Nicolas Wells on "The Pursuer", CityArts, 2010
Installation view, The Pursuer, Greene Naftali, New York, 2010
Alex Bag - Candy Jernigan - Trisha Baga - Jon Pestoni - Kerstin Brätsch - Paul Sharits - Anthony Burdin - Josef Strau - Angus Cook - Cathy Wilkes - Ida Ekblad - Haegue Yang - Alex Hubbard
Greene Naftali Gallery is pleased to present a group exhibition, “The Pursuer” which includes painting, sculpture, video and work on paper spanning a generation from the 80’s with Paul Sharits and Candy Jernigan to new work by young artists such as Trisha Baga and Ida Ekblad. The title of the show is taken from a short story by Julio Cortazar which follows an aging addict jazz musician’s hallucinations on the elastic nature of time. Reflecting the spirit of this narrative, the artists in the show translate daily experience into dreamlike assemblages, migrating from the familiar to abstract.
The artists’ investment in the object and real engagement with materiality results in a kind of departure from the practical present. Domestic objects are transformed in Haegue Yang’s drying-rack structures and Cathy Wilkes’ plate paintings. Rich abstract paintings by Jon Pestoni and Ida Ekblad blend concentrated composition with loose, material play. Charting careful observations of food products and cataloguing found debris, the late Conceptual artist Candy Jernigan illustrates exacting records of debased or often over-looked objects. Large-scale works on paper by Anthony Burdin and Kerstin Bratsch propose other-worldly realms—Burdin with feather-like graphite drawings and Bratsch with thick, bold, graphic patterns.
Many of these artists pass meaning between media, translating conceptual theories and poetic sensibilities across multiple forms. Alex Hubbard’s practice dips into several realms, referencing histories of abstraction and conceptual performance in his paintings and video installations. Paul Sharits’ drawings range from chromatic and geometric diagrams for films to absurdist ideas for fashion designs. In the video parodies of Alex Bag and performative lectures by Trisha Baga, contemporary complexities of self-identification are staged with a chaotic overlapping of visual media. And both Angus Cook (with laser-etched sheets of mirror plexiglass) and Josef Strau (in his installations with paintings, posters and altered lamps) draw language into sculptural space.
Following a trail of mirages and mystical musings, “The Pursuer” groups together artists engaged with profound possibilities for abstraction and the overlaid relationships between states of matter.
Holland Cotter on "The Pursuer", The New York Times, 2010
Michael Wilson on "The Pursuer", TimeOut New York, 2010