Evil Dead 2 Kadar Brock Matt Jones Horton Gallery, Berlin February 24, 2012 - March 30, 2012
The Atlantic Conference Press, 2012
The gallery is pleased to announce Evil Dead 2, a two person exhibition in the main gallery featuring recent work from the Brooklyn based artists Kadar Brock and Matt Jones. In the project room, the Berlin based artist Friedrich Franke will present a selection of small canvases. The exhibition’s title is taken from Sam Raimi’s classic horror film, Evil Dead 2, which was more of a remake of, rather than a sequel to, his first effort, Evil Dead. Brock and Jones, who have been close friends since their student days at Cooper Union and share a similar enthusiasm for painting and role playing games, see in Raimi’s remake a work that defines a commitment to the idea that a work of art is fluid rather than fixed. Inspired by Raimi’s conceptual rigor as well as his keen interest to work in the horror genre with a sense of reverence and obligation, both Brock and Jones have found unique ways to explore elements of transition, openness, revision, and, perhaps above all else, constant communication and dialogue. For the past year and a half, Brock’s work has been cannibalizing his old, quite literally feeding off previous canvases that he had shown, sucking the color from them with burred grinders and sandpaper as surely as any vampire would an unsuspecting virgin. The mostly white canvases have a corpse like feel to them, which relates clearly and coldly to the body, suggesting what is left during an out of body experience. Fluidity for Jones finds multiple nozzles. It is seen in his movement between the various modes of his working practice; or rather, the various ‘spaces’ his abstracted works depict. There are the silver bursts of the ghosts of ones’ own consciousness; there are white and black outer space paintings that optically frustrate and complicate the great infinite space of the cosmos with their attentiveness to surface; and there are the colorful orgies of his energy paintings, which exist in pure state (space) of possibility. For Evil Dead 2, Jones will create a series of energy paintings in the gallery in Berlin. The genres of still life, landscape and portraiture – so often accused of limiting the experience and expression of art – are, for Friedrich Franke, a way to subtly confuse the distinctions between object and context. In his modestly scaled canvases, which Franke paints from memory and life, there is a certain intensity that reads as a knowing intimacy with the fragility and isolation of everyday life.
Ill Behaviors Evil Dead 2 is the name of the exhibit. Purportedly, the reference is indebted to the notion of the sequel as revision, as opposed to episodic continuation. One cannot say it enough times. Things keep dying and dead things are evil. This is a re-run. Even worse, the dead trend towards insouciance regarding the parameters of their social category, acting desperately moribund where we would prefer finality, followed by disintegration. The oft referenced Stalin quote that, “A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic,” could be applied to the attitudes of the work in this show. Evil Dead 2 isn’t really a painting apologist’s show and it puts forth a few more ways for painting to die, again, a few ways for painting to die, again. Matt Jones exposes his relationship to the painting gesture as spectral, the paint tracing and haunting the spaces where his body had moved, excitedly yet procedurally. The marks are not really corporeal, in the way that abstraction can be corporeal a la Art Brut or of the Viennese Actionists and they also refuse the terrestrial sublimes of American expressionisms. Instead they propose something more like a paranormal, astrological scat; big bang caca. His work here was made in the days leading up to the show. These Energy paintings, as they are named, display large collusions of viscous acrylic in all its most artificial chromic incarnations, quickly slapped together, over black, polyurethane coated canvases. They are happily inelegant, bloated, event horizons performed as a response to an invitation to exhibit, as if by a hyperactive ape excitedly responding to a primary visit to the Hubble telescope. Think of Koko the gorilla doing Uranus. Evil Dead 2 is the name of this exhibit. There is a joke here on the anthropomorphic superstitions that cultural consciousness tends to imbue objects with. One cannot say it enough times. Things keep dying and dead things are evil. It’s a perverse practice to play with the dead and most painting I can think of, if it is worth anything at all, comprehends its relationship to this.
Few people enjoy finding a hair in their food and billions of dollars have been spent in order to keep it on the heads of aging men. The paintings Kadar Brock has chosen to show here are purposefully balding in a way that reminds me of an old roommates neurotically yearning cat. Bela used to get so desperate, being locked into the house that he’d rub his face against the door, incessantly, eventually displaying his bald pink face, on an otherwise furry black body, to my mortified friend when she’d finally return home. A kind of similarly effacing, material introspection occurs as Brock erodes the layers of paint from the surfaces of older paintings he’d completed, sometimes many years ago. The result is a topographical exposure of formal decisions that no longer articulate their prior functions. They are anti-palimpsests, occasionally resurfaced with spray paint and other paint mediums of somewhat flimsy structural constitutions. What might, initially, seem self-reflexive refuses to refer seriously to any of its past lives as entireties. The language in the erosion, imaging by disappearing, reverberates the mummified tendencies of Fautrier’s skins, Richter’s abstractions and of Stingel’s Richters. The layers devolve into the frail gauze, the last support of canvas. The final depth is a physical transparence to the wall behind the painting. A masochistic mummy unravels itself as a tweaker picks at his face, digging to the roots of the nerves. That these works can sit so contentedly side by side, oddly, in some instances hung so highly above a viewers gaze, as if installed by a bad comedian with an extension ladder; this is what zombies do when the salad days of brains have come and gone. This is a reasonable kind of happy dysfunction within the parameters of painting because painting is a perversion. James Krone April 2012 Berlin
Dialogue From: Kadar Brock Subject: Re: Taste Date: Feb 17, 2012 at 6:26 AM EST To: Matt Jones Cc: Colin Huerter The broodwich. Question - how big is the space, ie how many paintings should I bring to show? From: Colin Huerter Subject: Re: Taste Date: Feb 17, 2012 at 4:46 AM EST To: Kadar Brock Cc: Matt Jones Doood, Kadar - these look terrific. I think you should bring three or four - definitely one from each submode that’s happening here. From: Kadar Brock Subject: Re: Taste Date: Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 2:26 PM EST To: Colin Huerter Cc: Matt Jones Sweet. how many total works do you anticipate? I had the impression that I’d need like 6-8 works to hold my own, but maybe I was confused regards the space/size etc. each of these is like 52/54 x 36/42”, so not huge. Would actually be great to have a couple to keep around, so lemme know thoughts etc. woot. Ps eat some curry wurst! Kadar Brock From: Colin Huerter Subject: Re: Taste Date: Feb 17, 2012, at 8:58 AM EST To: Kadar Brock Cc: Matt Jones After talking with Jones in the space, he seems to think you should bring more work that three or four. Since the walls are 3 and half meters high, with more work we can hang in fun ways. Definitely keep a painting around in case Sean wants to bring someone by the studio.
From: Kadar Brock Subject: Re: Taste Date: Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 10:24 PM EST To: Colin Huerter Cc: Matt Jones Will bring 5-6 pieces then. Which is perfect because I can edit a few out to keep around. Just finished reading this (I’m slow)... http://www.artinamericamagazine.com/features/provisional-painting-part-2/1/ Kadar Brock From: Colin Huerter Subject: Re: Taste Date: Feb 18, 2012, at 9:20 AM EST To: Kadar Brock Cc: Matt Jones Five to 6 is a good number. And this is a really good article - finished/unfinished. It’s been awesome having Matt here. When do you get in town on Tues? My roommate, who is French, suggested that you and Steph should come over for dinner and she’ll cook. - C From: Kadar Brock Subject: Re: Taste Date: Sat, Feb 18, 2012 at 4:50 PM EST To: Colin Huerter Cc: Matt Jones Sweet! That sounds great. We arrive Weds midday. Figure well drop our stuff at the apt and then head right to the gallery for meets. Went to see slay bells with Sean last night man, had a blast. What a good show and what a good dude. We were bs’ing til 230. So stoked on all this! Can’t wait to get over there and see y’all and rustle and hustle. Kadar Brock
From: Colin Huerter Subject: Re: Taste Date: Sat, Feb 18, 2012 at 4:55 PM EST To: Kadar Brock Cc: Matt Jones Ok - so no dinner for you on Tues night then! Glad to hear that you and Sean have hit it off. He’s really great. I’ve really only hung out with him a hand full of times, but every time it’s just been easy. And let me tell you, he’s far and away the easiest, most straightforward guy I’ve ever work for and with. -C From: Colin Huerter Subject: Re: Taste Date: Feb 19, 2012, at 4:45 PM EST To: Kadar Brock Cc: Matt Jones So we’ve pushed dinner to Wednesday night - you resemble your dog in more ways than one (or so Matt says from over my shoulder - but payback is going to be a bitch when I ‘help’ him paint by saying things like, really?). You will need to bring your own staple gun and any other tools you might need to deal with the stretching. I basically got screwdrivers - power and manual. And a level, which has a magnet on it! From: Kadar Brock Subject: Re: Taste Date: Sun, Feb 19, 2012 at 11:06 PM EST To: Colin Huerter Cc: Matt Jones Envisioning your revenge - Realllly!? Nice color choice jones. Why dont you put some more energy into it... Ha How so regards the dog? Excellent about dinner, stoked for French home cooking! Will do with the tools etc. I’ll send on dims tonight for the stretchers, and some pics of the final 6 ( think the Rothko ones aren’t making the cut - need more work). Hot damn hot damn. Kadar Brock
From: Colin Huerter Subject: Re: Taste Date: Feb 19, 2012, at 5:23 PM EST To: Kadar Brock Cc: Matt Jones Haven’t the slightest clue about the dog - all Matt there. And he said - not so fast - sending the dims aren’t going to get you out of actually going to the art store and buying the stretchers yourself! Looking forward to seeing the selection. So stoked for things. So so so. -C From: Kadar Brock Subject: Re: Taste Date: Feb 20, 2012 at 6:36 AM EST To: Colin Huerter Cc: Matt Jones Hey Colin, These are the sizes, all 1 1/4” profile: 4 @ 57” x 36” 2 @ 56” x 42” Lemme know if you have a guy you’d normally get stretchers from, if I should try and rustle someone up, or if someone can check stock sizes at the local art store. Whatever is easiest. Finished the last two pieces up tonight - will send on pics in seperate following emails. Hot diggity damn. Am stoked to finally get there and have everything done, and be in the ‘I’m here enjoying’ mode instead of the ‘I’m hustling my ass of to get ready’ mode. Woot. Kb
From: Colin Huerter Subject: Re: Taste Date: Feb 20, 2012, at 3:19 AM EST To: Kadar Brock Cc: Matt Jones Kadar Matt just left with the dims - we’re going to see what we can buy from the art store. And we also just spoke about these new paintings - so super awesome. Pretty please bring two. I would be proud to present the freshest, newest work. After all, I run a project space in Berlin, which is essentially an experimentation lab. Do it, do it, do it. -C From: Colin Huerter Subject: Re: Taste Date: Feb 20, 2012 at 7:55 AM EST To: Kadar Brock Cc: Matt Jones I would like you to bring two of the attached images. I’m super into these as well. It’d be great to have some point, counter point... Matt is going to the art store today - I’m sure he’ll do some homework for you. All the stretchers are in cms. And they are thin stretcher bars - so will probably won’t be able to match the profile dim without having new ones made. <photo 3.jpg> From: Matt Jones Subject: Re: Taste Date: Feb 20, 2012, at 2:13 PM EST To: Kadar Brock Cc: Colin Huerter Responses below in bold. From: Kadar Brock Subject: Re: Taste Date: Feb 20, 2012, at 2:46 PM EST To: Matt Jones Cc: Colin Huerter Thanks y’all. Thanks for all. Welcome.
Glad you guys are stoked on these too. Honestly I don’t know if they’re done, and am also not sure if they should be shown with the other stuff. Haven’t had a chance at all to think about ‘em. What’re your thoughtsWhy shouldn’t they be shown with the other stuff? Because they’re new and not totally thought out? You’re a genius painter, that’s good enough. Have some faith. If I brought two of these in place of the others, and don’t like them do you think that will hold up? Do I think that what you’re brining minus two will hold up? Or I think the two new ones you aren’t sure of will hold up if you don’t like them? I’m confused. I say shut up and bring them b/c they’re good. Do you think it’s too obvious to show works with holes, and works made by pushing paint through said holes? What does that mean for both sets of paintings? I don’t think anyone would notice that the new nonhole works came from the hole paintings. They look totally different. I don’t see them as even relating to one another beyond both being your paintings. As I told Colin it’s like you took Sterling Ruby (or whoever, lots of people do this) floor of studio painting and mixed it with Kandinsky. It’s something I’ve never seen. I don’t get why you don’t get how awesome these are. What do these paintings read as, ie how do they stack meaning through their process? I don’t know what this means. How does anything stack meaning through its process? They’re like genius partially found amazing creative imaginative things. Do they at all? Or do they just seem irreverent, especially next to paintings with such an involved methodical process? They seem like nature. Like they’re governed by laws bigger than your hand or mind. Do they look good? Yes. They look very good. There’s something in them I like for sure, but also have felt that theyre a little thin… thing how? What does that mean? Like they aren’t layers and layers of meaning that one may or may not get depending on how one knows you and your intentions (or art history or contemporary art or whatever). These paintings are PURE. They’re very free. They’re very good. Hit me back with responses when ya can. Guess it’d change which stretchers to get too. Woot. Kadar Brock
From: Colin Huerter Subject: Re: Taste Date: Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 8:38 AM EST To: Kadar Brock Cc: Matt Jones booo - bad answer. why are you stressed? there’s room here to experiment, so let it go. matt and i are ga ga for them. besides, sending them to me before they’re finished - you’re such a tease. From: Kadar Brock Subject: Re: Taste Date: Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 5:26 AM EST To: Colin Huerter Cc: Matt Jones yo fellas. don’t hate me. but this has been stressing me all day. i just don’t think they’re ready to be shown. I’ve got like 10 more I gotta make before they’re ready, or at least before i figure out more of what they’re after, and what i want to draw out of them. I agree there’s a lot of energy with them, and the newness is exciting, and there’s definitely something good there. I’m really moved by your encouragement and enthusiasm, but there’s just more editing and considering to do before I put them out in a show context. honestly, i don’t even know that they’re finished - when i stretched them initially my intention was to just look at them, see what was there, and possibly start painting onto them. I’m still at the looking stage. I’m working on others from that series too, and thinking about when to cut and stretch them, see how minimal i can go, how maximal, what holds up, what excites, and what doesn’t. I think in 6 months time, I’ll have a group, and have had some experience with them, and some editing, and then they’ll be good to go... but yeah. i’m sorry. this is just what my gut is telling, and what my intuition is telling me, and I’ve got to trust that. i just feel it in my plums. Kadar Brock www.kadarbrock.com email@example.com
From: Colin Huerter Subject: Re: Taste Date: Feb 21, 2012, at 3:22 AM EST To: Kadar Brock Cc: Matt Jones Kadar, I hate to pull this card, but I feel I must. I think that showing these works, the ones that you feel uncomfortable with, deeply questioning their finished quality, is precisely what the show is about: Brock and Jones, who have been close friends since their student days at Cooper Union and share a similar enthusiasm for painting and role playing games, see in Raimi’s remake a work that defines a commitment to the idea that a work of art is fluid rather than fixed. Inspired by Raimi’s conceptual rigor as well as his keen interest to work in the horror genre with a sense of reverence and obligation, both Brock and Jones have found unique ways to explore elements of transition, openness, revision, and, perhaps above all else, constant communication and dialogue. If you don’t like the works when they are hung in this space, then we won’t offer them for sale, and then you can revise them again. -C PS - I am serious. In this instance you need to be pushed. It is the right decision. It is consistent with your practice and the concept for the show. Please trust me. From: Kadar Brock Subject: Re: Taste Date: Feb 21, 2012 at 2:55 PM EST To: Colin Huerter Cc: Matt Jones I sent the pics to loop you into the dialogue Matt and I had about them in the email, not with any intention of exhibiting. Please respect that it’s a body of work I want to spend more time on before showing. I’m all for pushing myself in the studio, but part of doing that and part of my practice is spending enough time contemplating the results. I haven’t had the time to do that. Sheesh do the other paintings suck or something? Wtf? Kadar Brock Sent from my iPhone
From: Colin Huerter Subject: Re: Taste Date: Feb 21, 2012, at 9:15 AM EST To: Kadar Brock Cc: Matt Jones It’s imperative to help support Matt’s puke, which started off as energy and now has brush strokes. From: Matt Jones Subject: Re: Taste Date: FTue, Feb 21, 2012 at 3:13 PM EST To: Kadar Brock Cc: Colin Huerter Man if you could only see the puke I just made trying to make energy you’d bring the new paintings so our puke could support one another. firstname.lastname@example.org From: Colin Huerter Subject: Re: Taste Date: Feb 21, 2012, at 15:10 EST To: Kadar Brock Cc: Matt Jones Of course the other paintings don’t suck. I’m pushing you because everyone needs to be pushed, especially if they resist it. That’s why dudes puke after high school football practice. The puke is where the growth is. Blahhh! From: Kadar Brock Subject: Re: Taste Date: Feb 21, 2012, at 15:23 EST To: Colin Huerter Cc: Matt Jones Puke fest! Can we change the invite to this? I have to go wrap paintings and get a new jacket woot <image.png> Kadar Brock
From: Matt Jones Subject: Re: Taste Date: Feb 21, 2012, at 9:27 AM EST To: Kadar Brock Cc: Colin Huerter Last words from me on this: if you don’t bring one or two of those paintings we are missing a huge opportunity to be open, brilliant, and vulnerable. The show won’t be quite as amazing without both types of your paintings to match both types of mine. Mine stem from the dialogue we have been sharing here and from your paintings. Would be a shame to not have the complete picture. The end. email@example.com From: Kadar Brock Subject: Re: Taste Date: Feb 21, 2012, at 15:59 EST To: Matt Jones Cc: Colin Huerter What two sorts of paintings are you showing? Energy & what else? Seriously Matt!? Im over this dialogue and over this pressure to show something that’s not finished. It’s exhausting. An enjoyable dialogue has turned into peer pressure and veiled jabs. There’s a total misunderstanding on your part as to why I’m not showing them. Vulnerability has nothing to do with it. Openness has nothing to do with it. Not taking enough time for the work has everything to do with it. Wanting to sort something out before publicly exhibiting it in my first real Berlin show has everything to do with it. Having pieces that are nascent not be shown in a two person show has everything to do with it. Not showing something that’s unfinished has everything to do with it. This whole dialogue has been so fucking frustrating. Arghhhhhhhhhhhh
From: Matt Jones Subject: Re: Taste Date: February 21, 2012 10:10:18 AM EST To: Kadar Brock Cc: Colin Huerter Ok.Â
A Letter to the Artists Dear Matt and Kadar, First of all, let me thank you for being so fully involved with, and committed to, Horton Gallery Berlin. As you both saw last week, I was becoming a bit emotional about the fact that you were both here, especially by the exceptional quality of the work you provided. And secondly, congratulate you on such a strong show. It is concise yet expansive, rigorous yet free flowing, nerdy yet athletic - all while being really fucking fun to look at. And as you both know, looking is one of my very favorite things to do. Not only to scrutinize and inspect and consider - but something more akin to a general relaxing of the eyes, where the work of patience suddenly becomes the luxury of patience. To look in this way is to not be guided by a thought - and to be open to all the deceptions of the eye, the lies of light and perspective, lunar phases and sugar levels, etc. And to relish this space of obvious and complicit fiction as an experience that one never has to do anything with outside of itself for it to attain its highest meaning. To the paintings themselves - I like to think of the spaces (not places) they send me. How paint punches a travel ticket. Mr. Jones, we'll start with you. Please take a seat. The great Willliam Blake said: 'to see a world in a grain of sand, and heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour.' Fun stuff to think about, no? Especially if you are 16 y/o ball of hormones and trying to impress some hot little number from the all girl's Catholic school across town. The profundity of Blake is accessible and accurate and immediate and totally pertinent to your paintings, which are (mostly) the result of accidents (read: the grain of sand). So to see, or rather find, the infinite in some gobs of runny
paint - your hand, which sets all this in motion, seems to be a stand in for the hand of god, which also....well, we can leave that for another time, now can't we? But of course we are trading in analogies, which means we are a few steps ahead of where we want to be. The spilled paint, moving this way in the that, is not a representation of the intergalactic-plan-e-tary, even if it just so happens to be what it looks like. Yet in some ways this only how we could see these paintings after we've seen the images from Hubble. So without those other images of bursting and collapsing super novas (or whatevers they are) to hold up to them, what are your paintings? Which is another way of saying, how can I see them without making them representational? Each of the paintings are titled, Energy. And so the energy of these paintings resembles cosmic energy as opposed to the internal energies of the white and silver paintings you have made in the past. Painting as depiction of energy instead of painting as a depiction of action. I like where this thought takes me - away from the body, detached. Mr. Brock - you still with us? I saw you browsing the other day at the gag gift store, fingering a pair of glasses with eyes on them - to appear awake when really asleep. Did you buy them? What is your feelings on deception? I feel a similar question welling up when I look at your recent paintings. Painting with a capital P as we all know and love - with paint from a tube and gesture with a brush and composition - has come under attack, both in the larger culture, and within your studio. Is revision the only force you are taking out on your old paintings - physically, at times brutally? What do you have against them? Using your industrial strength power sander and wearing your hazmat suit, you as an artist become a serial killer in the vein of Dexter, but not of history, as the postmoderns have done - but of yourself. Frankly, sir, you are a terror, unleashed on your past work, to take away whatever sense it made at the time, which is why it makes sense today. Dylan Thomas, a year or so before he died, issued his Collected Poems. In his preface, he says how difficult it is for him to read his earlier poems simply because of what he has learned - and how this learning wants to go back in and revise his earlier work according to today's standards. Congratulations, Mr. Kadar, on putting the guilt and obligation of yesterday to bed - go back in and revise, revise, revise. One paintings is more than anyone could ever ask for any way... Much love jokers. Berlin, 2012
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The artists would like to aknowledge Colin Huerter, Sean Horton, James Krone, our girlfriends, Viktor Timofev, Martin Kippenberger, Gerhard Richter, Caspar Friedrich, and the beautiful people of Berlin. Book Design by Eric Wiley and Matt Jones Published by The Atlantic Conference Press 2012 All images copyright the artists All texts copyright the authors