Wharton + Espinosa is pleased to announce an exhibition of 3 Los Angeles-based artists: Alice Könitz, Nicolau Vergueiro, and Tyler Vlahovich. All three have been active participants in the visual dialog of our city for more than a decade and have extensively exhibited both locally and internationally. This will be their first show at Wharton + Espinosa.
The idea of potential is a primary binding element in Alice Könitz's artistic production. Her object’s behavior often lingers in close proximity to that of a placebo; but their self-sufficient posture never entirely allows them to be pinned down quite that easily. Könitz is known for her use of impermanent materials in constructions that appear structurally sound but are in reality just the opposite. These dichotomous objects employ the innate characteristics of non-structural craft materials, in conjunction with human scale and actual proportion, to induce an incongruous perception based on the viewer’s experiential familiarity with objects and materials.
Könitz says: “Sometimes the materials stand in for other materials, but since the objects I’m making are completely invented, it’s hard to say what these materials would be.” If Könitz objects are something akin to a full-scale 1:1 proportional model of a hypothetical or imagined object, how then do we negotiate a miniature scale model of that? A model of a model -- a potential potential? Könitz’s presentation at Wharton + Espinosa will include twenty-two maquettes, most of which have manifested as her larger sculptures or installations, while some only exist in this intimate size. These works will be seen for the first time outside of her studio and represent 15 years of her creative process.
Alice Könitz (born in Essen-Werden, Germany) has presented her work in numerous exhibitions including The 2008 Whitney Biennial (Whitney Museum of American Art, NY); The 2008 California Biennial (Joshua Tree/Orange County Museum of Art); and International Paper (UCLA Hammer Museum, LA). She has held solo exhibitions at Susanne Vielmetter Projects, Los Angeles and Berlin, The University Art Museum, CSU Long Beach; LA><Art; Hudson Franklin, New York; Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions and Kunstverein Norden, Germany. Her work has been reviewed in Artforum, Frieze, Flash Art, Sculpture magazine, Art and Text, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and other magazines and newspapers. She is featured in the catalog The Shape of Things to Come: New Sculpture published by the Saatchi Gallery, London.
Nicolau Vergueiro’s work distills an expansive range of social and cultural influences; infusing them into seemingly disparate materials sourced from fashion, music, design, pop culture, and art history. The effect is of an uneasy familiarity or subconscious-level form of recognition.
Vergueiro’s new work situates charged imagery in an uncomfortable relationship with the decorative. He transfers news clippings rife with imagery of conflict, war, and struggle onto fleshy strips of poured latex. The symptoms of the technical process cause dilution and abstraction of the original media. The result renders embedded content illegible, distorting it to pattern or enigmatic visual noise.
The ink-stained latex is then draped onto cast aluminum armatures so that the object teeters somewhere between a ceremonial banner and a curing animal hide. Vergueiro positions polemical elements side by side: soft and hard, high and low, hand made and industrial, modern and primitive, masculine and feminine - all engaging to create a fertile destabilized terrain.
Born in New York and raised in Brazil, Nicolau Vergueiro received his MFA in 2002 from CalArts and his BA from UCLA in 2000. Vergueiro has had solo exhibitions at David Kordansky Gallery in Los Angeles, Galerie Nathalie Obadia in Paris, The Pasadena Museum of California Art, and at the Aspen Museum of Art. His work has been included in group exhibitions at the Orange County Museum of Art, David Zwirner Gallery, NY, Hiromi Yoshii Gallery, Tokyo, and Museu de Arte Moderna da Bahia, Brazil. Reviews and articles of Vergueiro’s work have appeared in Artforum, Art in America, Los Angeles Times, Frieze, and A Folha de São Paulo, and are in the collections of MoMA, NY, the Rubell Family Collection/Contemporary Arts Foundation and the Museu de Arte Moderna da Bahia in Brazil, among other international private and public collections.
In 2012 Vergueiro realized a commissioned 90-minute digital video as part of a musical presentation at Carnegie Hall in New York; and in 2013 he will realize two collaborative projects with Norwegian artist Marte Eknaes, granted by the Office for Contemporary Art Norway. In September 2013 Nicolau Vergueiro will have his first solo exhibition at Wharton & Espinosa.
Tyler Vlahovich combines painterly mark making with forms that anachronistically resuscitate Meso-American hieroglyphs, Chinese wall murals, and homespun signage. His “Strata” series refocuses his previous relationship to painting, redirecting it towards a language of forms where each component dictates what follows. Vlahovich’s works are created using a left to right, top to bottom writing system. This calligraphic technique integrates quirky forms and negative space to break up the pictorial plane into cell-like compositions. Biomorphic data becomes idiom as every brushstroke and ink drop shifts between idea and word. Vlahovich states, “My specific interest with painting is to describe the flux of perception within the shifting codes of narrative. To keep perception from being fixed allows the image to expand in subconscious and tangential ways. It’s about the satisfaction of observing.”
Originally from Tacoma, Washington, Tyler Vlahovich’s solo exhibitions include Feature Inc. NY, John Tevis Gallery, Paris; and Mary Goldman, LA. His works have been included in group exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London; Anton Kern Gallery, NY; Cherry and Martin, LA; Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago; Richard Telles Gallery, LA; Leo Koenig Gallery, NY; Acme, LA; Atelier Cardenas Bellanger, Paris; and Royal Academy of Art, London.
Vlahovich’s work has been featured in numerous publications including Artforum, Artext, Los Angeles Times, and the New York Times. His work can be found in international private and public collections including the Hammer Museum, LA; and the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, LA. Tyler Vlahovich lives and works in Los Angeles.