May 21 to June 25, 2011
China Art Objects Galleries is proud to present our first solo exhibition of the works by Mark Hagen. The exhibition will include new paintings, sculptures, and photography.
We hope that you can join us for the opening reception Saturday May 21st from 6:00 to 9:00 pm.
6086 Comey Avenue Los Angeles California, 90034
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 21 – June 25, 2011
China Art Objects Galleries is pleased to present Mark Hagen’s first solo exhibition of new paintings, sculptures, and photography. In TBA or "to be announced"—the placeholder term used to indicate that although something is anticipated a particular aspect of that thing remains to be decided—contingencies are foregrounded as physical entanglements mirror visual ones. Here Hagen manipulates the materials of burlap, acrylic house paint, steel, cement, and obsidian through numerous controlled and surrendered processes, serialization, and spatial disorientations to explore categorical slippages of value, history, and vision.
Central to the exhibition is an 8-foot tall 48-foot long cement “Additive Sculpture”. An architectural screen comprised of symmetrically staggered rows of 720 unique blocks and columns resulting in a checkerboard pattern of these two alternating rectangular units. The units are molded from consumer packaging, plastic bottles, and distressed and recycled cardboard, and invoke a “contained formlessness” through their molten-like combination of iron oxide and the once liquid cement. Row by row they suggest strata and a “dust-like” incremental accumulation, while the overall pattern conjures continuity without implying incompletion. Completely modular and rearrangeable, Hagen has created a non-hierarchical sculpture that is seen as much as seen-through, allowing and impairing vision, as well as becoming visually entangled with other objects and viewers in the room.
The exhibition will also include five new, acrylic on burlap “Additive Paintings” that unsettle expectations about common relationships between paint, canvas, and viewer. Using process and shapes derived from one specific symmetrical pattern, Hagen makes paintings which narrate the material circumstances of their manufacture. For these Hagen leaves burlap “grounds” casually folded and piled outdoors for several months while the Southern California sunlight “tans” the exposed areas. The result is that each layer leaves a record of itself on the sheets underneath, making each piece physically contingent on another, ultimately connecting them all. These grounds are then laid “face down” horizontally over plastic sheeting and packing tape and successive layers of acrylic exterior house paint are poured through the back into geometric patterns. The paint flows into the creases and folds of the underlying plastic and makes a mold of this substrata. When stretched and up-righted the layers of paint become out of chronological order in relationship to the viewer creating a subtly anachronistic object.
The anachronistic is further explored in two “Subtractive Sculptures” of volcanic glass (obsidian) and steel. For these pieces Hagen cuts large obsidian boulders into cubes and rectangular shapes, imposing a geometry on them that is antithetical to their internal, amorphous structure. The obsidian’s surfaces are then polished to varying degrees to reflect the intersections of light, the viewer, and the piece itself. Hagen finally chips these shapes by hand, allowing the glass to break in the manner natural to it, exposing their fragility and their inky-black interiors. “Broken”, they mock geometric stability. For Hagen cubes do not call to mind some transcendent “pure” form but only industrial manufacture and culture. Obsidian's deep historic use in culture, its inherent material ironies, and the fact that as a medium for sculpture it is essentially abandoned, are all invoked and embraced here with equal measure.
More Rotational and reflective symmetries are found in Hagen’s “Directionless Field” photographs. Here photography’s basic components are the subject of these works, rather than merely artistic tools. To this end Hagen arranges and photographs mirrors, lenses, diffraction films, prisms, and other optical glass pieces in low light still-life situations to capture numerous combinations of reflections, refractions, and diffractions. These images are then mirrored and the set is mirrored again to create images without orientation.
Mark Hagen was born in Black Swamp, VA and received his MFA from California Institute of the Arts in 2002. A selection of recent exhibitions include California Dreamin’, Almine Rech Gallery, Paris (2011); Re-Dressing; Bortalami Gallery, New York (2010), Points of View, Portugal Arte 10, Lisbon; and the California Biennial, Orange County Musuem of Art, Newport Beach (2008). Mark Hagen lives and works in Los Angeles.
- Private Area