Artist: Pope.L

Venue: Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York

Exhibition Title: Four Panels

Date: March 5 – April 10, 2021

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Artist: Pope.L

Artist: Pope.L

Artist: Pope.L

Full gallery of photographs, press launch and hyperlink accessible after the soar.


Images courtesy of Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York

Press Release:

Mitchell-Innes & Nash is happy to current an exhibition of latest work by American artist Pope.L. This would be the artist’s first solo present at the gallery since his critically acclaimed trio of exhibitions, Instigation, Aspiration, Perspiration, at The Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art and the Public Art Fund in New York in 2019, that includes landmark performances and associated movies, objects and installations. On view at 534 West twenty sixth Street, Four Panels gives a novel alternative to expertise Pope.L’s continued engagement with the mediums of language and portray.

The exhibition options works from 2020 that discover the connection between writing, legibility, speech and autobiography. Hand-written phrases spell out a set of daring messages towards naked surfaces at instances indistinguishable from the floor itself. Individual letters are variously emphasised utilizing shade, texture, transparency and erasure. Messy or inverted symbols and incorrect spelling make it difficult to decipher and the statements that in the end transpire are fragmented, contradictory and rhythmical. These strategies create a way of absence: the importance of the texts stay elusive and open-ended—one thing is lacking—simply because the title of the exhibition “Four Panels” leaves out that there are literally 5 panels on the partitions of the gallery.

The works are part of Pope.L’s ongoing Skin Set undertaking of drawings, work and contraptions, began in 1997, the place statements about “black, green, red, blue, white and purple people” draw consideration to how we use shade or shade phrases or racial epithets to create that means. As in these works, right here emphasis is positioned concurrently on the visible building of language and the that means of the texts themselves—letters are pulled aside to give attention to the house between, simply as inconsistent line breaks and crossed-out phrases spotlight audibility, tone and discord. As Pope.L notes, writing itself turns into a “re-coded visual communication via a set of physical actions: scratches, scrawls, hacks, gouges, smears, globs and caesura where the space between one moment of utterance (for example, a mark or an artwork) is also a kind of writing.”[1]

The 5 panels are every inscribed with a novel textual content written often however erratically in all caps. First-person prose suggests an autobiographical dimension, however the narratives are fragmented, incomplete and stunted. Some panels have been punctured with holes and globbed with glue.

Towards the again of the gallery, thirty work on paper have been grouped collectively in a large-scale grid titled Calendar, all seeming to function the identical textual content. Pope.L has deployed the format of the grid all through his apply to juxtapose idiosyncratic assertions in a structured, pseudo-objective format. Any sense of order is disrupted by Pope.L’s use dates but to happen corresponding to July 4, 2031 in addition to the problem of studying the phrases depicted, a few of that are at instances virtually utterly obliterated. In sounding out the inscriptions, viewers are prompted to stutter, pause, rhyme and riddle.

However, to shore up the legibility within the work, Pope.L rigorously inscribes the dates in ballpoint to create a way of diaristic development. This technique recollects the usage of the grid in conceptual artwork as a device for the systematic recording of knowledge—the title of this set up is a selected reference to German artist Hanne Darboven’s momentous, serial inscriptions of calendar dates within the Seventies as a response to the traumas of representing latest historical past. For Pope.L, dichotomy is a thriller. For instance, the place is the road between legibility and illegibility, and by extension between kind and content material, figuration and abstraction? The work turns into a meditation on the truth that the very act of writing is invariably marked by lack. In the visible context of portray, trying to decipher the artist’s texts invitations new layers of that means or frustration. Misunderstanding turns into its personal worth. The works require that viewers decelerate and detour the method of imbibing and permit open-endedness and uncertainty to turn out to be the content material consumed.

“What is ‘significant’ writing? Why write? And if one insists, why write this rather than that? One has to make this decision over and over because writing is, by its very nature, discontinuous, intermittent and fragmented by circumstance, even by one’s own breath. Therefore, there is always a gap or space between any moment of writing or utterance and another. Writing is always rewriting. One is always beginning again with writing. Now writing autobiographically could be said to count as significant writing, at least to its author. But autobiography is also a format, a show and form of display. It has rules—requirements and limitations. To write autobiographically, one must act as though the chasm between the past and the present can somehow be transcended in communication or text or whatever. But how one writes is also key. For example, should one write the inevitable, unescapable absence? Does one have a choice?”[2]

—Pope.L, February 2021

Over the previous 4 a long time, Pope.L has probed the complexities of language, illustration and identification in his work. With his humorous, absurd and poetic sensibility, he engages unconventional supplies and strategies to interact his material in a curious investigation of customized, historical past and cultural norms. Transcending a variety of artwork actions, together with Pop artwork, Fluxus and conceptual artwork, his work has come to embody its personal style of physique politics. His multifaceted works—together with public actions, performances, work, drawings, sculptures and images—have concerned promoting aspirin on the road for 100 {dollars} a tablet; consuming the Wall Street Journal whereas seated on the sidewalk on an American flag; burying himself as much as his shoulders with a bowl of vanilla ice cream simply out of attain; creating mass crawls around the globe and promoting contaminated ingesting water as artwork works to assist fund the rehabilitation of a group.

The exhibition, Four Panels, is complemented by a publication titled My Kingdom for a Title, which additional considers the conceptual framework of writing, legibility and absence in Pope.L’s apply. It consists of texts by Pope.L with endnotes compiled by the artist Kandis Williams. At 276 pages and absolutely illustrated, it’s the first ebook to deliver collectively a substantial collection of his writings from 1977 to 2020. Pope.L’s present exhibition, now on view at the Neubauer Collegium at the University of Chicago by way of May 21, bears the identical title.

Link: Pope.L at Mitchell-Innes & Nash

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