Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery is pleased to present Belief & Understanding, works by Lynda Benglis, Martin Creed, John Giorno, Josh Kolbo, Denise Kupferschmidt, Joshua Smith and Anicka Yi.
Belief & Understanding addresses an earnest approach to making art. Moments of transcendence found in materials or ideas infuse and inflect all of the works, demonstrating that art may be a vehicle for assessing concepts and intuitions that reside outside the self, logic and even language, providing a conduit for admitting and realizing belief.
A constant negotiation of raw matter and form is at play throughout each of the artists’ works, allowing the simple to become magic by invocation and personal spirituality or mythology. Joyful inspiration and a playful vision of one’s self in relation to the natural and created world inspire Denise Kupferschmidt’s painting, drawing and sculpture. Restless, brave, and ever evolving, Lynda Benglis carries her ideas to logical extremes through sheer bravado, humor and passion, proving the blurred boundaries of romance and criticism throughout her enormously influential practice. John Giorno’s text paintings and drawings capture flashes of poetic inspiration, often imbued with multiple meanings, or alluding to the experiences we find most difficult to articulate.
Seeking to make order of a chaotic world, Martin Creed rearranges the rules of art and role of the artist, describing the work as himself “saying hello” to people and asking them to like him. A similar questioning of the accessibility or approachability of art arises in the dramatic, ebullient monochrome canvases of Joshua Smith. Fascinated by sensorial perception and viewing the body as a transformative site, Anicka Yi employs coded and volatile materials such as scent, sound, impulse and memory to foster a more physically dynamic encounter with art. Finally, Josh Kolbo’s densely layered cascading photographs overflow with content, memory, and personal resonance, breathing with a physical and emotional presence.
These works attest to the notion that abstract ideas, the intangible and unknown may be confronted if given material form, when offered a body and invited to posses it. As a whole, the artists take a direct position opposite cynicism and calculation, driven by their sincere investment and curiosity in the potential of material to communicate that which formal language cannot.