Artist: Albert Herter
Venue: Koenig & Clinton, New York
Exhibition Title: The Quincunx Aspect
Date: June 3 – September 1, 2017
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of the artist and Koenig & Clinton, New York. Photos by Jeffrey Sturges.
Koenig & Clinton is delighted to inaugurate our new Bushwick location with the gallery’s first exhibition of Brooklyn-based artist, Albert Herter. On view are 45 vividly colored works on paper that have been culled from six discrete series that were drawn over the course of the past year.
In keeping with his previous series, Herter’s most recent work features compact and elaborate scenes filled with de-constructed figures that have been staged in a surreal space. Ornate compositions commonly include two or three bodies enmeshed in dialogue or in confrontation. Amidst the dense scape of detail, boundaries between figure and ground, human and nature, threaten to disappear.
From a distance, Herter’s detailed freehand ink and watercolor drawings might resemble those of Old Masters drawings. Closer inspection grants passage through a portal into the interior lives of the cast. Mechanically hinged and dramatically costumed, Herter peels back the surface to render subcutaneous drives and expose competing desires of his characters. Rabelaisian excess reveals the swift accumulation of jouissance.
Determined yet vulnerable, Herter’s troupe initially resemble marionettes that are incapable of grasping their own strings, and yet latent potentials seem to lurk in the very framing of the engagement. The frozen scene is one moment of many in which a wide array of vectors move around and through the figure as actors are transformed into actants.
On Saturday, July 15, Wetware will present a long-format sound performance. Roxy Farman and Matthew Morandi’s collaborative response to Herter’s works on view begins at 6PM.
Albert Herter (b. 1980, San Francisco) holds a BFA in new genres from the San Francisco Art Institute, where he focused primarily on video, installation, and performance. His work has also been the subject of solo exhibitions at San Francisco City Hall and Partisan Gallery, San Francisco. Herter has participated in group exhibitions at: JOAN, Los Angeles; Art in General, New York; Derek Eller, New York; Spiral Gallery, Los Angeles; and Arthouse, McAllen, TX. A pairing of the artist’s drawings and writings were recently published by Comfortable On a Tightrope and Museums Press under the title “In the Curtyard: Orchestrated Reduction of the Fantasm”. His drawings have also been featured in The Third Rail and Lacanian Ink. In addition to his artistic practice, Herter is a practicing Lacanian psychoanalyst. He lives and works in Brooklyn.
Artist Statement: In the OrchORd
“…(Lacan’s) first formula for the fantasm indicates that it is located in a strictly imaginary dimension: a ← a. Secondly, Lacan points out that the prevalence of an image for a subject corresponds to a lack in the symbolic system. Even though I have no time to develop this now, the idea can already be found in Lacan’s work that when a lack arises in the signifying chain, which can be written as barred A, that an image, an imaginary-level element can become prevalent. Thirdly, and as an example of what I just said, let us take a look at the first way in which Lacan accounts for the figure of the superego. At that time, he said, exactly, that when there is a lack in the symbolic chain that arises from the imaginary level, the obscene figure of the superego appears.” –Jacques-Alain Miller, The Axiom of the Fantasm
“Man is always given whole, in an image of his creation that he cannot situate in time’s passing. Of necessity, this image is total: man has tools, he works, he imposes sexual restrictions on himself; he has a horror of sexually derived or excremental defilements which is hard to express, just as he has a horror of death and the dead. We shall see, moreover that his aversions are ambiguous, that they allow for reversals. In theory, we must envisage the transition from animal to man as a drama, which we can take as having lasted and as having had ups and downs, but whose unity we must grant. In the beginning there is necessarily, if not a quick drama, then a set of coherent peripeteia; we will never be able to say what happened, but we know the outcome of this drama had the value of an irrevocable decision. This is the true sense of a lasting effect, which extends through time to us, and is till the motive of the activity we pursue.” –Georges Bataille, The Accursed Share Volume II
Aggression is always interspecial and it was an evolutionary boon because it acted as a territorial spacer.
Ritual and sign as a means to avoid slaughter.
Surface aggression, like the face of the mandrill displaying color and form that appear to carry meaning, to be meaningful as such. The pomp revolves around an axis, fixed lines that count as zero but which, only by their being, define and produce the field and all the action which will unfold upon it. The word came and marked the land and made it into a territory. It marked the bodies and fractured them into anatomy.
Satirical portrayals of the occasion when the imaginary realm of meaty effervescence was pierced by the symbolic.
The orchard is a microcosm or model of a synchronal space, a slice of spacetime without narrative depth or history. It is a flash when a certain contingent word was infused with a charge of libido and became axiomatic.