Artists: Gavin Kenyon, Mimi Lauter
Venue: /, San Francisco
Date: January 11 – February 24, 2019
Full gallery of images, press release, and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of /, San Francisco
If we recall that in the Genesis tales of the Abrahamic tradition Adam and Eve, the original man/woman, are exiled from Paradise after internalizing difference, it seems to follow that the stone of knowledge, that legendary alchemical substance capable of sewing gold from straw and bestowing immortality on those who decipher its text, would require a spirited return to wholeness. In fact, The Rosarium Philosophorum, the most notable of the 16th century alchemical texts, is illustrated with many depictions of hieros gamosthrough a fusing of the masculine and feminine image. It is exactly this sort of magnum opus that we find in the sculptures and pastels of Gavin Kenyon and Mimi Lauter.
Not quite landscape, Mimi Lauter’s visions of past and future open into a fiery maw of color inseparable from the soft stickiness of its formal quality. Bodies in nature scale to natural bodies and back again through an expressionism that is as much organ as organic. Tinged with the historicism of early modernism, the work feels more ideological than that to which contemporary viewership is accustomed, and more visceral than pastel should allow.
Not quite monument, Gavin Kenyon’s sculpture is massive. Iron, cellular concrete, pigment and fur. Form determined by the shroud binding the construction through a catalyzing of soft and hardening substance. A quilted pentagram, is wall hung while orificial structures, slouching and lumpen, rest on the floor. These hard, heavy, furry objects are marked by their envelopment. Again, a sense of the modern pervades, but verticality is tested here, not so much by entropy as by archetype.
With twelve years, the climate scientists tell us, before the oceans start to boil, these not- quite-monuments and not-quite-landscapes suggest the possibilities of individuation as collective consciousness. A return to wholeness and an acknowledgement that only the tree of life now stands between the power of creator and created.
Originally from Marathon, New York, Gavin Kenyon’s work has been exhibited at the Museo Marino Marini, Florence, Italy, MoMA PS1, NY, and was included in the 10th Gwangju Biennale. Originally from San Francisco, Mimi Lauter’s work is included in the collections of the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles.
Gavin Kenyon / Mimi Lauter is the second in a year-long series of two-person exhibitions, to be curated at / by Los Angeles based artist and film-maker Drew Heitzler. A limited edition zine-style catalog with a new essay by Catherine Taft will be published for the occasion.