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Gandalf Gavan

Larissa Goldston Gallery
551 West 21st Street, 212-206-7887
May 18 - July 6, 2012
Reception: Friday, May 18, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Larissa Goldston Gallery is pleased to present Art, the third solo exhibition in New York of work by Gandalf Gaván. The exhibition will be on view from Friday, May 18 through Saturday, June 23, 2012. There will be an opening reception for the artist on May 18 from 6 to 8 pm.

The exhibition consists of two bodies of work – assemblages and tablets – that betray influences as diverse as John McCracken, Barnett Newman, Dan Flavin, cave painting and ancient artifacts. Although both series address Post-Minimalist concerns in differing ways, they each draw on ideas surrounding the origins of art and imply a dialogue between painting, sculpture and architecture. The assemblages utilize the visual language of Minimalism, but reveal the facture of the artist’s hand. Similarly, the cast aluminum tablets address the history of writing and drawing as well as translation and transcription, yet embrace the simulacral nature of the object itself.

Created in the artist’s studio in Oaxaca, Mexico, the large scale canvases incorporated in the assemblages were made in collaboration with local artisans from Teotitlån del Valle, a small village just East of Oaxaca known for its textiles, using traditional Mexican techniques. The locals treated the canvases with gypsum, then lime tinted with earth pigments, using nopal (cactus) juice to bind the medium. As a final step, Gaván burnished the surface of the works using plastic bags. Once completed he incorporated elements of neon, glass, and nylon rope creating vibrant and dynamic sculptures that toy with light and perception. The matte, absorptive nature of the paintings juxtaposed with highly reflective surfaces of glass and mirror evoke architectural structures, referencing both Zapotec temples and contemporary urban landscapes.

Inspired by cave paintings and carved tablets that Gaván saw while in Mexico, the “tablets” are an extension of his paintings on Styrofoam. The chemical reaction between the paint and Styrofoam erodes the surface, creating a bas relief which is then cast in molten aluminum—preserving and transforming these otherwise ephemeral works.

Gandalf Gaván was born in Berlin, Germany in 1975. He received his BFA from Bard College in 1998, and his MFA from Columbia University in 2005. He has taught printmaking and sculpture at Columbia University and in 2005 received the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant. Gaván has exhibited at museums and galleries around the world, including Spain, Germany, Austria, Peru, Bolivia and Mexico. He has had solo exhibitions at the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo Oaxaca, P.S. 1, Long Island City and the Cornell Fine Arts Musuem, Winter Park, FL. His exhibitions have been reviewed in The New York Times, Miami Herald, Orlando Sentinel, PIN-UP, and Art In America.

For more information, please contact the gallery at 212-206-7887, email at [email protected], or visit
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