LA><ART is pleased to present a collaborative exhibition by Karl Haendel and Tony Lewis. This exhibition developed out of conversations around the possibilities of drawing as a personal, material, and metaphoric practice, an ongoing dialogue largely began when Lewis was Haendel’s student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Since that time, the artists have continued an exchange around their respective approaches to drawing and this exhibition marks the first time such dialogues have been made public. The selected works reflect a shared interest in figuration, social conduct, familial relations, the efficacy of communication, and drawing as a personal and idiosyncratic language.
Karl Haendel’s precisely rendered drawings of found images are lifted from seemingly disparate sources—mass media, musical notation, reference books, cartoons, photojournalism, and his own notebooks—and yet all speak to the strangeness of public and private human behavior. Similarly, Tony Lewis’ wall drawings of maxims borrowed from the 1991 book, Life’s Little Instruction Book (by H. Jackson Brown) dislocate and re-situate otherwise heuristic phrases, producing coded and sometimes sinister alternate meanings. Moreover, Lewis’ semi-abstract drawings of marks taken from the Gregg Shorthand system of writing are not dissimilar to Haendel’s attempts to painstakingly re-draw scribbles and amateur doodles, both artists investigating the commonality between random mark-making and language. The artists also propose that drawing can exist as a spatial and even sculptural medium; for this exhibition, Haendel will present his rarely-seen installation from 2001, Sad Small Animals Somewhere in the Middle of the Food Chain, and Lewis will produce new, site-specific wall and floor drawings at LA><ART.
Karl Haendel is an artist who makes drawings, installations, films, and public projects. He received a BA from Brown University in 1998 and a MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2003. He also studied at the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. Articles and reviews on his work have been featured in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Le Monde and The Guardian, as well as in magazines including The New Yorker, Artforum, Frieze, Flash Art, Art and in America and Modern Painters. He has been included in the Biennial of the Americas (2015), the Whitney Biennial (2014), Biennale de Lyon (2013), Prospect (2011), and the California Biennial (2004, 2008). His work is in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, NY; The Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; The Guggenheim Museum, NY; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, MA, La Colección Jumex, Mexico City; and the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo. He lives and works in Los Angeles.
Tony Lewis was born in 1986 in Los Angeles, California. Recent exhibitions have taken place at The Studio Museum, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland (solo); Massimo de Carlo, Milan (solo); Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York; Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago (solo); Room East, New York; and Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago. His work was presented in the 2014 Whitney Biennial, and is currently the focus of a solo exhibition at Museo Marino Marini, Florence. Lewis lives and works in Chicago, Illinois.
Special thanks to Julie and Brian Biel, Shane Campbell, and Susanne Vielmetter.
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