Cogwheels Carved in Wood
Long before he ever bought an iPad, years before he even set eyes on a home computer, Derek Boshier knew all about the dynamics, both rational and irrational, that apply to our contemporary relationship to mobile technology. He is a digital native, born too soon. Since his earliest contributions to British Pop Art in the early 1960s, Boshier has been browsing, scrolling through and freeze-framing images from the network of mass media. He has always been a collagist – even when making paintings, films or sculptures. As with other artists of his generation like Pauline Boty and Peter Blake, flipping through a magazine, rifling through piles of photographs or flicking between TV channels was how he first processed the world. Touching and looking were always intertwined.
‘Cogwheels Carved in Wood’ brings together paintings, drawings and films by Boshier alongside the work of five younger artists whose art responds, in different ways, to our daily interactions with digital screens. It is not a historical show, but neither is it only about the present – still less about the future. There is little that anyone would describe as ‘digital art’, but instead it looks at the ways that immaterial, virtual space has impacted the way that artists deal with pictures and materials. Painting predominates, although it is acrylic, not oil paint, that these artists prefer. There is sculpture and collage, and objects that reside somewhere between the two. From Lucie Stahl’s scanned collages to Gina Beavers’ relief renderings of Instagram photographs, from Sean Kennedy’s flatbed assemblages of found objects to Oliver Payne’s appropriated arcade game graphics and Jamian Juliano-Villani’s hyper-stimulated, disjunctive compositions, this is work that exists on the increasingly uncertain threshold of the virtual and the tangible worlds.
Derek Boshier began his career exhibiting in London in the 1960s after graduating from the Royal College of Art in 1959, where he studied alongside fellow Pop artists David Hockney and R.B. Kitaj. Derek has shown extensively in the U.S. and Europe, most recently at The National Portrait Gallery in London. His work has been acquired by The Menil, The Tate Gallery of British Art and The British Museum, The Brooklyn Museum, and The Centre Pompidou, among many other collections. Derek was born in 1937 in Portsmouth, England, and he currently lives and works in Los Angeles.
Gina Beavers received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2000. She has had solo exhibitions in New York City at Clifton Benevento and James Fuentes, at Nudashank in Baltimore, MD, and will have a solo show at Retrospective Gallery in Hudson NY, upcoming in 2014. Gina has been included in a number of group exhibitions in New York at venues such as Bureau, Regina Rex, Know More Games, Shoot the Lobster, Zürcher Studio and the Dependent, among others. She was born in Athens, Greece, 1974, and lives and works in Brooklyn.
Jamian Juliano-Villani received her BFA from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in 2011. Recent solo and group exhibitions include 247365 and Rawson Projects in Brooklyn, NY, Retrospective Gallery in Hudson, NY and David Shelton Gallery in Houston, TX. Her work has been written about in the Huffington Post and GalleristNY, and featured online on Black Book Mag and Opening Ceremony, among others. Jamian was born in 1987 in Newark, NJ, and is currently based in New York City.
Sean Kennedy received his MFA from the University of Southern California in 2010, after attending Städelschule in Frankfurt, Germany, from 2006-2008. He has had solo and two-person exhibitions at Thomas Duncan Gallery, and at UNTITLED with Chadwick Rantanen, among others, and he has been included in group exhibitions at Favorite Goods and Redling Fine Art in Los Angeles, Mary Mary in Glasgow, and deCordova Museum in Lincoln, MA. Sean’s work has been written about in Artforum, Frieze, and GalleristNY. Sean was born in 1983, lives and works in Los Angeles.
Oliver Payne has shown widely in New York, Los Angeles, and London, with solo exhibitions at venues such as Gavin Brown’s Enterprise and Herald St. His work has been included in group exhibitions at institutions including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, PS1 in New York, Tate Britain in London, and the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, and Oliver was included in The Carnegie International in 2004, and The Venice Biennale in 2003. He was born in 1977 in London, and is currently based in Los Angeles.
Lucie Stahl has been featured in recent solo and two-person exhibitions at Freedman Fitzpatrick and Paradise Garage in Los Angeles, Neue Alte Brücke in Frankfurt, Gio Marconi in Milan, and What Pipeline?, with Tom Humphreys, in Detroit. Her work has been written about in Artforum, Frieze, Texte zur Kunst, and Kaleidescope, among other publications, and she was awarded the MAK/Schindler House Residency in Los Angeles in 2012, and the BC21 Belvedere Contemporary Art Award in Vienna in 2011. From 2008-2012, Lucie co-operated PRO-CHOICE, an exhibition space in Vienna. She was born in 1977 in Berlin, where she currently lives and works.
Jonathan Griffin is a freelance writer, critic, editor and curator. Born and raised in London, he now lives in Los Angeles. He is a contributing editor of Frieze magazine, and also writes for publications including Art Review, Apollo, Art in America, Aperture, Modern Painters, Flash Art and The Art Newspaper.