In his second solo exhibition at Cherry and Martin, Erik Frydenborg develops a sustained examination of a single, found scholastic illustration. Through a series of dissections, alterations, and physical reconstructions of the original image, Frydenborg merges elements of collage, sculpture, display architecture, and a “timeline” of taxonomic wall reliefs, constructing a chimerical museum environment. In an elliptical blending of analysis and fiction, the objects on view are presented as historical artifacts from the obsolescent work of a vaguely described, possibly delusional academic-- likely discredited in his methods, and separated by an irretrievable distance from our own era.
In its staging of these ersatz specimens, Dr. (illegible) traces a quixotic combination of morphologic diagnosis with the lyrical composition of abstract parts. The exhibition’s central illustration—a once discernable machine surgically reduced to an illogical hull and its extracted organs— is recreated as a wooden model and a set of colored plastic morphemes. These molded symbols are incorporated into an ordered sequence of linear display, where their repetition and chromatic coding suggest the transcription of a musical score, an archaeological catalog, or a hieroglyphic system of unknown purpose.
Conceived as a notional sketch of an apocryphal atmosphere, Dr. (illegible) searches for new structures and cadences that might be gleaned from disused, apparently defunct information. Frydenborg explores a tension between organized presentation and redacted instruction-- modulating a semblance of informative display that is missing its explanatory text, and employing the subsequent cipher as an instrument unto itself. In his allusion to the indistinct namesake of the exhibition, Frydenborg invokes the figure of the doctor both as self-parody, as a caricature of moldering patriarchy, and as a paean to the hyperbolic character of the lost polymath.
Erik Frydenborg received his BFA from the Maryland Institute, College of Art and his MFA from the University of Southern California. His work has been reviewed in such publications as Artforum, Artweek and the Los Angeles Times. Frydenborg is currently the subject of a solo exhibition at The Suburban (Chicago, IL); and his work has recently appeared in On Forgery: Is One Thing Better Than Another? at LA><ART (Los Angeles); They Have Not the Art to Argue With Pictures at Cherry at Martin (Los Angeles); and Touchy Feely at Human Resources Los Angeles. Frydenborg lives and works in Los Angeles.