We may be the most restless people to date. We move around a lot. We see things remotely, we see things at speed, we find it hard to dwell on things. We exist in a constant state of arrival, neither fully here nor fully there. We click through endless images, constantly communicate through shifting platforms. Our jumbled experiences arrive out of order and in no particular order. Chronology removed, we are left in the perpetual now.
What happens then, when through artistic device, the context and point of origin are lost? By striping down, visually parsing the information presented, the viewer is left to identify with reduced space, dwelling in the experience without necessarily contextualizing it. This loss of context allows the viewer to reach a dream-like, tranquil state with shapes and objects that are familiar and whose potential readings are now doubled and tripled through redaction. To the dreamer, a dream is like reality and the anchor is not so much lost as it is displaced.
Dwelling in Erasure brings together five artists working across all media who employ acts of removal and dislocation to suspend the viewer, creating quieter, contemplative moments allowing for reflection and simply being.
Michael Henry Hayden’s and Chris Succo’s works appear like a blurred memory, faded or manipulated. Hayden’s use of ubiquitous domestic architecture allows the viewer to dwell in the memories of recorded non-moments. For Succo, it is not what to paint, but how to paint. While there is a layering to remove it is not random. The poetic decision of each gesture and composition is foregrounded. The process becomes the anchor.
Similarly, Christopher Richmond removes the narrative, the story—the very thing being told—to focus instead on the telling, the discourse. The viewer is left in a non-place, the loop seamless, the experience without orientation.
Matthew Brandt’s and Bobbi Wood’s works literally paint over and wash away parts of the image until very little is left for the viewer to “hold on to.” This loss of context forces the viewer to hold tightly to what is left and from there to find a way out, to make out meaning.
*With special thanks to Tellef Tellefson, Dwyer Kilcollin and Randall Wetzel.
Matthew Brandt (b. 1982, Los Angeles, CA) received his BFA from Cooper Union in 2004 and MFA from the University of California Los Angeles in 2008. His work is held in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; The Columbus Museum of Art; the Brooklyn Museum of Art; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Elton John Collection, UK; the UBS Art Collection, NY; Bidwell Projects, Cleveland, OH; and the Statoil Collection, UK. His first solo exhibition at M+B was selected by Modern Painters as one of “The 100 Best Fall Shows” and reviewed in the December 2011/January 2012 edition. Other notable press includes The New Yorker, TIME Lightbox, Arte Fuse and Elle Décor. Brandt’s second solo exhibition at M+B is scheduled for Fall 2013 and the Columbus Museum of Art will present Brandt’s first solo museum exhibition later this year. Brandt lives and works in Los Angeles.
Michael Henry Hayden (b. 1981, Siloam Springs, Arkansas) received his BFA from The Cooper Union, NY in 2004 and his MFA from the University of Southern California in 2009. Hayden also attended the prestigious Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Recent solo presentations of Hayden’s work include Steve Turner (2012) and LA>
Christopher Richmond (b. 1986, San Diego, California) received his BFA from the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University in 2005 and is currently an MFA candidate at the Roski School of Fine Arts at the University of Southern California. Richmond has shown his work widely, including exhibitions and screenings in Los Angeles, New York, and Europe. Most recently Richmond was featured in Aspect: The Chronicle of New Media Art and invited to participate in Fotogalerie Wien’s exhibition, Appropriation - Re-enactment, curated by Petra Noll. Richmond currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California.
Chris Succo (b. 1979, Dusseldorf, Germany) completed his MA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art in 2012. He earned his Meisterschueler from Prof. Georg Herold in 2008 and his Diploma from the Academy of Fine Arts, Düsseldorf in 2009. Succo has shown throughout Europe including solo exhibitions at DUVE Berlin, Berlin; Rod Barton Gallery, London (upcoming); fiebach, minninger, Köln; Tidens Krav, Oslo (upcoming), Kunstverein Düsseldorf; and Kunstverein Schichtwechsel, Liechtenstein. Recent group exhibitions include Brand New Gallery in Milan, City Gallery of Prague, Vigo Gallery in London, and 304 Days in Vancouver, Canada. Succo lives and works between London and Dusseldorf.
Bobbi Woods (b. 1973, St. Louis, MO) received her BFA and MFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. Solo exhibitions of her work have been presented at Fourteen30 Contemporary, Portland; Workspace, Los Angeles; Annie Wharton, Los Angeles; and 2nd Cannons, Los Angeles; among others. Woods's work is currently included in the group exhibitions Painting in Place, Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND) at Farmers & Merchants Bank, Los Angeles; More Young Americans at L’Enclos des Bernardins, Paris; and California Visual Music at Chapman University, Orange, CA. Woods lives and works in Los Angeles, and is represented by Pepin Moore and Fourteen30 Contemporary, Portland.
Curatorial statement / text by Alexandra Wetzel, July 2013