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Charlie James Gallery is delig hted to present Eyes Words\, our second solo show of photographs and collag e by LA artist Richard Kraft. A visual work in three movements\, Eyes Words consists of two iterations of Kraft’s Tube Portraits—one a series of large -scale photographic prints\, the other a collection of one hundred miniatur e photographic images. These two rooms are separated by an installation of collages and drawings that are composed entirely of language. Separately an d in relationship to one another\, these three elements probe the tensions between the known and the unknown\, meaning and the inscrutable while creat ing a different kind of space of the imagination and the interior mind.

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Inspired by Walker Evans’s Many Are Call ed\, the Tube Portraits are black-and-white photographic stills from video taken surreptitiously of travelers on the London Underground. Kraft selects and re-photographs split-second moments during which each subject seems to reveal something private and naked in this very public space. He shifts co lor to black-and-white\, then crops tightly on each face\, almost eliminati ng the physical world in which they exist. Many of the faces simply float i n a deep void of black or a haze of gray\, which upon closer inspection sta rt to dissolve into interlaced lines – the face as screen.

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In the first room seven large Tube Portraits are pres ented\, each nearly four feet high. Creating a cathedral-like atmosphere\, the portraits convey a kind of emotional infinity\, each seemingly a window into the complexity of a human life. The presentation in the main gallery is in explicit contrast to the basement installation\, where a grid of one hundred tiny tube portraits will be presented. From a distance this piece i s an abstract composition of grays and blacks against a white background\, but closer inspection reveals multiple series of images (some depicting the same subjects as in the upstairs gallery) each printed in the form of a po stage stamp from an undeclared country.

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Between these two installations the rear gallery installation serves as an interlude of sorts. In this chamber Kraft presents a number of monumenta l text pieces\, one of which\, entitled Ulysses\, is a 5 x 8 foot collage i n which every page of James Joyce’s text has been cut up and reassembled. I n two twinned large scale drawings Kraft reinterprets Franz Kafka’s famous Letter to his Father. Just as the “Tube Portraits” radiate the tension betw een what we can see with our own eyes\, what we may never know\, and what w e might possibly imagine\, these works—though composed only of words—ask th e viewer to ponder the space between meaning and its absence.

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Richard Kraft grew up in London and lives in Los A ngeles. Kraft earned his BFA at Parsons School of Design and his MFA at the University of Michigan. His work has been exhibited in galleries such as L .A. Louver\, Rosamund Felsen\, Greg Kucera and non-profit spaces including the Portland Art Museum\, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art\, the Photograp hic Resource Center\, among others. He has frequently used public spaces fo r installations with work appearing on the sides of buses and in library ai sles\, as well for performances such as at Oxford Circus in London and alon g the full length of Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. In the summer of 20 09\, he conducted a series of performances at Speakers’ Corner in London an d at several rural sites in Scotland and Northern England. Most recently he has embarked on a series of walking performances (for anywhere from one to one hundred walkers). Walks have already taken place in cities such as Los Angeles and Las Vegas\, and remote locations such as Death Valley and the Wendover Airfield in Wendover\, Utah. Siglio Press will publish an artist’s monograph in 2013. Siglio has already released six multiples (100 Soldiers for a Revolution\, Untitled: Kapitan Kloss\, Two Tube Portraits\, R.S. A L ibrary Portrait\, Conturbatio: A Selection and Study for Ulysses/Let’s Look Around ). Kraft has a solo exhibition in the fall of 2013 at the Laguna Ar t Museum.

DTEND:20130209 DTSTAMP:20140421T032759 DTSTART:20121215 GEO:34.066589;-118.2382615 LOCATION:Charlie James Gallery\,969 Chung King Road \nLos Angeles\, CA 9001 2 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Eyes Words \, Richard Kraft UID:248699 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:20121215T220000 DTSTAMP:20140421T032759 DTSTART:20121215T190000 GEO:34.066589;-118.2382615 LOCATION:Charlie James Gallery\,969 Chung King Road \nLos Angeles\, CA 9001 2 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Eyes Words \, Richard Kraft UID:248700 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR