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Frank Magnotta, Grand Optimist

Derek Eller Gallery
615 West 27th Street, 212-206-6411
May 21 - June 27, 2009
Reception: Thursday, May 21, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Derek Eller Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new drawings by Frank Magnotta.

Creating imaginary architecture comprised of disparate elements from contemporary culture and personal experience, Frank Magnotta makes monumental graphite drawings. For this exhibition, Magnotta has mined several sources for his structures. For example, “Century 21” and “Petfood Angels” are inspired by the newspaper USA Today from which Magnotta gathered an array of logos, graphics, and headlines and then reconstituted them into new structural frameworks. As such, these works provide a layered portrait of our information-saturated society which, like an amusement park fun house, is at once, seductively thrilling and horrific to behold. In another, more autobiographical piece entitled “Grand Optimist,” Magnotta begins with a logo which was ubiquitous in his hometown of Grand Rapids, MI. This emblem, an abstract take on the city’s iconic public sculpture by Alexander Calder, becomes the foundation for Magnotta’s architecture. Filling out the composition with other recognizable signs and symbols from his childhood, Magnotta presents the quintessential semiotic structure, infused with both personal meaning and that which is universally resonant.

Frank Magnotta lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He has had solo exhibitions at Cohan and Leslie, NY, and his drawings have been featured in group exhibitions at museums throughout the United States. This will be his first solo show at the gallery.

North Room: Jeff Shore and Jon Fisher

Texas-based collaborative artists Jeff Shore and Jon Fisher present a new site-specific multi-media installation. Constructed from wood, wires, lights, and motors, this piece includes seven mechanized cameras filming self-contained miniature film sets. The sound components are created through an automated string instrument and a computer which writes algorithmic compositions in real time. Complex, poetic, and captivating, Shore and Fisher’s work explores the relationship between cinema and music, as well as commenting on human interaction with new technologies.

Jeff Shore and Jon Fisher’s work is currently featured at Western Bridge in Seattle. Their large-scale installation Reel to Reel recently traveled to The Kemper Museum, Kansas City, and The Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC. It will open at The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art later this year.
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