Constellation is a group exhibition of painting, drawing, video, collage, and sculpture featuring Los Angeles artists Sayre Gomez, Mark Hagen, Julian Hoeber, Brett Lund, and Landon Wiggs. It addresses notions of time, process, and human agency. Elementary in nature, the exhibition places emphasis on formlessness, physical affect, and expression to look at the metaphysical purpose of art making.
Through the ominous gaze of a surveillance camera, Landon Wiggs’s video Trans Live shows different views of the steel skeleton of the new Broad Contemporary Art Museum. Words slowly form out of the building’s structure, eventually succeeding into a rapid constantly morphing series of anagrams. Wiggs’s clever and textual play starts with what the suburban megalopolis in background affirms, specifically, that “everything happens”.
Another work, Mark Hagen’s painting titled Pride, features a peculiar graph drawn by the inspirational executive coach Keith “Vanguard” Raniere, leader of the cultish NXIVM Executive Success Programs. The graph details Raniere’s unconventional perspective on the connection between an individual’s pride (the “pride barrier”) and their drive to live “ethically” and achieve their “ultimate dreams”. Hagen’s painting appears as an oversized version of the diagram; the text and graph are superimposed over the geometric topography of the paper suggesting the struggle and disconnect between one’s ideas and actions.
Brett Lund’s Black Orpheus is a striking, albeit crude-looking herm. Similar to a figurative bust, but without the solidity of any specific identity, the sculpture is an abstract embodiment of otherness. Referencing Marcel Camus’ 1959 postcolonial film of the same name, Lund’s sculpture alludes to Brazilian modernism, classical mythology, and the processes that form historical narratives.
Part of his new series that will debut this September at Blum & Poe in Los Angeles, Julian Hoeber’s polished aluminum bust continues the artist’s ongoing representations of death. Cast in aluminum from a wax bust that was repeatedly shot with a handgun, the work is visceral and uncommonly eerie in how it relates figurative art history to human annihilation and oblivion.
Sayre Gomez’s recent collages entitled Formal Exercises combine craft paper, masking tape, airbrush, and a seemingly disparate set of images to create extraordinary formal compositions. Recurring images of child play, handicrafts, and ancient artifacts, the collages look at the connection between an individual’s aim to create meaning and the subsequent formation of art history at large.