In her first solo exhibition at Small A Projects, Lisa Williamson presents an almost stuttering introduction – a working series of signs and entry points. The title of the exhibition, Whisper Chipper, is derived from a brand of wood mulcher, a machine that takes large sections of lumber and breaks it down into small, irregular pieces. In this series of paintings and works on paper, the artist circles around both the productive function of this object and the textual connotation of the phrase “whisper chipper” – almost incoherently so.
A central focus in this work is the act of demarcation, of setting forth certain formal outlines as one attempt to find a more tangible, concentrated space to work within and communicate from. In some respects, her process is more akin to a literary style, albeit rambling. If demarcation is central, the objects and images produced might best be understood as markers of content, chapter headings, numerical footnotes, parts of a textual outline or framework imposed by the writer/artist to convey content and to produce another substantial route to meaning.
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I. Whisper Chipper – A Productive Object
Acting as a stand-in for the artist, perhaps her object-equivalent, this device breaks apart hulking loads of material into more tangible, scaled-down parts.
II. Whisper Chipper – An Optimist
The phrase itself, Whisper Chipper, connotes a subtle form of optimism – one that quietly roots (!) for the bizarre and inexplicable. Together these words imply a hermetic desire to channel the weirdo and locate the native perversity and expressive potential within art.
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Williamson traverses subjects through the deliberate making of a fractured, non-hierarchical logic system. One work buttressed against the next, an askew line is drawn out to reveal the cerebral. What remains evident is the desire to champion thinking-making and then let go, or at least move on.
Lisa Williamson was recently been included in a 3-person exhibition at ACME Fine Art in Los Angeles and in a group exhibition curated by Barry Schwabsky at the CCA Andratx in Mallorca. She completed her MFA at the Roski School of Fine Arts at USC and was included in “The Hollywood Biennale” curated by Mateo Tannat and reviewed by Michael Ned Holte in the April issue of ARTFORUM. Williamson lives and works in Los Angeles.
Nick Kramer’s installation confounds parts and wholes, as well as the terms of assembly, placement and even what is and is not part of the piece to allow for other places and things, not in this room, to be present. Consisting of several small metal sculptures (reminiscent of miniature, monumental modernist works and architectural ornaments), Kramer’s installation also elicits questions about monumentality and site specificity as artistic strategies.
Mobilin X is the name of a vacated mobile phone store on Kramer’s street in Los Angeles. Albeit an ominous and anomalous fixture from a street more than 3,000 miles away from the site of the exhibition, the association is intended to make the piece feel familiar, a part of the neighborhood. As a title it instigates a process of associating the work with multiple locations at once.
Kramer is also interested in the processes of rearranging, reminding and remembering. Color and finishes are used as a means of forming associations between things near and far that share certain qualities like a particular shade of green or, in this case a specific metallic coating. In this strategy ideas and associations are cued to chromatic or visual codes —— the work thus function as a talisman to get from here to there, in another way.
This mental exercise in rearrangement is mirrored by the very practical possibility of reorganizing the elements of the installation. Each pile is three pieces, welded and made into two parts. The two parts that make up each pile up are intended to remain together and in the same orientation to one another. The other elements of the piece are dependent on the space of the installation, wherever that may be. In an already carpeted room, or a room with particular flooring, carpet need not be added. Likewise, depending on the existing fixtures and wall ornament other elements may be excluded or reconfigured.
Nick Kramer is a Los Angeles-based artist and recently received an MFA from the Roski School of Fine Art at USC. His work has been included in group exhibitions at venues including CANADA, New York and Kreiling and Dodd, Los Angeles. Most recently Kramer was included in “The Hollywood Biennale,” at Pauline recently reviewed by Michael Ned Holte in ARTFORUM.