Ochi Projects is pleased to present a two-person exhibition featuring Los Angeles-based artists Karolina Maszkiewicz and John Zappas. The exhibition is on view from November 15 – December 21 with an opening reception Friday, November 15 from 5-8pm. The exhibition pairs Maszkiewicz’ kinetic sculptures in dialogue with Zappas’ gestural drawings, illuminating a shared visual language that is rooted in a material cataloguing of time and place.
Karolina Maszkiewicz’ latest body of work, Woolsey, is named after the 2018 Woolsey Fire, which burned almost 97,000 acres of land in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. The fire started in Woolsey Canyon and was propelled in large part by the Santa Ana winds, engulfing and destroying historic movie and TV sets, ranches and homes, and causing the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of residents. Once the fire was out and the smoke had abated, Maszkiewicz explored the burned areas. She gathered pieces of charred wood and began incorporating them into an ongoing series of kinetic sculptures. Working in her family’s furniture shop, she used various veneers to suspend the wood in its fire-ravaged state. The small-scale sculptures pair form with material to investigate balance points, gravity, and the way a viewer’s presence influences the movement of the works.
In his newest series of oil stick drawings, titled Y ’M P L N T, Zappas generates his frenetic line compositions from a mindset of physical detachment. Prioritizing the movements of his body over any prefigured meaning, Zappas’ performative process attempts to remove a sense of ego, and with it, direct representation. The thick, buzzing lines conjure both vacuous space, and blunt flatness as they float atop slick industrial surfaces. His wooden panels are salvaged from IKEA’s “as is” section (where items damaged in shipping, which would typically be discarded, are offered at significantly discounted prices). Zappas sands down the edges of faux coating on would-be tabletops, shelves or counters, uncovering particle board buried under manufactured facades. Caught between the tension of industrial excess and idiosyncratic gesture, the drawings prod us to renegotiate our conceptions of value and waste.