Klowden Mann is proud to present They found ritual and order but couldn’t see the real (year 3008), the gallery’s fifth solo exhibition with Munich-born, Los Angeles-based artist Alexandra Wiesenfeld. The show features a series of large-scale oil paintings on canvas in which Wiesenfeld imagines a heightened future Earth--long after the climate has tipped--with few humans and very little evidence remaining of our time dominating the planet. The works are non-narrative: abstracted landscapes formed in vivid colors, offering the state of mind and eye of a future on the other side of our current strategy of dominance at all costs, and its consequences. The exhibition will be on view from December 7th, 2019 through January 11th, 2020, with an opening reception on Saturday December 7th from 6 to 8pm.
Wiesenfeld’s new works are visual representations of a time past the context of the structures humanity has built, and the vast resources we have mined and violence we have justified to sustain them. In her statement, Wiesenfeld writes, “Painting these invented landscapes is as much about climate grief, escapism into a sci-fi world as an act of devotion to the beauty of the natural world, even if no longer viable for us. They are about the human need for myth-making when facing landscape alone.”
Wiesenfeld forms the paintings through layers of color without a referent; made from imagination and impulse, there are often many stories of imagery and tone under the final painting. Several of the paintings include grids of colored dots that disappear and reappear on the surface, under and over forms that feel like rocks, flesh, plant life we have never seen. The dots often appear as a partially-formed system of analysis--visual schematics through which to understand land that is no longer familiar. In “Free Fall”, a central form of water and rock surges forward along with a vortex of red gestural marks that move in and out of the land, and pastel pink and blue dots of paint that are covered and uncovered in ways that resist logic. In “Free Fall 2” the red appears again, this time encircling boulders that may or may not be bodies, with vibrant light greens and blues suggesting phantom movement or projections.
In “American Gods” a central figure (or animal or object) sits on a pedestal that might be a tree trunk, settled amongst pink and green grass. Possibly an object of worship, or a future human animal in search of one, we find a blue cloud form edged with purple where her head would be; many eyes looking out from an expanse with no substance, orange forms that might be horns or electricity seeking out from the side of her head. Wiesenfeld asks, if we had the chance to start again, who and how would we elevate to worship? What would our compass be, and would we be able to resist the gods of capital and technology that we hold so dear now? What myths would we choose to live this time?
Alexandra Wiesenfeld (b. Munich, Germany) is a German-born, Los Angeles based artist who has exhibited extensively, at venues including Klowden Mann, Durden and Ray, Happy Lion, Angles Gallery, American Jewish University, Mount Saint Mary’s University, Occidental College, Eagle Rock Cultural Center in Los Angeles, the Irvine Fine Arts Center and the Torrance Art Museum in California, the Dactyl Foundation in New York, the Roswell Museum of Art in New Mexico, the Missoula Museum of Art in Montana, Anton Gallery in Washington, DC, HilbertRaum in Berlin, Kunst Karlshütte, Landshut in Germany, the CICA Museum in Gimpo, South Korea, and art fairs in San Francisco, Miami, Dallas, and London. Her work is held in public and private collections nationally and internationally, and she teaches at Los Angeles City College.