ENTANGLEMENTS will be the first exhibition in our new space to present two contemporary artists currently represented by The Proposition: Ben Bunch and Evan Levine. The exhibition will feature Ben Bunch’s sculptures and paintings by Evan Levine, each artists’ work involving intense layering and construction, mixing de-construction and re-construction into a staggeringly delightful blend of color and space. Following are excerpts by the artists on the works in the show:
“See You On the Game Grid” is a composite of different sample images of circuitry and electronics. In this case however, the whole is a frenetic explosion of those sampled forms in which scale and functionality are mixed. The result is a spilling over or avalanche of details and forms that look technologically sophisticated and playful.”
“Drill, Baby, Drill” combines two extremes of my practice: making objects that appear abstract and realistic. On one side is the invented object and on the other is the realistic object. In this case there is a faithfully represented video game controller from the 1980’s Atari game system. A foam cord connects it to another object. The other object is a playful machine like abstraction. This machine looking object is made up of mechanical parts such as cogs, buttons, switches and a drill auger, which are symbolic of mechanical functions. Delicately balanced like a top, the abstract machine is tethered to the game controller, which gives the impression that it can be manipulated. The machine and controller relationship within the piece speaks to more general theme about extensions of the body. The game controller acts as an extension of the user to navigate an area otherwise inaccessible without the controller.”
“In order to push the limitations of my seemingly systematic process, I play with color and shape as a solution to any confines, giving richness to the painting that fights my often heavily systematic approach. The fluid shapes in these paintings are translated into graphic, flat sections of color yet they retain an organic flow that contrasts them sharply with the strict geometry of the horizontal or vertical bands in a graph. These shapes reflect a very direct kind of mark-making that is intended to give the paintings a personal, hand drawn quality which lends the paintings a unique character-adding irregularity and randomness to the paintings. The way in which the paint is applied is neat and maintains a sort of sterile artifice, however upon closer observation there are clear inconsistencies and fractures in the surface of the final painting that clearly reveal the object as handmade.
Repetition is also something I wanted to explore thematically in this work-how it may generate a further connectedness between and/or overlapping systems created from the shapes in the paintings to spaces, things, or places in the visible world. Because of the greater density in details in the painting, it is much more difficult to define or distinguish between figure and ground. The color, flat patterns, and playful quality in my work may be subconsciously rooted in my early interest in textiles, ancient imagery, patterned and color-striped clothing (including men’s formal and knit wear, sweaters), children’s books (particularly mythology) and early video game imagery.
“Center Sand” was an attempt to explore my continued interest to explore the construction of space through an illusion of layering. It is the second painting in which text is eliminated and the work is completely abstract. Here there are clearly sectioned off areas, such as a few dense areas of dots, which interact less with other elements of the composition than in my other painting in this show.
In “Leopard” a much higher frequency of visual information in terms of color and form are used to combat the mechanical nature of the process. The composition itself becomes chaotic and as the forms become smaller, they are less isolated from one another. This painting really came as an attempt to add fluidity and life to my painting, despite the very self-conscious mechanical process by which I work. This painting is almost like a microscopic section of “Center Sand,” then blow up. If “Center Sand” were an overhead Google Map of a place, than “Leopard” would be a few steps zoomed in so that more richness of detailed and complexity is made visible.”
< >click image to enlarge
October 23 - December 05, 2010
Ben Bunch, Evan Levine