Dave Miko. Courtesy of Wallspace Gallery.
619 West 27th Street, ground floor, 212-594-9478
February 23 - March 29, 2008
Reception: Saturday, February 23, 6 - 8 PM
Wallspace is pleased to present our second solo show with New York-based artist Dave Miko. For this exhibition, Miko continues his exploration of the conceptual and material histories of painting, commingling traditionally antagonistic styles and using an idiosyncratic approach to process and installation.
The exhibition will include a selection of text-based paintings whose content runs the gamut from diaristic to schematic. Using a combination of verbal and visual punning (look past the textual plasticity at how the words are painted and you’ll notice a winking sleight-of-hand), Miko’s words and materials work together to disrupt the other’s presumptive functions of
transparency: Words fade in and out, obscuring distinctions between background and foreground; the letters themselves are mannered and irregular; and the use of color, value and gradation upends the text’s legibility. At the same time, the words’ meanings are slippery, and seem to engage in a play with the paintings’ material, self-reflexive propositions. While certainly analytical and conscious of their histories and predecessors, Miko’s works are never diagrammatic, but rather place a premium on improvisation and
mutability, revealing a practice that flows easily among influences and styles as wide-ranging as Mel Bochner’s Thesaurus paintings, the schematic structure of Jess’ Translations, the work of Paul Thek, Forrest Bess and Alphonse Allais, as well Trompe l’oeil, geometric abstraction, and Albers’ color studies.
Also on view will be two of Miko’s signature Archives, furniture designed to house, as well as create an historical and conceptual framework for, his 8 × 8 inch paintings, a format he has used consistently since 2001. Though meticulously crafted (and vaguely anthropomorphic), the Archives are primarily functional, existing to parse and celebrate a broad range of work
by creating a snapshot of its diversity over time.
Arrayed throughout the gallery will be a selection of “Lost Paintings,” a series of so-called failed paintings that Miko has repurposed into quasifunctional furniture. The paintings are sanded down and inked over using a purple dye most often associated with cash register receipt printing. Serial, modular and potentially useful, the “Lost Paintings” reinsert themselves into the commercial flow, gaining a use-value notably absent from their previous
home on a forgotten studio shelf.
A wall-size, site-specific work will also be installed on the rear wall of gallery. A material and conceptual expansion of Miko’s “Empty Rooms,” “Empty Building” asserts itself as both an architectural intervention and optical game through subtle manipulation of scale, perspective and color.