Lauren Comito and Sarah Pater. Curated by Hilary Doyle
Opening Reception Saturday, August 1, 6-9pm
August 1st – 23rd, 2015
Projekt722 is pleased to present “Nothing / Will Have Taken Place / but the Place”, a show of work by Lauren Comito and Sarah Pater. The exhibition takes its title from Marllarmé’s poem A Throw of the Dice, in which the “nothing” moment before the die is cast is charged with meaning—empty spaces between words evoke silence and achieve abstraction.
The work of Lauren Comito and Sarah Pater investigates places of solitude. Both Comito and Pater explore day-to-day life, containment, and archiving in different ways.
In Comito’s Container Series, collected containers from food and everyday goods purchased over the course of one year lead to several related bodies of work. In one phase of the project, Comito made plaster casts of each container to make “solid blanks”, which give form to the negative space from within each vessel. In her Everyday Color Sample project, Comito combines photos of places she has lived (Providence, Philadelphia, Brooklyn) layered with flattened packaging containers that she associates with these places. Color is determined digitally using Photoshop to create color samples derived from her personal photo archive of these spaces. Using her own internal logic, Comito creates an inventive form of representation by combining everyday moments and ordinary objects to discover new psychological implications of the commonplace.
Pater documents the quotidian experience of everyday spaces using the language of reductive painting and repetition. She catalogues and extracts solitary moments from her office environments, such as a series of aloe plants near a window meant to “soothe” the worker. Two large paintings depict ominous shadows cast by plants on walls in evening light. The peaceful solitude initially suggested by the paintings is offset by a sense of stifling confinement. Artist Jackie Gendel writes: “Pater’s subtly humorous subject is the strange spatial absence found at the intersection of office space and office time; where the question of utility is fraught with the anxieties of ‘spending’ and ‘wasting’, as opposed to the reverie of ‘passing’ time and ‘traversing’ space.”
Projekt722 is an art gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn that hosts exhibitions by contemporary artists and independent curators. Projekt722’s mission is to be a exhibition platform for great work, to contribute to the city’s diverse art community, and to promote dialogue around important contemporary artists.
Projekt722 is located at 722 Metropolitan Ave, Second Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11211
LAUREN COMITO: Artist Statement
“The Menagerie” presents a selection of works taken from my ongoing Search Engine Project that has persisted over the last three years. Initially I was interested in how commonplace Google Image Search has become and how it is utilized in everyday life. The project began by conducting a series of image queries using the phrase “no comment”. I chose this phrase for its ambiguous meaning and for the potential variation within the query.
The search engine also became a place for aesthetic inquiry. The formal display of Google Image Search is gridded in such a way as to be reminiscent of Modernist painting and architecture. Relationships between images are coalesced through formal devices such as resizing and containment. The viewer is left to have a fluid and cohesive aesthetic experience, via unitization of disparate images, although the viewer’s sense of scale and resolution (quality) of these images is always indeterminate.
The two large paintings in the exhibition pay tribute to this formal display. Over the years Google has added further customization features to its image search. One of the more recent features is a time-based search. For seven days I tracked both the 24-hour image search query and the default search query. These two paintings used the first “page” of results as a formal mapping. Each image was reduced to a rectangular block of color that was dictated by the most dominant color found within the image.
The varied material investigations employed attempt to mimic common digital image manipulations, such as applying filters, superimposing and skewing. The resultant physical manifestations investigate how the display of the search engine, as well as the images themselves, operate when placed into the physical realm.
The Stilllife works on paper began by printing the query images at their actual size rather than their display size. These image prints were mounted to individually cut pieces of foam-core that correspond to their print size. The digital images thus become transformed into literal building blocks that can be physically rearranged. I assembled these image-objects into stacks, which then served as a still life to paint from.
The query images are at times printed onto different types of fabric and either stretched over an armature or allowed to embrace the sag of that particular fabric. The Search Engine Nightlights are paintings comprised of stretched digital prints on fabric and many layers of mark-making, which create a literal physical thickness. In order to see the previous underlying layers the paintings must be illuminated from the backend. Baggage is comprised of ten enclosed cotton voile pouches. The images were first digitally superimposed and printed onto transparent fabric. These pieces are deflated shells; the surface image now a transparent flaccid skin lacking a skeletal structure.
“The Menagerie” June 13-July 13, 2014
Opening Reception, Friday, June 13, 7-9 PM
Slag Gallery is pleased to present “The Menagerie” featuring new works by Lauren Comito.
Mining from mediums of mass culture like Google image search, Comito’s work explores the implications of several genres of art making. The work brilliantly succeeds in establishing a constant, resonant voice throughout the exhibition. Working with the limitations and possibilities of new media, Comito renders answers that are both creative and critical, her entire oeuvre conveying a unique sensibility.
All of the images that make up the work featured in this show were retrieved from the Google image search of the phrase no comment. This search was conducted several times over the last three years. The term was chosen for its blanketing ambiguity as well as for the concrete variations attained in the resulting search.
“In my studio I engage with multiple projects that may have divergent trajectories. Shifts in perception and the way in which we navigate through ‘space’ occur frequently. I cannot choose a fixed position but rather attempt to locate temporary placements. I produce work that is reactionary and in correspondence to a sensibility to control. I am interested in exploring notions of image construction, as seen in both painting and common digital processes. My work utilizes a combination of procedures that alternate between digital processes and physical/material manipulations. Reformatting and mechanisms of cropping, duplicating, scaling and saturating are simple devices that create a shift in perspective and urgency.”
Comito received her MFA from Rhode Island School of Design, 2013 and her BFA from Tyler School of Art at Temple University, Elkins Park, PA, 2007. This is her second solo show in New York. Her works are featured regularly in group shows in the US and are a part of numerous private and public collections around the globe.
For press inquiries and reproductions, contact Irina Protopopescu at 917.977.1848.
For general inquiries, contact the gallery at 212.967.9818, or visit www.slaggallery.com
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