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Here We Aren’t, So Quickly

Thierry Goldberg Projects
5 Rivington Street, 212-967-2260
East Village / Lower East Side
July 15 - September 5, 2010
Reception: Thursday, July 15, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Thierry Goldberg Projects is pleased to present, Krisjanis Kaktins-gorsline, Guy Ben-Ari, and Hiroyuki Nakamura in Here we Aren’t, So Quickly. The title of the show, taken from a Jonathan Safran Foer story, points to questions of authenticity and subjectivity explored in the work of all three artists. Whether through figuration or abstraction, each artist plays with the limits of representation in an attempt to knock up against something more real, and perhaps more permanent.

While the work of KRISJANIS KATKINS-GORSLINE is reminiscent of figurative painting, many of his subjects seem dislocated or pulled apart by abstraction. While something of the recognizable remains, be it hands, hair, or shoes, the figure is never complete, and often seems to be disintegrating into drapery, splashes of color, shape and line. The images bring to mind painters ranging from Michaelangelo to Magritte to R.J. Kitaj, so that style itself becomes a way to expose the subject’s lack of cohesion, and painting exists somewhere between a nostalgic echo of the old and a celebratory eruption of the new. These dark, humorous, dynamic paintings lend themselves to continual re-examination, where the image at once alludes to something more than itself, only to revert back to flat applications of mere paint. The figure is complicated by a myriad of implications, at once invoked and erased, as much mutilated as it is liberated. A feeling of absence and emptiness resounds against the recognizable, with subjects on the verge of departure, leaving a flurry of paint and abstracted silhouettes in their wake.

In the work of HIROYUKI NAKAMURA, the iconic images of the American West are distorted and re-presented on the surreal dreamscapes of his canvases. With his neat brushwork and attention to detail, Nakamura conjures vivid caricatures of cowboys, farmers and rodeos. The paintings depict scenes whose elements are arranged almost like a stage set or a tableau, a quality heightened by the florescent light that seems to illuminate the work. It was only recently, in 2004, that the artist turned solely to painting, leaving photography as a medium behind, and the symbolic quality of the work suggests a preoccupation precisely with what photography can’t capture. Here painting delves into the fantastically subjective, with all the adopted myths and images that come with it, delivering us into a strange, hilarious, whacky world inhabited by grotesque figures and charged objects, all of which seem to piece together a story, but one whose parts don’t quite fit together; open-ended like an unfinished puzzle.

Not unlike Nakamura, the role that images play in relation to subjectivity is a prevalent theme in the work of is GUY BEN-ARI. With the immediacy and deceiving simplicity his comic-book style provides, his paintings are constituted by other paintings. In this sense the work is reminiscent of Galerie de Vues de la Rome Moderne by Panin, and yet here the images depict a myriad of other images, not for the purpose of conveying the historical, but so as to inform the interior world of the individual. The very act of viewing comes into focus, so that the onlooker regards him or herself under the pretext of, or in the context of, looking at art. As a result painting becomes less of an escape into another world, and more a hall of mirrors, where the act of perception is self-perpetuating, perhaps solipsistic. This may again seem claustrophobic, but what it ultimately suggests is that if images are rampant and never-ending in terms of their reiteration, then they are continually there to be reinterpreted, recreated. While such multiplicity may seem to endanger a sense of certainty, it also allows for the free-play of the imagination.

GUY BEN-ARI b. 1984 in Israel and currently lives and works in New York. He is an MFA candidate at Columbia University. Most recently he has had group shows at 6-8 Months Project Space; Miriam & Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, New York; and at P8 Gallery, Minshar Gallery, Dollinger Gallery, Bank Hapoalim building, and Leumi Building, Tel-Aviv, Israel.

HIROYUKI NAKAMURA b. 1977 in Japan and currently lives and works in Brooklyn. He received his MFA from School of Visual Arts. His recent solo exhibitions were at Thierry Goldberg Projects and Mehr Gallery, New York, and at Gilfélagid, Iceland. He has had recent group shows at Gallerí Ágúst in Reykjavík; Vagabond Gallery, Thierry Goldberg Projects, PS122 Gallery, Japan Society, New York; and Frey Norris Gallery, San Francisco.

KRISJANIS KATKINS-GORSLINE b. 1980 in Canada and currently lives and works in Winnipeg. He received his MFA from Columbia University. He has recently exhibited with Scope Basel, Switzerland; Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects, Toronto; Heather James Fine Art, Palm Springs California; Galerie Simon Blais, Montreal; and at Deitch Studios, New York.
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