Opening: Saturday, April 13, 2019, 6 – 9 PM
Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Sunday, 11 AM – 7 PM
bitforms gallery is pleased to announce their second Los Angeles exhibition at the ROW DTLA. Extract investigates image and data circulation as a ubiquitous hallmark of contemporary culture. Works by Petra Cortright, Theo Triantafyllidis, Siebren Versteeg, and Addie Wagenknecht instantiate information overflow through painterly gestures in an effort to translate software into a corporeal experience. Technology as a medium foregrounds this inquiry towards surface abstraction and performative mediation.
Petra Cortright considers attributes of screen-based imagery as a phenomenological encounter. Her paintings thrive off of the dissonance of digital aesthetics situated in physical space. Exhibited works are printed on aluminum and gloss paper, yet do not abandon the authenticity of the screen. Cortright achieves this expression by layering flattened, figurative imagery. Artworks titles, such as www.galaxy.com_aba + personalservice_01.jpg (2018), mimic file naming and web URLs to remind the viewer of the work’s native environment.
Siebren Versteeg’s generative constructs contend with pictorial abstraction through means afforded by digital technology. His compositions are the generated results of a continuously evolving set of algorithms that interact with found imagery. In the artist’s attempt to mime painted phenomena through programming, he is drawn to observe the notion of an image as a constructed circumstance replete with infinite variables. The artist’s code works tirelessly, exporting dozens of web images per day, forcing him to contend with the sheer velocity of this self imposed dustbin of possibilities. On Paintings (2019) presents both the act and outcome of image production in a performative video installation. Images culled in real-time from a Google image search of the word “painting” are downloaded to the artwork. Software written by the artist responds by generating painterly gestures. The result is superimposed over search results and broadcast to an array of screens placed within a studio-like set evoking the nomadic, provisional architecture of L.A.’s downtown region. While the production of images continues ceaselessly, the position and presence of the artist is void.
Addie Wagenknecht examines the collision between elements of painting and technology. The artist reconfigures a Roomba vacuum to paint on canvas as it enacts its preprogrammed algorithm intended to clean. Wagenknecht reclines nude as the Roomba relentlessly attempts to maneuver around her body. The paintings reference Yves Klein’s Anthropométries in which he directs nude female models, who he referred to as “living paintbrushes,” to press their pigment-covered bodies against canvases in front of an audience. In contrast, Wagenknecht abandons the spectacle of the objectified female nude in favor of drawing attention to what is absent: the female form is only acknowledged in the void surrounded by the blue strokes of the robot. Action painting glorified by the Abstract Expressionist movement is reduced to algorithm, executed by a programmed electronic.
Painting (2018) by Theo Triantafyllidis simultaneously celebrates and pokes fun at painterly abstraction. A video work depicting the artist’s avatar, a mighty, blue-haired Ork, is embedded within a large-scale painting. The Ork is in the throes of artistic production as she paints the very artwork in which she is embedded. The artwork narrates the transition from digital to physical—performing its own creation. Triantafyllidis emphasizes the flatness of the digital picture plane, ironically hinting towards qualities of flatness glorified by Modernist painting. The Ork is a necessary mediator for the artist’s presence between physical and virtual worlds.
In conjunction with this exhibition, bitforms gallery continues to present additional works from our program in the adjacent space at the ROW DTLA. Offering an incisive perspective on the fields of digital, internet, time-based, and experimental art forms, the exhibition presents a selection of artworks by Refik Anadol, Daniel Canogar, R. Luke DuBois, Carla Gannis, Manfred Mohr, Jonathan Monaghan, and Siebren Versteeg.
Petra Cortright (b. 1986, California) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. She studied Fine Arts at Parsons School of Design, The New School, New York, NY (2008) and the California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA (2004). Selected exhibitions include “The Body Electric,” Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; “Dirty Protest: Selections from the Hammer,” Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; “Now Playing: Video 1999-2019,” Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art; “Hate Speech: Aggression and Imitation,” Künstlerhaus, Halle für Kunst & Medien, Austria; “Plugged-In Paintings,” SITE131, Dallas, TX; Midnight Moment, Times Square Arts, New York, NY, “Primary Directives,” Marlborough Contemporary, London (all 2019); “I Was Raised On the Internet,” MCA, Chicago, IL (2018); Ural Industrial Biennial, Ekaterinberg, Russia; City Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand (both 2017); “Electronic Superhighway,” Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (2016); “The Metabolic Age,” MALBA, Buenos Aires, Argentina; “On YouTube. Kunst und Playlists aus 10 Jahren,“ Kunsthaus Langenthal, Switzerland; “Im Inneren der Stadt,” Künstlerhaus Bremen, Germany; (all 2015); Frieze Film, London, UK; 12th Biennale de Lyon, France (both 2013); the Venice Biennale,Italy (2009).
Theo Triantafyllidis (b.1988 Athens, Greece) received an MFA in Design Media Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2016. Selected solo shows include “Pretzel Twist, The Breeder,” Athens (2017); “Obscene Creatures,” Resilient Terrains Assembly Point, London, England, 2017. Selected group shows include “Hyper Pavilion,” Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy, 2017; “Unreal,” NRW Forum, Düsseldorf, Germany (2017); International Topsellers – Human Product, Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna, Austria (2017); “LA times 10” Architecture and Design Museum, Los Angeles, CA, 2017; “After Belonging,” Oslo Architecture Triennale, Oslo, Norway. (2016); “Game Art Festival,” Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2015). Triantafyllidis had work on view in “Still Human” at the Rubell Family Collection Miami, FL ((2018) and was included in “Nature of Justice: A Visual Arts Response to the Birds” organized by the Onassis Foundation, USA curated by Mari Spirito at St. Anne’s Warehouse, Brooklyn, NY (2018).
Siebren Versteeg (b. 1971, Connecticut) holds an MFA from The University of Illinois at Chicago (2004) and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1996). Solo exhibitions of his work have been mounted at University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, MI; Museum of Art at Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI; Hallwalls, Buffalo, NY; Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; Michael Jon and Alan, Miami, FL; Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago, IL; and Max Protetch, New York, NY. His work has been included in group exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; The Contemporary Museum, Baltimore, MD; Krannert Art Museum, Urbana-Champaign, IL; The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA; National Museum of Art, Prague, Czech Republic; James Cohan Gallery, New York, NY, and Clifton Benevento, New York, NY. Versteeg has received a MacDowell Fellowship (2016), Illinois Arts Council Fellowship (2005), The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture Merit Fellowship (2004), and Stone Fellowship for Graduate Study from The University of Illinois at Chicago (2002), and was a Kennedy Visiting Artist in Residence at the University of South Florida, Tampa (2009). Prominent collections featuring his work include the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT; The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; and Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence, RI. Versteeg lives and works in Queens, NY.
Addie Wagenknecht (b. 1981, Oregon) holds a Masters from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University and a BS in Computer Science from the University of Oregon. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Phillips, New York, NY; LEAP, Berlin, Germany; Haus der elektronischen Künste (HeK), Basel, Switzerland; MU, Eindhoven, The Netherlands; the Istanbul Biennial, Turkey; MuseumsQuartier, Vienna, Austra; Grey Area Foundation for the Arts, San Francisco, CA; Gaîté Lyrique, Paris, France; Beit Ha’ir Museum, Tel Aviv, Israel; and many festivals such a GLI.TC/H and the Nooderlicht Photography Festival. Her work has been featured in TIME, The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Art in America, Vanity Fair, BUST, Vice, and The Economist. Past residencies have included Eyebeam Art + Technology Center, New York, NY; Culture Lab at Newcastle University, UK; HyperWerk Institute for Postindustrial Design, Basel, Switzerland; and the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA. She is presently chair of the MIT Open Hardware Summit.