M+B is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Sam Falls including painted pictures and sculpture. The exhibition will be on view from September 15 through October 27, 2012, with an opening reception on Saturday, September 15 from 6 to 8 pm.
I can’t imagine that what matters most in art at the moment is just one thing, because everything is pretty erratic and thinly spread. I guess there’s always social potential, economic investment, and then hopefully idealistic aesthetic development, which may be the closest thing to cultural value. So these are the elements I take into consideration when I’m working, when I decided to study art, to become an artist, and then to invest my entire life in art. Of these issues my tendency as an artist has been toward the aesthetic and material, but conceptually framed by time and representation. Photography has proven to offer a well of artistic issues worth investigating and attempting to resolve. Painting isn't so much the dead horse it’s being treated as, but one in a coma that must be woken up, rather than carried forward in a vegetative state. Sculpture is steady in its aesthetic exploration, but my interest is in catalyzing more material exploration engaged with photography and technical development while remaining in dialogue with its past. What’s interesting to me now is the task of seamlessly integrating photography into the artistic cannon, while simultaneously rejuvenating and inspiring painting and sculpture via a direct relationship with them.
My images investigate photography's potential as an art form while expanding on its capacity for representation. A continuation of my painted pictures that negate the single, isolated past moment and involve three stages of production: the photographic, the digital and the physical. With the fruit and tire works in this show, I am photographing an object, using the inherent colors of the backdrop to dictate the Photoshop work as well as the brush strokes, and implementing the object itself to paint on its own image. The question this raises, beyond a medium's ability to represent an object or idea, is a question of perception itself and how we relate today to photography and painting. What is a more honest representation of a pear? A photograph where the pear is three times larger than real life and flattened out to two dimensions? Or an actual imprint made from the fruit itself with paint where positive and negative space outlines the cross section of the fruit? When I look at these pieces, that question actually holds ground and is hard to answer—I’m used to seeing any image of anything at any size, but rarely do I see a rubbing or direct print of something on paper or canvas. That said, the painted prints all hold a high veracity, feel more “true” in a way in terms of representation, and make me feel somewhat distrustful of the photographic. It points out a sense of instinctual distrust I believe humans have for mass production—the uncanny valley.
The aluminum sculpture is powder coated with two different composites of pigment. Each piece is fully covered in a UV protected pigment, and then the inside is re-coated with a non-UV protected pigment. So, though each respective panel appears to be the same color on either side now, the sides facing inwards will all fade in the sun. The form that each sculpture takes dictates the shadows that fall on the inside of the sculpture and the gradient of sunlight is revealed over time, burned into the sculpture like a photograph. Though the image is seemingly abstract, it is the shape of the sculpture itself that is represented. The goal of these sculptures is to be permanently installed outdoors so not only do they become a representation of their form, but also the specific path of sunlight for the site in which they are ultimately installed. In contrast to most outdoor sculpture intended to defy the burden of time, these sculptures grow symbiotically with time and age, just as we do. Eventually the inside pigment will fully fade away and the coat of exterior pigment underneath that has been hidden will slowly begin to appear reversing the process—the most exposed parts will become saturated again and the composition will inverse until the sculpture is returned to its original all-over composition—you know, like birth and death.
- Sam Falls, 2012
Sam Falls (b. 1984, San Diego) received his BA from Reed College in 2007 and MFA from ICP-Bard in 2010. Falls is the 2010 recipient of the Tierney Fellowship, and his work has been exhibited in the US and abroad, including a solo exhibitions at Fotografiska (Stockholm), American Contemporary (NY), Printed Matter Inc. (NY), West Street Gallery (NY), Luce Gallery (Torino, Italy), to name just a few. He currently has four monographs published of his work: Val Verde (2011), Paint Paper Palms (2011), Visible Library (2011) and Color Dying Light (2009). Four more monographs are due in the upcoming year. Falls was listed as one of Modern Painters’ "100 Artists to Watch," chosen for ARTFORUM's "Best of 2011 - Critics' Pick" and named as one of the "Top 30 Under 30" for Forbes by Jeffrey Deitch. Falls currently lives and works in Los Angeles. This is Sam Falls second solo exhibition at M+B.