myselves at Kohn Gallery
Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles
through October 31 -by appointment only.
Written by Sydney Walters
myselves is an opportunity to see and be seen by the artwork of emerging and mid-career artists as they probe into the architecture of identity. Featuring traditional painters, textile artists, mixed media artists, and photographers, Joshua Friedman has curated a broad foundation of unique makers to explore the shape-shifting theme of identity.
Perhaps taking a cue from Jesse Mockrin’s staggered diptychs or from Sophia Narrett’s organically shaped fabric work, Friedman stages several pieces in the exhibition at varying heights creating a harmonious collage on the walls. This disrupts the formality of the white cube and conjures sentiments of home.
Most of artists chose to analyze identity through the private and public life of figures. “In Bloom”, Jarvis Boyland paints two men in a loose embrace. They are dressed in mod fashion. The interior scene is washed in golden light and the focus of the painting is in the unwavering gaze of one of the men. Boyland expertly economizes ambiance and gesture in order to capture a moment of meaningful connection.
Gerald Lovell, Salman Toor, and Amoako Boafo manipulate the buttery paint on their canvas as if they were carving a muscular body. If we were to peel back the dermal layer of their paintings, we might find the work of embroidery artists Chiffon Thomas, Jagdeep Raina, and Sofia Narrett. Unlike paint, the stitching is integral to the integrity of the piece, adding an element of fragility. Layers of thread soften the edges of figures and forms creating a surrealist uncertainty.
This hazy yet forceful uncertainty characterizes the entire tone of myselves. Throughout this exhibition, figures are spliced, sliced, rearranged, transformed, and concealed with an earnest hunger to expose identity as a fundamental mutation.
Artists include: Kate Barbee, Romare Bearden, Amoako Boafo, Jarvis Boyland, William Brickel, Chelsea Culprit, Bruce Conner, rafa esparza, Hamishi Farah, Nash Glynn, Heidi Hahn, Naotaka Hiro, Loie Hollowell, Oscar Yi Hou, Gerald Lovell, Jesse Mockrin, Sophia Narrett, Jagdeep Raina, Erin M. Riley, Moises Salazar, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Emily Mae Smith, Chiffon Thomas, Wolfgang Tillmans, Salman Toor, Xiuching Tsay, and Skye Volmar.
This exhibit will be open until October 31, 2020. Viewings are by appointment only.