UTA Artist Space is pleased to announce the first Los Angeles solo exhibition of works by locally based artist Nick Darmstaedter. Opening January 20th from 5:00 to 7:00pm, new lows, dead precedents features a group of new paintings with an emphasis on breakdown and resilience.
These paintings isolate imagery from posters advertising semi-recent movies that the viewer has probably forgotten. A manicured hand lowers sunglasses over the floating letters KILL. Some kind of superhero and/or fantasy hand grips a skull. Eyeballs loll on a joyful blue, framed by the words EX APE. Each element balanced in a way so that it’s hard to imagine a body at the end of that floating limb.
Still, the mind does try to piece together the story that has been removed, and that search is met only with aesthetics. Horizons of firm color blot out the plot. There’s an irreverent energy to these works that distills the essence of spectacle in Hollywood films and shows you something new to remember long after these posters have been taken off the cinema walls.
“I appreciate them for something that exists outside the space of box office results and review aggregation website scores.” Darmstaedter said. “I’m not as invested in the story or acting, as much as I’m invested in the art that’s been created with all these garish effects and outlandish storylines.”
Perhaps we are bombarded with advertisements such as these posters, but Darmstaedter asks whether or not they might be gifts in disguise. In a moment of American uncertainty, the paintings tell the story of our resiliency, celebrating the most American of products with a colorful strain of optimism. The human element is strong enough, these paintings say, that you can remove so much and still endure.