elements of string and graphite: the white and red string wound around nails echoes the photo’s tight, controlled composition while the silver graphite on the black matte paper brings a free, emotive quality to work.
Kasten, perhaps the most “traditional” of the three artists, begins by building sculptures of Plexiglas for her “Studio Constructs” series. Plexiglas, a protective material typically used to glaze photographs, by purpose is not meant to have any visual affect. But, by manipulating light and the transparent material, Kasten’s enlarged images are filled with tension and contrast as well as subtle tonal differences. She poetically creates and captures a representational value that never existed.
Karl Haendel (American b. NY 1976, lives Los Angeles) received his BA from Brown University in 1998 and his MFA from UCLA in 2003. He has an upcoming solo show at the Lever House NY 2010 and an upcoming group show at the Guggenheim in 2010. Currently his work is on view in the exhibition Beg Borrow Steal at the Rubell Family Collection and was recently included in Picturing the Artist’s Studio at the Sullivan Galleries at SAIC. His work is in the permanent collections of the Hammer LA, the Fogg Boston, the Guggenheim NY, MOMA NY, MoCA LA, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY to name a few.
Walead Beshty (British b. London 1976, lives Los Angeles) received his BA from Bard in 1999 and his MFA from Yale in 2002. His work was recently included in group exhibitions at MOMA NY, Tate Britain, The Whitney Museum, NY; and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Beshty recently had solo exhibitions at the Hammer Museum LA, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden DC, and PS1 Long Island City, NY. Select permanent collections that own his work include the Hammer LA, The Henry, The Hirshhorn, The Guggenheim NY, MOMA NY, MCA Chicago, V+A London, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY.
Sheree Hovsepian (American b. Iran 1974, lives NY) received her BFA/BA from the University of Toledo in 1999, studied at The Glasgow School of Art, Scotland and received her MFA from SAIC in 2002. Her work was recently exhibited in group shows at the Studio Museum in Harlem, Momenta Art Brooklyn, and Charest-Weinberg Gallery in Miami. In 2009 she had a solo show at the Spertus Museum in Chicago. In 2008 she was a recipient of the 2008 Aljira Emerge 20 Residency in Newark NJ. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Studio Museum in Harlem, The Art Institute of Chicago, and the Spertus Museum Chicago.
Barbara Kasten (American b. Chicago 1936, lives Chicago) received her BFA from the University of Arizona, Tucson in 1959 and her MFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland in 1970. In 2006, she was named Columbia College Chicago’s first “Distinguished Artist.” Kasten is having quite a resurgence in Chicago with group exhibitions currently on view at Columbia College A+D Gallery and upcoming at both Shane Campbell and Tony Wight. Her work is also currently on view in Starburst: The History of Color Photography in the 1970’s, a travelling exhibition recently opened at The Cincinnati Museum of Art (catalog avail). Upcoming is a solo show in Paris a Galerie Almine Rech. Kasten’s work is in such prestigious museum collections as The Art Institute of Chicago, Centro Cultural Arte Contemporaneo Mexico City, High Museum Atlanta, International Center for Photography NY, J.Paul Getty Museum, LA, LACMA, Met, MFA Houston, MOMA NY, Museum of Modern Art Lodz Poland, and SFMoma.
on the wall featuring assume vivid astro focus
The on the wall series will be a rotation of projects on the gallery’s 10 x 25 foot wall viewed from Division Street through our floor to ceiling windows. Designed to engage the community and challenge the white cube notion of “viewing,” the series will feature site-specific projects in a wide range of media made by an equally diverse group of artists. The gallery hopes to bring new work to Chicago and views this series as an opportunity to work with an exciting group of artists new to the gallery! We are pleased to present the inaugural project with assume vivid astro focus.
Butch Queen 5
assume vivid astro focus (avaf) is the pseudonym given to a unique network of collaborators “born anytime between the 20th and 21st centuries in various parts of the world.” The international group of visual and performance artists have a wide-ranging aesthetic project that combines psychadelia glam, kitsch, and pop. For this site-specific installation Butch Queen 5, vinyl wallpaper covers the entire street-facing wall of the new moniquemeloche gallery space. This will be the first solo project for avaf in Chicago, however the work was included in both the Sympathy for the Devil (2007) and Tropicalia (2006) exhibitions at the MCA Chicago. Selected exhibitions include The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo, Norway,(solo 2009), Kunstverein Arnsberg, Germany (solo 2009), Poprally, MoMA, New York 2009, 28th São Paulo Biennial, curated by Ivo Mesquita and Ana Paula Cohen, São Paulo, Brazil, 2008, and the Whitney Biennial 2004. Upcoming in 2010 are a solo exhibitions at KadE, Amersfoort, The Netherlands and Centro Contemporaneo La Conserva, Murcia, Spain, as well as a Public art project for V/W, Autostadt, Wolfsburg, Germany. avaf has been featured in Art Forum, Frieze, Flash Art, L’Uomo Vogue, V Magazine, W Magazine, and is included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawing Collection. avaf is currently based in New York and Paris. avaf work courtesy Peres Projects Berlin/LA.