press release

Altman Siegel is pleased to present ...And Then There Was X, a group show featuring highlights of the gallery program. ...And Then There Was X includes new work by gallery artists Matt Keegan, Shinpei Kusanagi, Devin Leonardi, Trevor Paglen, Will Rogan, and Garth Weiser. This is the gallery's tenth exhibition since its inception in January 2009.

In this show, Matt Keegan includes a cut paper collage, text-based work, which brings the physicality of language to the forefront, emphasizing the way letters and words are shaped and the way they sound when they are spoken and repeated. The almost manic repetition and fragmentation of letters and phrases in his work serves to separate words from their meanings.

Shinpei Kusanagi's canvases recall European landscape paintings characterized by a chromatic palette and broadly applied atmospheric washes of paint. At the same time, his quickly executed brushstrokes and minimal detail evoke Japanese calligraphy. Kusanagi leaves much of the canvas raw, and lets simple strokes of pencil line and acrylic create figures, space and movement.

Devin Leonardi has created a group of paintings that are based on American photographs from the 1860's through the turn of the last century. Each of these photos is a portrait, selected for its ability to depict an intimate view of the past that is also rich with the symbols that make American history legible. Using acrylic on paper, Leonardi transforms these images by combining two photographs or editing one down to its essential forms. He balances them between the vastness of a landscape lost in time and the close gaze of the camera that has preserved their likeness.

In the tradition of the great photographers of the West, Trevor Paglen is both a landscape photographer and an explorer. His subject is most often landscapes of secrecy from classified air bases in the Great Basin, to clandestine spacecraft in Earth's orbit. Paglen's practice of surveying and photographing undisclosed military operations is a contemporary iteration of the frontier photographers' tradition of documenting previously unknown territory. His photographs capture the grandeur of the American west and reveal within them the high-tech, man-made omnipresence of the American state.

Will Rogan's practice reflects the poignant, ironic, disastrous and beautiful in the urban and domestic landscapes around him. Rogan uses this material for artistic interventions in the form of photography, video and sculpture, which often highlight the profound and analytical in everyday life. Often taking a playful stance on mundane situations and structures, Rogan's work merges the critical with the poetic.

Garth Weiser's practice explores material, color and space by combining ordered elements with texture and spontaneous gesture. He mixes art-historical tropes with pop culture as he conflates several media, including modeling paste, gold leaf, air brush, graphite and acrylic, to create multi-layered canvases with highly varied textures, surfaces and influences. His compositions often superimpose two styles of painting or mark making, creating a flicker or slippage within the picture. These processes create a synthetic plasticity or a purposeful awkwardness, shifting his practice away expressionism towards a more mediated method of painting.

And Then There Was X

Künstler: Matt Keegan, Shinpei Kusanagi, Devin Leonardi, Trevor Paglen, Will Rogan, Garth Weiser