76 Grand Street
Evan Gruzis presented his first New York solo exhibition of ink paintings at Deitch Projects' 76 Grand Street gallery that December. Entitled Dark Systems, the exhibition explored the constructedness of the ‘real’ through a dramatic interpretation of actual and represented light.
In his twenty-one new works on paper, Gruzis explored the banal and the theatrical, driven by the dichotomy between the technique of watercolor and ink painting and his own conceptual impulses. Empty graphic gestures and pop culture objects combined with traditional motifs such as the still life and trompe l'oeil defined a space that was both vapid and seductive. With the sardonic wit of Wayfarer-toting Brett Easton Ellis, and a slick technique of manipulating inks to keep you guessing, Gruzis’ works stuck with you like a half-remembered name or intangible word. What you saw was often only half there, or mockingly not there at all.
Hyperreal, nonsensical stylized environments referred to aspects of pop culture mimetically to highlight their emptiness as signifiers in what could be called a deeply superficial satire of art. In the non-figurative works, he explored the way a painting sat on the wall like an object to highlight the “experience of looking," with works that represented the idea of painting while simultaneously being one.
This new body of work employed the most color this normally black and white-toned artist had used to date. Also included in the show was a storefront sculpture called Soft Corbusier, an absurdist hybrid readymade that demonstrated the dialectic between high and low in consumer culture by turning a Le Corbusier chaise lounge into a hammock. Plain colored rectangles on the walls suggested “ghost artworks,” or placeholders, where pieces have been removed, while Death in Venice Beach combined a painting with fluorescent tubing in a play between actual light and a cliche of beauty, the painted sunset. The scene in the storefront was one of strangely abandoned relaxation.
Evan Gruzis released his first book DARK SYSTEMS in conjunction with this exhibition. This 96-page softcover publication was available at the opening and distributed afterwards through D.A.P., WWW.ARTBOOK.COM
March 8 - 11, 2018
We will present a special solo project by the artist JR.
Image: JR, Migrants, Walking New York City, 2015
April - May 2018
18 Wooster Street
76 Grand Street
New York, NY 10013
Monday – Friday
10 AM – 6 PM
Tuesday – Saturday
Noon – 6 PM
The gallery reopens with People in April 2018.
+1 (212) 343-7300
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