Leo Koenig Inc. Projekte is delighted to present The Full Story, a selection of paintings and works on paper by Debora Warner. Expanding upon her previous practice of incorporating text in some form, the artist has utilized a more direct approach with her most recent series The Declarations and The Swadesh Paintings.
The new work takes it’s content from a list of basic vocabulary words that was created by linguist Morris Swadesh in the 30’s and 40’s. This list consists of 207 words that exist in all languages. These most commonly used words provide insight into our preoccupations with survival, the body, and social systems. The list currently has ambiguous relevance in academia, so Warner provides a new context for this piece of anthropological research.
Warner has continuously incorporated forms of text into her work such as; exploring text as audio in the experimental audio group, SONTEXT-sound/text (1999-2001); then as sculpture, in the rose bouquets largely inspired by poetry (specifically Rilke?s idea of ?thing-poems?), as three dimensional representations of longing, lust, cruelty, and obsession. With The Swadesh Paintings, the artist focuses her vision on concrete language, words relating to our physical existence, and rooted to our perception and our senses.
However rooted in physicality the words may be, Warner?s fluid and spontaneous application of paint onto the canvases creates a divergent template for the weight of the words laid upon them. The words convey a fairly confrontational stance, while the materials underpin them with a sophisticated, gestural monochrome. By isolating the words while animating them, Warner allows us to see ourselves as a highly complex species, however very much connected. At the same time, the artist?s hand is ever the reminder that our motivations may be much more complex than basic sensory reflex.
Debora Warner created the surround-sound audio piece “Flutter” (2000) which was exhibited at the Frankfurt Kunsthalle Schirn in 2002. She has been included in exhibitions at the Frac Bourgogne (Dijon) and the Musee de Elysee (Lausanne). Ms. Warner has had solo exhibitions at Akira Ikeda Gallery in both Germany and Japan as well as at I-20 in New York City. More recently she has participated in numerous group shows at venues such as The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Gallery 400 in Chicago, the LTHM Gallery in New York, and Charest Weinberg in Miami.