Part II

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© Courtesy of Participant Inc.
Part II

253 East Houston Street
10002 New York
June 8th, 2014 - July 13th, 2014
Opening: June 8th, 2014 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Wed-Sun 12-7
painting, mixed-media


From June 8 - July 13, 2014, PARTICIPANT INC is proud to present Part Two, a solo
exhibition of twelve paintings by Michael Lazarus, made between 2011–2014. These
mixed media panels made of paint, wood, glass, adhesive lettering, and, in some
cases, plastic reflectors and other found materials, share a vocabulary of pared
down imagery, color, and response to materials culled from the artist's everyday
surroundings. Modest in size, Lazarus envisions these panels in relationship to
the body, where paint and found materials cohabitate and lean into each other.
Each work presents itself as a possible painting, sculpture, portrait, mirror,
sign, grave marker.

Phenomenological concerns proposed through scale, signification, and materiality
evoke the legacy of haptic, tactile agency of a Postminimal generation of painters
such as Eva Hesse, Daniel Buren, and Blinky Palermo, who, in different ways,
infused painting with the affect of activating space — a condition initiated by
Minimalist sculpture. This activation was realized through a mirroring of the
surrounding space. Lazarus' panels endow a spatiality by integrating refractory
devices and surfaces — apparent in Know (2013), Away (2011), and more disguised in
Red & Blue (2013), and overt in the limited edition, rewardinme (2014), (pictured
above), in which a variation of worn mirror, lettering, and reflection constitute
the image.

What propels this work into a radical contemporaneity is Lazarus' situating of
directives not only spatially, but also and foremost dialogically. The artist's
use and combination of appropriated signage and adhesive lettering, that recur in
almost every painting, impart performative commands of speech, soliciting viewers
to partake in its language. Through this engagement, portraiture is also proposed,
through which messages of caution, fear, joy, and regret get communicated. In
Lazarus’ words, “Maybe a portrait of a landscape. No… I’d say each one is more
like a portrait of a condition. Similar to how Bosch portrayed hell — not merely a
place, but as a condition of being.” (Hudson, “Michael Lazarus Q&A,” February

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