Homage to Natalia Goncharova... When the avant-garde and the folkloric kissed in public
SEPTEMBER 1 - 30, 2015
Opening Reception: Wed. Sept. 16, 6-8 pm
Proxy is happy to host an exhibition of new paintings by Lari Pittman.The exhibition’s title posits an antagonism between Goncharova’s Rayonism, an avant-garde movement of the 1920s, and its putative opposite, the folkloric. It then proposes an erotic collision, (a public kiss) between them. The encounter takes an ironically libidinal, or queer, form that is further emphasized by the oblique positioning of the monumental paintings on the right and left dark grey “walls” that, due to the scale of the gallery, can never be seen straight on.
Typographical elements and colors evoke a historical past that is updated without inhibitions. “Fix it now” might be an admonition of the artist to himself, or a prod to the viewer to mentally stabilize an impermanent state. There are dotted lines, hints of Japanese Samurai dress, a lady in African headdress, airbrushed corners. This anchoring in history and/as myth is one of Pittman’s signatures; however, there is no linguistic or theoretical shortcut to “understanding” his paintings: we have to keep looking.