Kevin Appel, Andy Cross, Benjamin Degen, James Melinat, Luisa Rabbia, Daniel Rich and Kara Tanaka
Organized by Mario Diacono
June 8 – July 29, 2011
Peter Blum is pleased to announce the exhibition LANY: Kevin Appel, Andy Cross, Benjamin Degen, James Melinat, Luisa Rabbia, Daniel Rich and Kara Tanaka at Peter Blum Chelsea, 526 West 29th Street, New York. An opening reception will be held on Wednesday, June 8th from 6 – 8 pm.
Organized by Mario Diacono, the exhibition explores the correlations of seven young artists currently working in Los Angeles and New York. As major cities in the United States, these two cultural capitals have historically contributed to the dialogue of generations of artists.
Evident in the practices of New York based artists, Luisa Rabbia, Benjamin Degen, Andy Cross and Daniel Rich is a focus on the evolution of drawing and painting as mediums. Instinctive in nature, Luisa Rabbia’s art displays an interest in the dialogue between the meditative practice of automatic drawing and rational construction. For LANY, she will present highly detailed drawings and sculpture recalling the faces of immigrants and people from different cultures that she has encountered in New York and abroad. Benjamin Degen combines an exploration of the academic principles of perspective and form with folk art traditions in two over life sized portraits that will be exhibited as a counterpoint to one another. Andy Cross references art history to produce works that are traditionally narrative in nature. Through the use of vibrant color and bold gestural brushstrokes, he creates emotive paintings that are layered with complex narrative structures. Daniel Rich translates photographs into paintings that question the iconographic role architecture has played in politics and its historical use as an icon for the propagation of certain sociopolitical and religious beliefs.
For the artists working in Los Angeles, universal questions relating to science, mathematics and religion play an important role. Influenced by Los Angeles’s modern architecture and design, Kevin Appel reduces architectural elements to their most primitive properties in his paintings. James Melinat, in his most recent body of work, investigates the relationship between traditional origami and the infinite depth of black holes. His folded sculptural works relate to the scientific development of computational origami and its ability to compress the maximum amount of information into the smallest possible area. Kara Tanaka is interested in the Buddhist, Jain and Hindu religions as they relate to the idea of the necessity of the destruction of the ego as one advances on the path towards ultimate enlightenment. For LANY, she has created two maps carved out of cowhide which illustrate both physical and mythical mountain systems.
Though loosely defined by their geographic locations, the artists in LANY seem, at first glance, to be contradictory in nature. Coming of age after the acceptance of pluralism and post-modernist thought, this new generation of artists, rather than sharing a singular approach, employs very different practices in their art making. However, it is these disparate ways of production that unify them. As expressed by the philanthropist August Heckscher, “A feeling for paradox allows seemingly dissimilar things to exist side by side, their very incongruity suggesting a kind of truth.”
Regular Hours: Tuesday – Friday, 10am – 6pm; Saturday, 11am – 6pm. Summer hours starting July 5th: Monday – Friday, 10am – 6pm.