On Seeing: The Purpose Paradox
What exactly does it mean to look at--to really see--art? What questions do we ask ourselves and how do we accept and then expand on our initial response to shift into a place where seeing becomes a dialogue, a question and answer session with each new work?
The nine artists in this exhibition transform and transfigure the stuff of everyday life--Popsicle sticks and paper strips, soccer balls and patrol uniforms, grocery bags and vintage clothing, traffic lights and fingerprints--into something new that reverberates with the visual, conceptual, and psychological power inherent in a shift in perspective.
These artists approach their practices through lenses that range from philosophical to wry, physical to visual, socio-political to psycho-social. But each work invites reconsideration, of the objects and materials that surround us and our presumed relationships to these objects, as well as to space and place, memory and reverie, medication, immigration, time.
I think of looking at art as conversing with an inanimate object, not just any object but an essentially purposeless one. It is just this purposelessness that makes art so compelling, and I suppose for some, infuriating or confusing. As soon as a thing gains a function--to stop a car or clothe a body--it's form is tied to that function. But when its function is art, the thing has no goal beyond itself and the responses it elicits. By starting from something with an ostensible purpose, these artists flip functionality on its head.
Whether you approach this show with skepticism or enthusiasm, a wealth of experience or none, I invite you to consider each image slowly, for more than the average few-second glance. Explore the possibilities that lie inside and beyond your first look. You don't even have to leave your home or office. Sit back, relax, and reflect--let the conversation commence.
China Adams Alpine Meadow, 2008 Trader Joe's paper shopping bags, cotton turtleneck, acrylic varnish (Dress displayed on canvas and metal dress form) 65 ¼" x 27" x 23" Image courtesy of Steve Turner Contemporary Gallery, Los Angeles
Felipe Barbosa Pill Ball, 2006 Sewn soccer balls 8 ½" x 8 ½" x 17 ¾" inches Image courtesy of Sara Meltzer Gallery, New York
Annetta Kapon 405 North, 405 South, 2003 Digital Inkjet Video Still 30" x 44" Image courtesy of the artist
Katarina Wong Torus (Detail), 2008 Wax casts of fingerprints, ink on wall (installation in private collection) 10' x 10' Image courtesy of the artist
Gina Osterloh Untitled (Turquoise Room #5), 2007 Digital C-Print (Lightjet) 48" x 60", Edition of 3 2AP Image courtesy of François Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles and Silverlens Gallery, Manila
Heidi Schwegler Fade to Black, 2010 Venetian blinds, flocking, shotgun residue 64" x 38" x 1" Image courtesy of the artist
Kate Harding Whiskey Creek, Summer; 2008 Found leather garments, thread, grommets, steel hooks 54 x 35 inches Image courtesy of Track 16 Gallery, Los Angeles
Katherine Gray Pants, 2000 Popsicle sticks 42" x 16" x 10" Image courtesy of the artist
Margarita Cabrera Nopal can Tunas #3, 2006 border patrol uniform, thread and terra cotta pot 39" x 46" x 46" Image courtesy of Walter Maciel Gallery, Los Angeles
"On Seeing" is an exhibition series on the Huffington Post curated by Annie Buckley. It includes emerging and established artists from around the globe. The goal is explore the depth of how we see and reflect on art while expanding the range of ways to view art.
Artists included in The Purpose Paradox: China Adams, Felipe Barbosa, Annetta Kapon, Katarina Wong, Gina Osterloh, Heidi Schwegler, Kate Harding, Katherine Gray, and Margarita Cabrera.
"On Seeing" is not a commercial exhibition series. Any commercial interest should be directed to the link in the caption. Should sales arise from this series, each participating artist and gallerist has been invited to donate 10 % of the proceeds to REENCONTRO, a local group helping AIDS orphans in Mozambique.
Follow Annie Buckley on Twitter: www.twitter.com/anniebuckleyLA