Lines and Cracks and Zebras and Horses
OHWOW is pleased to announce Michael Genovese's second solo exhibition with the gallery, titled Lines and Cracks and Zebras and Horses, presenting a recently completed body of work based on lineation, cleave, and the concept implied by the aphorism: "When you hear hoof beats behind you, don't expect to see a zebra." A series of plasma-cut steel wall reliefs located throughout the gallery compose a subtle arrangement based equally on materiality and concept.
These raised, sculptural "drawings" suggest following the maxim that common sense is the shortest distance between two points or to recognize the grace in directness. Genovese recreates various, common occurrences of line – an architectural fracture; a hair in the bathtub; the mark of automatic writing; a military line of demarcation; a varicose vein, or a simple fabric seam. He considers where these delineations appear, why they develop, and how they are finally perceived. With a piece titled Mimesis, 2013, Genovese merges a crack found in a Pompeii fresco with a line from Metallica's …And Justice for All album cover artwork. By stitching these unrelated strands together, Genovese formulates a new pattern, but one that still reads as spontaneous as chance. The compound of seemingly disparate fissures subsequently reveals self-similar patterns, as in the logic of fractal mathematics. Therefore, variations in contour between unrelated sources are not as far removed from one other as they may first appear, and conceptually framed, what one assumes a chasm may actually serve as a suture.
Michael Genovese creates work that aims to connect with collective experiences, be it social or existential. He speaks to the familiar; however, through mark making, reduction, or transformation of the recognizable, he reassigns power. Rather than eliminating evidence or obscuring facts, he re-contextualizes our perception of meaning and history. His work deals with archives, permanence, and the designation of value. His concern with materiality and the treatment of his chosen media furthers his investigation of worth. Genovese's particular approach, and the work's content, move to alter our preconceptions, changing our proximity to what is tangible. Lines and Cracks and Zebras and Horses traces pressure, time, and the role of division, or more aptly put, it traces the ideology of those measures, questioning why we don't see something for what it isn't.
Michael Genovese (b. 1976, Chicago, IL) currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. Genovese's work has exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX; Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL; Patricia and Philip Frost Museum, and Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL. OHWOW will be publishing a catalogue to accompany the exhibition, including artist notes, images, and sketches, along with an essay by Shamim Momin.