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'Methods for Regional Stewardship' by Will Bruno at Smart Objects, Los Angeles

Painted in situ and attuned to the immediate surroundings of their conception, Will Bruno’s location-absorbent canvases capture awe for the natural world elaborated with symbols and allegorical figures sampled from regional history, religion, literature, and lore. For the artist’s second exhibition with Smart Objects, the tumultuous and storied region of Northern New Mexico serves as backdrop and subject. 

In a famed and fraught description of the Cerro Pedernal mesa, Georgia O’Keeffe interpreted her relationship to the land by stating; “It’s my private mountain. It belongs to me. God told me if I painted it enough, I could have it.” As the ancestral home of the Tewa pueblo people, the flint-rich mountain was deemed holy long before O'Keeffe. The exhibition title and suite of paintings that compose Methods for Regional Stewardship build a relationship with the land rather with a sensibility of responsibility and care. 

Taking inspiration from the visual language of comics Bruno’s paintings combine the varied terrains of northern New Mexico within merged singular views. Saturated palettes belonging to the region illuminate iridescent iron-rich cliffs, sunset-colored mesas, bending bodies of blue water, patches of green that have nurtured generations of people and animals, and multiple storm systems stretching across sweeping panoramic skies. Rendered within or superimposed on such lustrous landscapes are subjects plucked from the region’s intricate history populated by Tewa Pueblo, Ute, Apache, Comanche, and Diné peoples, Genízero, Spanish Colonists, cattle wranglers, artists, ghosts, land developers, and tourists. 

Framing devices cited from illuminated manuscripts or chapter books further a motif of storytelling while untethered symbols and subjects upend any singular interpretation of the deconstructed allegorical paintings. The transformative power of montage is harnessed as a new composite whole is realized from fragments, clips, and layers from sources both experienced and imagined. Forced combinations of past and present charge visual synchronicities and contradictions. A gentle and sincere application of fabulism, or the use of fables, parables, and myths in contemporary contexts to offer new interpretations, is employed beyond anachronistic novelty, inspiring a restored poetic voice to ecology, civic pride, and public caretaking. Collapsing the past, present, future, fictional, and real into singular tableaux, a curling at the tail end of linear history wraps back in on itself, anticipating the future. 

13.11.21 — 1.1.22

Smart Objects

'ABSINTHE', Group Show Curated by PLAGUE at Smena, Kazan

'Pupila' by Elizabeth Burmann Littin at Two seven two gallery, Toronto

'Auxiliary Lights' by Kai Philip Trausenegger at Bildraum 07, Vienna

'Inferno' by Matthew Tully Dugan at Lomex, New York

'Зamok', Off-Site Group Project at dentistry Dr. Blumkin, Moscow

'Dog, No Leash', Group Show at Spazio Orr, Brescia

'Syllables in Heart' by Thomas Bremerstent at Salgshallen, Oslo

'Out-of-place artifact', Off-Site Project by Artem Briukhov in Birsk Fortress, Bi

'Gardening' by Daniel Drabek at Toni Areal, Zurich

'HALF TRUTHS', Group Show at Hackney Road, E2 8ET, London

'Unknown Unknowns' by Christian Roncea at West End, The Hague

'Thinking About Things That Are Thinking' by Nicolás Lamas at Meessen De Clercq,

‘Funny / Sad’, Group Show by Ian Bruner, Don Elektro & Halo, curated by Rhizome P

'Don’t Die', Group Show at No Gallery, New York

'Almost Begin' by Bronson Smillie at Afternoon Projects, Vancouver

'I'll Carry Your Heart's Gray Wing with a Trembling Hand to My Old Age', Group Sh

'hapy like a fly' by Clément Courgeon at Colette Mariana, Barcelona

'Fear of the Dark' by Jack Evans at Soup, London

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