In the Project Room, Mark Moore Gallery presents New Work, the gallery's first solo exhibition by LA-based painter Lester Monzon. An ambitious display of nearly thirty new works, Monzon debuts his trademark tongue-in-cheek meditations on artistic taxonomy with alluring new compositions and timely critiques.
Since the war between "fine art" and "design" broke out - a distinction increasingly diminishing in the advent of accessible technology - context has been the dividing faction between the two designations. Through his intimate canvases, Lester Monzon acts as an analog commentator on this quarrel, and poses the question of whether or not such denotations are truly relevant or purposeful in art making. Historically, Monzon's colorful gesticulations conceal sections of rigid patterning, a tête-à-tête between so-called "abstract expressionism" and "hard-edge abstraction" that implies a gentle lampooning of the taxonomic tradition behind art "movements." Monzon upends the formalism and segregation innate to the fine art world, and fabricates a composite genealogy of painting - a pithy resolution to an otherwise vapid debate. Monzon's luscious brushstrokes slyly creep into a Hirst-esque field of dots or Noland-like plane of stripes, like the resurrection of a once-declared dead practice through a satirical hand. In this show, Monzon applies this critique of contextual art practices and assimilation to mark-making in public spaces; be it graffiti on tiles in a public bathroom, stains on the sidewalk, or the popularized notion of "street art." In questioning the validity of one set of forms and social framing over the other, Monzon facilitates a larger dialogue about the dissemination of status, and the dominant voices of endorsement.
Monzon (b. 1973, Brooklyn) received his BFA from Art Center College of Design, Pasadena (CA). His work has been exhibited at the Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art (CA), in addition to shows in San Francisco, Chicago, and Los Angeles. The artist lives and works in Los Angeles (CA).