Friday January 8, 2016

"Torso" at ribordy contemporary, Geneva

Ribordy Contemporary is excited to present Torso, an exhibition of new paintings by New York based artist Erik Lindman.

The show’s title refers to an Auguste Rodin sculpture in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York – The Walking Man (L’homme qui marche) – that Lindman has spent many hours contemplating. The artist’s attraction to the work is two-fold. On the one hand Lindman is drawn to the fact that the sculpture is a conglomerate of parts from three failed works. On the other, he is compelled by the work’s affectual impact: the sculpture is at once direct and bodily, but also anonymous and abstract, due to the frontal orientation of this striding headless and armless figure.

Lindman’s new paintings resonate with these qualities of Rodin’s sculpture at the level of both process and result. Many of these works are the result of cutting up and rearranging certain of his unsuccessful paintings onto new supports. There, these fragments act as compositional devices that ignite and then direct the painterly activity that occurs on top of and around them (and which may even eventually partially or totally obscure them). This is an extension of Lindman’s existing practice of importing found materials to motivate his paintings’ compositions.

These dense layered accretions are thus in some ways much like his earlier ones, in the sense that they are still geologic, such that a careful investigation reveals some of the aggregative history of how they are made. Yet, when one notices how these new paintings more actively court figure/ground relationships, as opposed to the topographic foreground/background dynamic of earlier works, one begins to parse the differences established by this body of work. This is to say that Lindman’s paintings are now more explicitly anthropomorphic, depicting (abstract) bodies in space, as well as activating those of its viewers – as his paintings always have – bringing the artist’s existing formal vocabulary into a new register.

An imagined form can arise from the basic geometry of the human body, which is not their referent, but rather their test. This is why in Lindman’s paintings we can relate these differently sized canvases to heads, upright figures, and, yes, torsos – even to non-human forms, as the painting “Horse” demonstrates.

The show’s title, Torso, conveys this, as does the painting shown here of the same name. This is not to say that the painting “Torso” depicts this part of the human anatomy. Rather that the painting’s blocky central shape, and the roughly human dimensions of the canvas, make it so that the viewer cannot help but relate to the painting at the level of a frontal address, that blocky form echoing the viewer’s own musculature.

This is why we find Lindman varying the dimensions of his paintings so frequently. The artist has always worked in many sizes simultaneously, though he has often felt it appropriate to only exhibit groups of larger works together. Considering the working up of the earlier found surface paintings as conceptual, a bodily relation only entered at specific moments in the selection of materials, then the development, completion and judgment of the painting. To then imbue the bodily relation at the point of formal invention means that the works can now take it as their basis and foundation.

-Alex Bacon, New York

Tuesday November 24, 2015

30 / 130: Thirty Years of Books and Catalogs, etc. Bob Nickas at White Columns

This exhibition presents 130 publications that comprise the bibliography of critic and curator Bob Nickas, an essential figure in the New York art world of the past thirty years. He marks his 30th anniversary by emphasizing the importance of books, catalogs and publishing, of writing and documentation in an increasingly market-driven period. In commissioning a number of artist-designed posters for the show, he also reaffirms his love for printed matter, and for how ephemera allows ephemeral situations—exhibitions and events—to live on. For 30 / 130, posters by Anne Collier, Trisha Donnelly, Ryan Foerster, Wayne Gonzales, Louise Lawler, Amy O'Neill, Nikholis Planck and Dan Walsh will be exhibited in both unique and multiple copies, some made available as take-away or modestly priced prints.
For Nickas, books and catalogs also represent a democratic aspect to art. In addition to inscribing history within the lived texture of the present, they are relatively affordable, an alternate means of collecting art that deals with its meaning and its contextualization rather than its object status. Books and catalogs can circulate much more freely than works of art, allowing for the ideas within to be shared and distributed to a far greater extent. But Nickas is also himself a collector, and the show will incorporate art acquired over thirty years, whether as gifts, in trade or purchase. There will also be a number of works made especially for the occasion, including an installation by Lisa Beck, a wall painting by Gardar Eide Einarsson, and a mannequin sculpture by John Miller.
The publications in this show represent books written by Nickas, catalogs from the numerous exhibitions he's organized since 1984, catalogs and artist monographs to which he has made significant contributions, and self-published 'zines created in limited edition. Long involved with music, he will be showing albums released on his label, From The Nursery, including a new record produced to accompany a series by artist Kelley Walker, with cover artwork by Walker. The exhibition will include a 1989 edition of prints made collaboratively with Olivier Mosset, originally shown at Pat Hearn Gallery, and not seen in more than twenty-five years. Covers and page spreads from Index magazine, published by artist Peter Halley, and edited by Nickas between 1996 and 2000, will also be on view.
30 / 130 is accompanied by an Annotated Bibliography in which Nickas has written an entry for each of its 130 publications. Book-by-book, year-by-year, he relates his engagement with art over thirty years' time, acknowledging the project's biographical dimension as well as commenting on the moment in which we find ourselves today. As he remarks in the final entry for 30 / 130:
"A complete bibliography has the potential to tell not only the story of its author but of all the characters who come and go and inevitably reappear, the editors and designers behind-the-scenes, and the times in which the texts were written, how they serve to reflect the past on the present, and also of the publishing houses that issued them. Looking back on my bio / bibliography, certain artists appear over and again (in theater this is referred to as a company, and in the art world a rarity, since tastes change and allegiances with them), while the names of various publishing partners recur as well: Les Presses du Réel, JRP/Ringier, Phaidon, Karma Books, and White Columns."

Image: Slow Latch, 2015
Found Steel welded to Steel Panel, Paste Wax.

Wednesday March 18, 2015

"Blanks" at Almine Rech, Paris

Almine Rech Gallery is pleased to announce Blanks, the third exhibition by American artist Erik Lindman at the gallery- the artist’s second in its Paris space - from March 21 to April 22, 2015. The exhibition will be comprised of entirely new paintings.

"Over the past few years, I have been using found surfaces in my paintings. The found surfaces incorporated an objective correlative into the painting: a pre-made element from which to begin. In the studio, I would edit these surfaces through reshaping and orienting them on the canvas.

It was important to me that the added surfaces not have a physical dimension. I would integrate them into the picture plane through building up paint layers to the level of the found surfaces on the supporting canvas. Through this process, the marks and the shape of the found surface would read visually integrated, not dimensionally separate.

My interest in these elements was always painterly, not in the specificity of the surfaces. Painting over the found surfaces, their shapes and lines became guiding principles. The incidental marks on the surface brought forth in previous works were no longer present. Painting over the surfaces obscured their source and created a highly specific shape that exists only in the painting itself. The obscured surfaces made the resulting work directly engage with a language of painting instead of an appropriation of its vocabulary.

Embracing this language allowed for a freedom to create new paintings from proxies of the found surfaces. In this new body of work, I have traced the found surfaces directly onto paintings, transforming them into drawing elements. I have traced the found surfaces onto sized canvas that I have collaged onto new paintings. I have collaged multiple versions of the same form onto the same canvas. I had previously described the surfaces as anonymous, but now a better word is eidetic.

The new paintings frame spatial excerpts. And in the process of their creation, the paintings veer away from the surface to which they had originally referred. The original shape may just be a suggestion of its final manifestation. In its creation, each painting is at some point lost, dies, becomes new.”

Erik Lindman, 2014

Image: Erik Lindman, Untitled, 2014
Oil on Linen over Panel, 96 x 60 inches

Wednesday February 25, 2015

"The Painter of Modern Life" at Anton Kern, NY

The Painter of Modern Life, organized by Bob Nickas, will open at Anton Kern gallery on March 5th.
Image: Erik Lindman, Untitled, 2014
Oil on Canvas, 41x29 inches.

Saturday December 27, 2014

"The Shell" at Almine Rech, Paris

The Shell (Landscapes, Portraits & Shapes), a show by Eric Troncy, opens in Paris on January 10, 2015