Team (gallery, inc.) is pleased to present a group exhibition entitled Scenes of the American Landscape from 25 April through 01 June 2019. Included in the show are the works of two video makers, two photographers and five painters. The gallery is located at 83 Grand Street in New York, cross streets Wooster and Greene, on the ground floor.
76 million international tourists visited the United States in 2016, making our tourist trade the third largest in the world. The most popular attraction was New York City’s Times Square with just under 42 million annual visitors. The Grand Canyon, on the other hand, had trouble reaching 6 million. So much for the idea that our national landscape is pictured as purple mountains majesty; it’s the canyons of Manhattan and the brightly lit corridors of midtown that illustrate the American imaginary, not some pastoral fantasy.
Likewise, the majority of what we understand as American contemporary art is produced in congested urban environments where space is at a premium and not in some bucolic heaven where contemplation is elemental. Anxiety, a lack of privacy, financial instability, competitiveness, an overabundance of signs; all lay prey to the thought processes of city artists. These markers inform the works on view.
Theodore Darst is represented here by a single-channel video projected in a room of its own. The work is a compendium of images loosely tied together in the style of a diaristic poem accompanied by a jarring, fragmented soundtrack. The piece is visualized largely through the POV of an avatar figure who experiences the world in much the same way as the artist. Darst’s process relies heavily on a psychedelic collage approach, gathering material from screenshots, high resolution 3-D renders, re-photographed video game footage, personal clips, iphone paintings, etc. Collage and re-photography are also central to the practice of Collin Leitch who will show a single work, displayed on a monitor, held askew within a sculptural construction. The imagery — culled from re-photography, analog film scans and digital animation — has been re-oriented so that the horizon line remains tethered to the realm of logic, despite the fact that its display monitor exists forever at a 60 degree angle. Leitch’s “entertainment center” exists as both furniture and sculpture, its structure as fundamental to the success of the artwork as its multifaceted image track; the correct reading of one enforced by the form of the other.
Lili Jamail is represented by a pair of color photographs, one of which depicts a sleeping woman, the other the interior of a building in midtown formerly used as a convent. Her images, taken in a very precise manner with a large-format camera, touch upon the mystical properties hidden within the banal. Jamail typically photographs surrogates of herself, friends in positions of waiting or being waited on, rendering a depiction of physical isolation and emotional solitude. These figures are usually shown alongside images of spaces that seem both lived-in but strangely alienating. Jheyda McGarrell’s photographs are achingly autobiographical, pulling from her daily life and encounters. On the periphery of the cinematic and the quotidian, her images describe photography as an act of searching for and caring for, building and nurturing an expanding community of subjects.
Andrew Jilka’s paintings gleefully plunder from sources as diverse as European folklore and internet memes, treating art history and popular culture as cacophonous menus laden with too much choice. The artist sees his work as an attempt to claim optimism from a collective nervousness; to reconcile midwestern Wal-Mart culture with the byzantine languages of fine art. Alissa McKendrick’s most recent paintings center on a female protagonist oftentimes blithely negotiating landscapes and interiors fraught with peril. Play and menace are conjoined in a pictorial space that fades in and out of hazy grounds, placing the characters in scenes with the bitter and splintery clarity of a fever dream. Josh Reames’ paintings present radical stylistic shifts and modes of rendering within a space that shifts back and forth between trompe l’oeil and expressive gesture. Like mood boards of painterly effect, they capture the visual restlessness of our era while still luxuriating in the pleasures of his chosen medium. Thomas Tomczak oftentimes stages stills from favorite films with close friends caught in moments of emotional intensity. The resultant images are used as the source material for paintings gently rendered on austere, bone-white grounds in thin washes of color. An icy detachment vies for dominance with a wistful nostalgia. A complicated battery of emotions is solicited not only by the image but by the manner of its execution. Mark Verabioff relies on printed documents – magazines, catalogues, and books — as the base material for his canvases. The pages are generally scanned, printed onto vinyl and then adhered to a prepared surface. An undercover Canadian who has lived in New York and Los Angeles since the 1980s, Verabioff makes work that extract the venom from vitriolic wounds, bandaging them with dark humor and antagonistic wordplay.