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Los Angeles
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Scott Short
Christopher Grimes Gallery
916 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401
February 29, 2008 - April 5, 2008


A Look at Scott Short
by Ed Schad


Scott Short's paintings are copies of images he produces on a Xerox machine by obsessively sending a single sheet of paper through light and ink. Imperfections collect and spread randomly across the surface of the paper, and Short then zeros in on particular visual moments that he wants to paint on canvas. Using projection, he painstakingly reproduces the machine-made image in black and white, claiming it as his own, investing it with his work and time. The resulting paintings are sure of themselves, imposing, and full of wonderful abstract passages that are elegant to view.

Short's method rips open a veritable theoretical hornet's nest of recent art history and criticism. Authenticity, aura, mechanical reproduction, the author, the debates between photography and painting, the theories of minimalism, conceptualist game-playing, Walter Benjamin - it is all there if you are willing to sort it out. What is ultimately at stake for Short, I think, is the use of found abstraction and his willingness to reproduce, by hand, the imperfections of the machine. Short's paintings are thus representational in a strange way--representation creeping in through abstraction's back door. His obvious kinsman, of course, is Christopher Wool, and in many ways, he shares many of Wool's concerns and strengths.

 

- Ed Schad

(*Images, from top to bottom:  Scott Short, Scott Short, February 29 - April 5, 2008; Christopher Grimes Gallery, Untitled (blue) detail, 2007, oil on canvas, 66 x 49 in, Courtesy Christopher Grimes, Gallery. Scott Short, Scott Short, February 29 - April 5, 2008; Christopher Grimes Gallery, Untitled (red), 2000, oil on canvas, 72 x 66 in, Courtesy Christopher Grimes, Gallery. Scott Short, Scott Short, February 29 - April 5, 2008; Christopher Grimes Gallery, Untitled (orange) detail, 2008, oil on canvas, 89 x 66 in, Courtesy Christopher Grimes, Gallery.)



Posted by Ed Schad on 3/24/08

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