Park View / Paul Soto presents new works by Southern California artists Aidan Koch and Kate Spencer Stewart. While diverging wildly in subject matter, the two artists are committed to exploring difference and openness in the process of unraveling visual and material narratives of the body in space.
Multimedia artist Aidan Koch (b. 1988) works in painting, sculpture, graphic novel, zine, and comic formats. Her works are characterized by a distinctive minimalist approach to storytelling, where image, gesture, language, and the blank page are all entwined with equal importance in the development of a delicate narrative framework. Her work absorbs historical, mythical, and cultural references from her itinerant life. On the page, an illustrated shard of a Greco-Roman urn can find its home nestled next to imagery of pre-Colombian reliquaries; a poetic text scrawled in graphite next to a burst of red gouache. These latter elements suggest a fragmentary subjectivity that is maximally absorbent, associative, and affected by one’s surroundings. These simple graphic and painterly gestures stitch together stories of love, loss, transition, joy, and defeat that obscure as much as they reveal, opening up Koch’s works to wider interpretive nets that transcend any singular perspective. These subjects are couched within themes of ecology and changes in universal, planetary life forces. As humanist as Koch's narratives project, they nevertheless manage to democratize the visual and life field as they account for the agency of objects and nature itself, with visual elements of flora and fauna acting decidedly and of their own volition. These forms catalyze a host of narratives on their own that not only interweave ours, they actually eclipse human experience, displacing the supremacy of humanity in lieu of ancient and future natures that will inevitably outlive our own.
Aidan Koch lives and works in New York City and Landers, California. She received her BFA from Pacific Northwest College of the Art in 2009. Her works have been exhibited at The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Naughton Gallery at Queens University, Belfast; South Bend Museum of Art, Bend; 31st Biennial of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana; Park View/Paul Soto, Los Angeles; Signal Gallery, Brooklyn; Galerie Patrick Seguin, curated by Karma Gallery, Paris; DREI, Cologne; Octagon, Milan; Hester, New York; And Now, Dallas, among others. Her books have been published by Kus, Koyama Press, MoMA PS1, Peradam Press, and Publication Studio.
Kate Spencer Stewart (b. 1984) is interested in the liveliness of painting in its most raw aspect, as her visual language returns again and again to the immediate sensation that a canvas can produce. Rather than diverting her attention towards figuration or abstraction per se, Stewart instead focuses on what a particular color, gesture, line, or composition can perform within a canvas’s representational and pictorial registry, and outside of its confines and in a wider world environment and context. Stewart bends and stretches these individual tools of painting for her own singular ends, in the process moving us to both experience and question our existence within and outside of representation itself. This effect bears a massive significance for the way we live, feel, and communicate today. The paintings themselves behave in one way like performers on a stage while they hang on a wall. They effect a simultaneous gentle yet jarring touch on their audiences as they calibrate, control, and alter the moods, feelings, and vision of a crowd who chooses to gather around them. Becoming nodes of a communal experience within a particular physical space, they nevertheless manage to establish unique sensations within each subject-viewer. In this respect, the painting becomes sanctuary-like, where a form, shape, and picture becomes a place for many states of mind and body: for rest and quiet; for charge and uplift; for the reiteration of a viewer’s optimism or nihilism. Each canvas for Stewart may possess an admixture of these qualities, ones coexisting in harmony as much as they conflict. She effects this with atmospheric veils of oils with multiple layers of visual foci that draw one into a pictorial space, only to be removed and bounced out by moments and gestures that re-establish the flatness of her picture plane.
Kate Spencer Stewart lives and works in Los Angeles, California. She received her MFA from UCLA in 2017. Her works have been exhibited at UCLA New Wight Gallery, Los Angeles; La Maison de Rendez-Vous, Brussels; The Gallery @ Michael’s, Santa Monica; and Roberts & Tilton, Los Angeles. Her works will be including in a forthcoming group exhibition at Misako & Rosen, Tokyo; a solo project at The Gallery & Le Hangar Restaurant, Paris; and a solo exhibition at Park View/Paul Soto, Los Angeles.
For Friend of a Friend Warsaw, Emalin is pleased to present a series of new wall-based works as well as a sculpture by Canadian artist Nicholas Cheveldave. Nicholas Cheveldave’s work brings together a range of processes including photography, painting, 3D rendering and sculpture that culminate in densely layered collages and assemblages. His practice critically engages the ways in which Western consumer culture generates and controls the communication of contemporary identity. Images gleaned from highly accessible sources - e.g. internet search engine finds and cutouts from daily commuter papers - are layered onto the artist’s personal photographs, digitized and collaged onto canvas. The resultant image manipulations explore the readymade subject formations that result when individuals are driven to craft, perform an disseminate their own imaged identity to be consumed by others. At the heart of Cheveldave’s research-based practice lie pressing questions about chronic indecision, personality deformations, cultural isolation and social dwarfism in the wake of high-speed networks and image-sharing culture.
Nicholas Cheveldave (b. 1984 in Victoria, CA, lives and works in London) completed his MFA at Goldsmiths, London in 2014. Upcoming exhibitions include a duo show with Sebastian Lloyd Reese at Hot Wheels Project, Athens, GR in June 2019. Recent exhibitions include Field of Plastic Flowers, Emalin (London, 2017); Bloody Life, Herald St (London, 2016); History of Nothing, White Cube (London, 2016); National Gallery 2: Empire, Chewday’s, (London, 2015); All For Nothing, Carl Kostyál (London, 2015). Piktogram is excited to present works by Isaac Lythgoe. The artist focuses on the fictional context wherein the work takes shape. The presence of the characters, a time frame, and a location are required for his installations composed of sculptures, neon, fabric, furniture, and other objects to find their meaning. Alongside the narrative imagined by the artist, dreams and the subconscious create temporal and fictional distortions. In this narrative flux, characters borrowed from mythology and pop culture flirt with power, to find themselves trapped as historical landmarks, curled up in a fancy hotel or sitting on top of a CBD skyscraper in a search for eternal youth. The works exhibited at FOAF are revisions of several older works the artist made over the past two years, thereby adapted to their new context and brought together for the first time.
Isaac Lythgoe (born 1989, UK) graduated from the Royal College of Art. Recent exhibitions include Michael Jackson, On the Wall, National Portrait Gallery (London, 2018); Planned Obsolescence at the Moscow Biennale (Moscow, 2016). Recent solo exhibitions include Smell Summer Rain, Galleria Fran Reus, (Palma, 2018); Janus, Exo Exo (Paris, 2017); 5225 Figueroa Mountain Road, Almanac (London, 2016).