Guerrero Gallery is pleased to present Thunder and Lightning, Formal Apology, an exhibition by Alisha Kerlin, featuring traffic cones, lightning rods, a dictionary, and twenty-two paintings of dangling carrots. In this new body of work, Kerlin explores the possible relationships between the storm and the unattainable treat.
With carrots serving as weathervanes, the dictionary as a checklist, and a handmade potato as the lightning rod, we are presented with scenarios examining direction and disturbance. Kerlin describes the lightning rod as representative of a thing that attracts criticism in order to divert attention from more serious matters. Through suggestive titles and outwardly oriented subject matter, her paintings thoughtfully actualize the assumed roles between viewer, painter, and painting. In most cases, the relationship to the carrot is implicated as she.
Alisha Kerlin, received her MFA from Bard College and lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Guerrero Gallery is pleased to present Palms, an exhibit by Clynton Lowry, whose methods are representative of a form of contemporary and destructive iconoclasm.
Clynton Lowry’s work easily, almost too easily, invites us to think about the politics of identity. Utilizing pornographic images from the 70s and 80s, his cut-piece collages and spay-painted pages confront us with an eroticism against which we must position ourselves. Such a process, however, is complicated by the fact that the images re-present an overtly outdated mode of heterosexuality and that through their layering and obfuscation they signal a strange amalgamation of voyeurism and collection. In turn, we may even first question the proclivities and identity of the maker rather than our own. Who exactly is this splicer and mutilator of images, and how would we come to terms with his outmoded, misogynistic and even sadistic worldview?
Yet the pressing questions of identity form but the veneer of Lowry’s work; we are also meant to wonder how these works came into being. For at its core, the artist’s multi-faceted body of work offers a deep investigation of the image and its boundaries. In this respect, Lowry’s working procedures represent a type of modern day iconoclasm. The glossy and idealized figures of magazine pages are cut and over-painted, plants are rubberized or painted as if in vinyl, and screenshots are cross-dissolved. But what Lowry reveals is that deeply destructive iconoclasm is ultimately a thoroughly productive endeavor. The plant, covered in rubber, dies in order to leave behind the fixed and permanent pile of molten material; spray paint creates pleasing glossy and matte surfaces that recall photography in its various historical iterations; cuts offer possibilities for fragmentation, multiplication and assemblage. “I was interested in exploring the cut as a type of mark making,” says the artist. Indeed, but we would do well to see the rest of his artistic processes as analogous to the cut.
In describing these working methods, Lowry, with quintessentially demure nonchalance, says that the image “is always becoming, but you already always have something intact.” The reassurance of this sentiment belies the traces of anxiety that are imbedded in the artist’s work, an anxiety about trying to capture or contain an image that is always in movement or flux. His taste for profoundly, though only recently, outmoded objects and techniques—for the 70s and 80s, for the slideshow, for porn in print, for spray paint, for the screensaver—perhaps stems from this unease, as if time could help him shore up the boundaries of images without the unraveling element of truly historical distance getting in the way. It is here that Lowry’s nearly obsessive fascination with frames comes into focus; the borders of the image are negated in his video pieces, multiplied in his slide-show screen savers, broached and yet reified in his cuts and collages.
What can be so maddening in Lowry’s work is exactly this refusal to make up his mind, to pursue a strategy that we can name and come to terms with. “Everyone wants me to nail something down, and I don’t want to and that’s not the point,” quibbles Lowry. In this sense, it is our process of investigating the work—as much as Lowry’s work is an investigation of process—that ultimately yields the fiction of coherence.
Clynton Lowry recieved his MFA from Yale and he currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.
*the content of this press release is credited to Lowry’s professor, Aaron Hyman