Traywick Contemporary is proud to announce the second exhibition of our 20th anniversary year: Blowouts Bricks Lines, a show of nine new photographs by Ken Fandell. This will be Fandell’s fifth solo exhibition with the gallery.
This show features selections from three new series of unique, composite photographs the artist began during a recent residency at MASS MoCA. Blowouts: montaged photographs of a single 7-foot tread from a blown-out truck tire, which the artist retrieved from the side of a Southern California freeway; Bricks: layered photographs of a pair of red clay bricks which Fandell endlessly stacks and positions in relation to one another; and Lines: multiple ultra-high-resolution panoramas of palm tree trunks set against an overcast, gray sky. As in past series, the artist mines the mundane and everyday to reveal the extraordinary in the ordinary, with a distinct blend of skepticism, irony, and humor.
In these series, Fandell returns to what he calls the “basics of making art”: line, shape, color and volume. Familiar objects stand in for materials more commonly used in painting and sculpture: palm tree trunks turn into quirky drawn lines, tire tread remnants are twisted into curled and coiled shapes, and bricks become rectilinear, colored solids. In Lines, hyper-detailed images of the anonymous trunks of California palm trees, minus the fronds, are collapsed into a single sinuous line. In both the Blowouts and Bricks series, he arranges objects into a desired form, wrangling the heavy and jagged tire remnant into a fluid curve or placing the bricks in precarious arrangements, which he documents and titles with a unique number. With each subject, he then returns, re-shapes, repositions and photographs the new composition, continuing this process hundreds of times to collect a vast library of individual images. The resulting pictures both communicate and obscure Fandell’s composite process, one that blurs the lines between the conceptual and the physical in art making.
Ken Fandell has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally, with exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the Honolulu Museum of Art, the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, the University of Delaware, the Asheville Museum of Art, and the Houston Center for Photography. His work is included in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University. He has received prestigious awards from Artadia, the Fund for Art and Dialogue; and The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation. Formerly from Chicago, he currently lives and works in Southern California, where he is the Michael G. and C. Jane Wilson Chair in Arts and the Humanities at Harvey Mudd College.