Opening February 9 (Saturday) 4 – 6pm
Nicholas Kersulis Within Without the Space of a Corner
on view February 9 through April 2, 2013
Nicholas Kersulis at Devin Borden Gallery
Within Without the Space of a Corner, utilizes the common, architecturally defined corner between two walls to display single works that challenge binary opposition. Each work is composed of a group of paintings on one wall and a framed photograph with a caption on the other. Quiescent similarities may be perceived within contrasting elements, and when noticed, these perceived subtleties disrupt how we may have seen the work at first. Binary positions dissolve as similarities between seemingly contrasting elements become noticed. There is an implicit absurdity in this system of organization which Kersulis generates by pulling from devices such as accretion, graphic design and montage, and the very nature of gallery exhibition display.
Accretion is a device that Kersulis has used in the past in his paintings and sculptures. In these new works, the way in which the paintings are made distinguishes each layer of paint: a record of each application of paint remains defined. Each layer relays a moment in time that is frozen. With photographs, life memories are supplanted by images. The single moment represented becomes part of a much larger, socially defined meaning. The impossibility of re-presenting a distinct moment is central to the show. The titles of the works, and the captions—resistant to descriptive narrative—offer further context within which to understand the disparate elements within each work and how they relate to the body of work as a whole. While a brushstroke frozen in time is comparable to how a photograph captures a moment in time, each caption disrupts these notions specifically in each work, and thus disrupts what one might expect a caption to explain. Rather than give concrete notions about representation that turns abstraction into illustration, the work opens up the meaning of each component on display.
Within Without the Space of a Corner (Not There—Here), uses black mirrors to offer a truly, as opposed to virtually, interactive work. Hanging on either side of a corner in the gallery, two door-sized black mirrors perpetually reflect the present moment as they locate the viewer within the work. This engagement with the present moment reiterates the importance of the exhibition’s attempts to represent “frozen moments in time.” Rather than abstraction being determined by style, the sets of objects used in each work provoke abstract situations that remain ideas and experiences. For each work, the corner line between the two walls divides the corner-space, as it figuratively mirrors the viewer. Upright like the viewer standing in front of it, the corner line could be seen as the space of non-art, presenting real-time or real life within the context of visual culture. The parenthetically titled (Not There—Here) offers the most pure sense of place in the show, as it is viscerally understood before intellectually determined. It continually exists in the temporal present.
Nicholas Kersulis lives and works in Los Angeles and has shown nationally and internationally. He received his MFA from UCLA in the Interdisciplinary Specialization and his BFA from California Institute of the Arts. He has received several grants and awards, including a United States Artists Project Grant and was a recipient of the Core Artist in Residence Fellowship at The Glassell School of Art and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; his work has been included in the Houston Area Exhibition (Blaffer Art Museum, 2008) and the MexiCali Biennial (2010). He recently completed residencies at The Banff Centre for the Arts and the Ucross Foundation. More about Nicholas Kersulis at USA Projects.
Nicholas Kersulis (detail) at Devin Borden Gallery