Curated by Calvin Marcus and Donald Morgan
May 14 - June 18, 2016
Opening reception Saturday May 14, 6-9 PM
An exhibition of works on paper featuring Harold Ancart, Alex Becerra, Sara Clendening, Mari Eastman, Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Ravi Jackson, Calvin Marcus, Thomas McDonell, Donald Morgan, Rebecca Morris, Ruby Neri, Scott Reeder, Patrick Rock, Anna Rosen, and Amy Yao.
I, who cut off my sorrows
like a woodcutter,
should spend my life in the mountains.
Why do I still long
For the floating world?
—Akazome Emon from Women Poets of Japan by Kenneth Koch and Ikuko Atsumi
The artists in this Spring exhibition are all experts at romping over the prairie lands with delicacy and finesse, despite their burly hooves and meaty ways. They’re those exquisite bison who somehow don’t trample the coneflowers and lupines. That is not to say they are part of a herd. Rather that they make it look easy even though it is extremely hard. The more tossed off this work appears at first glance, the more ponderous it becomes. Casual perfection. Heavy duty intoxication may occur when looking at these works on paper because this crew viscerally comprehends that slippery gradient between gloss and rough trade. What appears to be ordered, coded, alchemical, and symbolic is extra good medicine. And what appears to be slapdash, gestural, improvisational, washy, or unsystematic is totally pitch-shifted to elevated power status because apparently we’re still living in some nightmarish Wild West. IE We’re up against Trump and Prince just died so maybe the talismanic image has to be lighter, messier, sunnier, more surreal, more abstract, and more reckless than the average onerous homeopathic goop that a monster would get stuck and melted in. Regular violently pithy gems, whether they compile logic or revolt against it, worked before but lately are no match for potential hell on earth. These works have a busted kind of authority that just might throw enough shade on the jokers to elicit retreat.
The pieces vary radically but showcase fierce levels of craft and share just the right blend of insolence and reverence. Formal; patterned; abstract; representative; impressionistic; blobby; smooth; evil; cryptic; tripped out; ambient; strong; laconic; and fractured, but never complacent.
In this shared spirit of precipitous attention, I’ve made a sentence collage from my forthcoming story collection, because even text is a thing made of parts.
The neighborhood crack house was a delightful painted lady, a three-story pink Victorian featuring hi-gloss mauve paint on its porch gingerbread, the turreted top-level round room, and guesthouse.
Each noodle in a big, hot bowl of noodles has its own story.
When you jumped, it was not because you wanted to kill yourself.
As I descend the wooden railroad-tie staircase down to the blazing hot cove through the bladderpod and sumac shrubs, my breasts disappeared.
One two three, one two three, the melancholic rhythm takes effect as I dream of an Italian sandwich, salami layered inside a bread log.
When she is monthly (during her menstrual cycle) forced to leave her forest property for vittles and sundry domestic & personal supplies, she walks to town on an immaculately chipped footpath (of her own making) in her mighty steel-toed brown Danners, admiringly inhaling the hallmark aromas her labor produces: muscular spices overlaid with sharp fresh citrus tones.
I’m not proud to admit that I used to drive friends over to Phil Spector’s house to gawk at the murder palace.
Get to the heart of things, don’t wait. Give as much love away as you can, you will lose a lot in this life and things will suck most of the time but once in awhile that pirate booty rains down upon you and you can party to Prince’s Dirty Mind all night and make up for all the sad times.
Trinie Dalton has published six books that undulate between prose and visual art, most recently Baby Geisha (Two Dollar Radio). Dalton also writes for artists’ book projects and monographs, most recently for David Altmejd (Damiani), You Who Read Me Will Forever Be My Friends: Dorothy Iannone (Siglio), Laura Owens (Rizzoli), and Abstract Video: The Moving Image in Contemporary Video Art (UC Press). She teaches at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Find her at Sweettomb.com.
Calvin Marcus (b. 1988, San Francisco) was recently the subject of solo exhibitions at Peephole, Milan (2015); C L E A R I N G, New York (2015); Chin’s Push, Los Angeles, (2014); and Public Fiction, Los Angeles (2014). His work has been featured in group exhibitions internationally including Repainting the Image After Abstraction, White Cube, London (2015); Le Musée Imaginaire, Lefebvre & Fils, Paris (2015); and Works on Paper, Greene Naftali, New York (2015). Marcus lives and works in Los Angeles. He is represented by David Kordansky.
Donald Morgan (b. 1969, Cottage Grove, OR) has recently had solo exhibitions at Soo Visual Arts Center, Minneapolis; Fourteen30 Contemporary, Portland; and Marylhurst Art Gym, Portland. Group shows include the Portland2016 Biennial, curated by Michelle Grabner; Traywick Contemporary, San Francisco; White Columns, New York; Gavin Brown’s Enterprise,New York; Roberts & Tilton, Los Angles; International Art Objects; Los Angeles; Karma International, Zurich; and the Palace of Fine Art; Cairo. Morgan lives and works in Eugene, Oregon and is a member of Ditch Projects. He is represented by Fourteen30 Contemporary.
Jessica Jackson Hutchins