"Who's the Father of Learning?
Thomas Solomon Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Los Angeles artists JOSH MANNIS and NICK KRAMER. This is Josh Mannis’s second exhibition with the gallery, and the first presentation of works by Nick Kramer. The show will open at Thomas Solomon Gallery with a reception for the artists on Friday April 29th, 6 – 8 PM at 427 Bernard Street, Chinatown, Los Angeles.
The pairing of these two young Los Angeles-based artists highlights a shared preoccupation with generation, repetition and internal reflection. The phrase “Who’s the Father of Learning?” is taken from a Lil’ Wayne freestyle in which he riffs on repetition being "the father of learning." The works presented here are the result of the artists' individual investigations into art making strategies such as automatism, formal quotation and self-referential processes.
Nick Kramer presents a new series of wall-mounted works, as well a new cast-steel sculpture edition. In his Red Wings series, the artist forms and hardens the rags he uses in the studio (cleaning up spilled paint and the like) as a manner of presenting gestures that would otherwise be lost or ignored. Not quite ready-made, the objects present themselves as organic “images” of the artist’s actions, marked not only by his hand, but also evidence of untold and typically unseen gestures that propel the making of other works. In his Jade Boat edition Kramer has reused elements from other sculptures through the casting process as an extension of his unique sculptural vocabulary, discussing the role of duplication in the perception and existence of objects and how, in turn, these objects affect the perception of space.
Every work in Josh Mannis's oeuvre originates within the genre of portraiture, from which the artist develops a critique of persona, affect, and characterization. Pushing relationships between psychic automatism (improvisation and free association) and serial automatism (repetition, serial production, non-hand processes like digitization, and appropriation), Mannis sees every level of art making as a type of performance, even down to the handmade costumes and props featured in his video works. Materials, sources and references are restraints on, and framing devices for, performance. Each piece, be it image, object or moving tableau, is "an arena in which to act."
Nick Kramer was born in New York City, New York. He was educated at the University of Southern California (MFA 2008) and Bard College, New York. Recent and forthcoming solo exhibitions include Anthony Greaney, Boston (2011); Roski Gallery, University of Southern California (2009) and Laurel Gitlen/Small A Projects, New York City (2009). His works were recently included in group exhibitions at Hilary Crisp (London, 2011); Cirrus Gallery (Los Angeles, 2009) and Pauline (Los Angeles, 2009). A 2010 recipient of a Leon Levy Foundation Grant, Kramer lives and works in Los Angeles, California.
Josh Mannis was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He was educated at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (MFA 2005) and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. Solo exhibitions include Variations, Thomas Solomon Gallery, Los Angeles (2010); Dawn of Man, 40000, Chicago (2006) and Iron Eagle, Small A Projects, Portland, OR (2006). Mannis was included in No Soul for Sale, with the Suburban (Oak Park, IL) and Milwaukee International (Milwaukee, WI) at the Tate Modern, London (2010); Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock & Roll Since 1967, MCA, Chicago, (traveling 2007-09) and For Those About to Rock, The Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh (2005). Mannis lives and works in Los Angeles, California.