Some Posters and Chairs
March 18 - April 23, 2016
LINDSAY PRESTON ZAPPAS
JOHN ZANE ZAPPAS
In the final formulation of a five-part series centered on artist couples, Lindsay Preston Zappas and John Zane Zappas attack the gallery space from both land and air. Both artists present new sets of works: one additive and digital, the other subtractive and earthen.
Banks of fabric posters hang freely throughout the main gallery space, suspended in mortal stasis. Crowded in squirts and slices of image, the posters are a biopsy of Lindsay Preston Zappas’ perpetual working process. Commingling nude bodies with their own rioting negative space, Lindsay creates an impenetrable depth, declared here as a multiplicity of flatnesses. The planar approach divvies up the headspace of the sky, evincing the artist’s ever-mirroring mental approach to these works; active works that are here found simply in a state of pause. An iterative figural borrowing from one composition to the next emphasizes the body as a form of drawing, cueing the “graphic” in choreography. Curdled figures make up a tribunal of postures, at once censored and spotlit by a mutinous background. The images jostle and jab, juggling scythes as they rip apart in an agitated mess. It is these tears that allow the spaces between bodies to escape and take over. The figure/ground effect of the black glaze used in Attic pottery is here infused with the animism of digital ink, engaging in a classical theater of shapes.
On the ground level, John Zane Zappas has placed a series of stools-as-sculptures into a fractured-rock lawn. A chair has been said to represent the ethos of the time in which it was produced. These chairs break stride with sleek contemporary design and its affinity for industrialized production by insisting on the presence of the individual. Each structure is brought forth in a subtractive process, chainsawed out of the superannuated fallen limbs from drought stricken trees of Southern California. They exist here as young fossils, torched bodies in a fresh charcoal skin. The use of burning as a patina—sealed with a clear coat to allow for functional use—is typical of John's approach to sculpture as an economy of means. The work invites a corporeal negotiation, prompting the user to decide how their body meets the object’s.
As a whole, posters and chairs’ storied relation to craft and design stand as nimble containers for creative production. While the works take on the language of familiar objects, the artists are quick to point out that Lindsay’s works aren’t posters just as much as John’s aren’t chairs. Instead, they occupy a subtle space between image and pattern, utility and aura. Lithic and electric, Some Posters and Chairs dwells in the burning and chopping, the mark-making and cosmic nakedness of their shared primordial plane.
Furthering the connection to everyday utility, the artists have used the backspace of the gallery to create an interstitial blur between the gallery and the space of the home. While the back office is literally sandwiched in between the gallerists’ home and exhibition space, the installation also mirrors the Zappas’ current shared home and studio, a space in which the perimeters of art and life collapse. A burnt coffee table supports a series of ashtrays and a limited edition zine. Open-edition pillows comfort visitors on the gallery’s couch. The back space also includes a number of drawings by both artists, all small gestures toward presenting an accessible model of art ownership founded on communal support.
Lindsay Preston Zappas (b. 1985) received her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2013. She is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Contemporary Art Review Los Angeles (Carla), an L.A. based critical art magazine that began in 2015. Recent exhibitions have included Machine Projects (L.A.), Small Editions (N.Y.), and Klowden Mann (L.A). Zappas has written for a number of publications including Art21, LACanvas, SFAQ, Carets and Sticks, and Carla. She has a forthcoming solo exhibition at City Limits (Oakland) this summer, and is currently adjunct art faculty at Fullerton College.
John Zane Zappas (b. 1985) received his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2012 and attended residencies at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and Bemis Center for Contemporary Art that same year. He has presented solo exhibitions at Sadie Halie Projects (Brooklyn), Outside Gallery (Los Angeles), Primetime (Brooklyn), and Good Weather (Little Rock). In addition, Zappas has been recently included in group exhibitions at Grin (Providence), Bb (Baltimore), and City Limits (Oakland).