Eleven Rivington is pleased to present the first solo exhibition in New York by American artist Israel Lund, on view from June 20 through August 9, 2013 at the gallery’s 11 Rivington Street location.
Israel Lund’s paintings are a record of the static within a system of reproduction. There is a point at which they commenced, but they began with an image of nothing, as Lund initially burned an open rectangle approximately 8.5 x 11 inches into a silkscreen, unevenly forcing black ink through the blank image onto a canvas. By affecting a copy of nothing, Lund imports no other information to the painting’s surface but that which is already inherent to the process of reproduction itself (e.g. the black ink, its semi-mechanical application, the data assumed to be copied), thereby allowing the system to generate the image. As he distorts, enlarges, degrades, and re-inserts these copies further, Lund extrapolates a recursive and deconstructive method of reproduction that continually re-doubles upon itself, imparting a physical and conceptual liquidity to each individual painting, alleviating the burden of originality from any work and the artist himself.The works on view at Eleven Rivington have long since distanced themselves from this beginning, having appeared in an artist book, then haphazardly rearticulated through three-color process paintings (cyan, yellow, and magenta), scanned and digitally distributed on his and others tumblr pages, and presently re-photographed through a PDF generating application on his phone, the images from which provide the basis for this exhibition. The paintings are altered as much by their actual, physical production, as by their dissemination, each step in this process degrading the copies further, purposefully leaving us with no original by which we can ground the work. The paintings only change slightly from iteration to iteration, but they flood the system with copies of themselves, polluting the essential qualities of the work with its innumerable duplications and the mutations that accord such a process.
Four of the paintings are hung on the front windows of the gallery, which may best represent the simultaneity of their production, consumption, and dissemination. Facing the paintings from the front, the stretchers and braces cast a shadow through the canvas, the central rectangle not only reflecting, but also emitting light that shines through its surface. With greater contrast between the shades, and a certain bald luminescence to the highlights, the paintings appear to frame dull jpegs of themselves. They are then both image and the thing itself, and, given their relatively inevitable online distribution, the physical paintings occupy an experiential stage with their reproductions, anticipating the future life of the painting through the past life of its various copies, and its present appearance. Lund’s work temporarily flattens these transient moments into one space and context, aware, however, of the slippery identity of paintings. Israel Lund was born in 1980 in Vermont. He was educated at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers Univeristy, NJ (MFA) as well as Pacific Northwest College of Art, OR (BFA). He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Recent and forthcoming solo exhibitions include Roberts & Tilton, Roberts & Tilton, Culver City, CA, and Elaine Levy Project, Brussels, Belgium.