EXHIBITIONS In Alexander Kroll’s first solo show in Los Angeles, Unfoldings, modestly scaled abstract paintings are simultaneously structural and intuitive; informal and hyper-considered; gestural and geometric. Alongside an interest in exploring binary positions, Kroll’s work deals with scale, painting history, intuition, systems, emotions, and painting as a conversational nexus and means of producing an object that can embody and contradict these issues. His work exists at a place of complexity and intensity. Through its conversational nature the work asserts an expanding set of ideas. As the work unfolds there occurs a process that necessitates further viewing and conMore than or Equal to Half of the Whole, a two person exhibition of photography by Kate Johnson and Siri Kaur, is a vivid exploration of both the power and the illusion of the photographic medium. The exhibition examines the awe, dislocation and limitation inherent in photographic practice. Illusion and limitation play a central role in Kate Johnson's work in a series she calls More Than Or Equal To. For each of these infinity portraits - self-aware photographs that attempt to capture the concept of infinity - Johnson constructs a small glass and mirror diorama which she then photographs. There is a sheer, crystalline beauty in each of these prismatic pieces, even as they wryly admit to the illusion that infinity and depth are being rendered falsely within a finite, two-dimensional work space. Johnson's hall of mirrors visual trick (in which images repeat endlessly against one another) purposefully calls attention to itself through the repeated appearance of her camera lens (as well as the green-blue edges of the glass) throughout the photographs. Paired loosely in dark and light opposites, these photographs intrigue aesthetically and entertain conceptually. In pursuit of a profound sense of the sublime, and playing, like Johnson's work, with the dynamics of perception, illusion, and immeasurable scale is the Half of the Whole series by Siri Kaur. This series features a number of extra-galactic photographs (taken between 2007-2010 using a digital sensor attached to a Meade solar telescope on Kitt Peak in Ari-
Alexander Kroll CB1 Los Angeles [through Feb 20]
tinuation of a dialog — both sensual and intellectual. zona), alongside "faked" astrophotographs (evidenced by such titles as Lightbulb with Sunspots Made by Hand), and a single diptych. After shooting the initial frames, Kaur exacts a battery of darkroom "experiments" on her work by applying color filters and chemical drawings to both the photo negatives and positives. By manipulating the printing process, Kaur effectively dislocates the signified from the signifier - distinguishes what is represented from what might represent it - as her images transform from distant celestial objects into light and ultimately back into physical form, albeit much smaller, within the gallery. Rounding out the series, and further illustrating her penchant for aesthetic awe and print manipulation is Kaur's stunning diptych of the Aurora Borealis, fittingly titled (in the descriptive vernacular commonly associated with late 20th century photography), On the Left, Aurora Borealis, White Horse, Yukon, March 31 2008, 235 AM. On the Right, the Way I Wanted It to Look (see below).
Kroll, 2010: (left) Untitled, oil, egg tempera, and ink on panel, 10”x8”. (right) detail of Untitled, oil and egg tempera on linen over panel, 12”x5”.
Kate Johnson & Siri Kaur Garboushian Beverly Hills [through Feb 12]
(above) Kate Johnson, Untitled #14, 2010, from series More Than Or Equal To, 1 of 3, Lambda print mounted on aluminum, 34”x40”. (below) Siri Kaur, On the Left, Aurora Borealis, White Horse, Yukon, March 31 2008, 235 AM. On the Right, the Way I Wanted it to Look, 2008, Diptych 1 of 3, Chromogenic print. Each 30” x 38”.
An issue of American Contemporary Art magazine, published in January 2011.