NEW YORK CITY |  Johannes Vogt Gallery, a Chelsea gallery that is opening a bigger new space, will present a two-person show by artists A.K. Burns and G.T. Pellizi. On view are recent pieces ranging from sculpture to photography and video that engage light as a medium in the work or as an inspiration for the creation of the piece.

The Chelsea gallery is also opening the first solo exhibition of Travis Boyer, Today In Me. The title is a commentary on the new work made for this exhibition, of which the paintings and sculptures act as both artwork and artifacts that have traveled with the artist over the past few months. The subject matter is a chronicle of Boyer’s innermost feelings and performative exploits. He chooses materials that allude to intimacy, sensuality and reflection including silk, velvet, and sterling silver.

Boyer invited his artist friends A.K. Burns and G.T. Pellizzi to present work at the same time of his show in the gallery’s second exhibition space that opens up a dialogue with his own body of work.

Since its inception only a year and a half ago, the gallery has taken on a challenging program leading to a change of location in November 2012. Travis Boyer and A.K Burns / G.T. Pellizzi are the inaugural shows in this new 2,200 sq ft. exhibition space. Johannes Vogt Gallery is committed to bringing attention to the complex artistic and cultural ties that bind New York to both Europe and Latin America.

The grand opening is slated for November 8 at the gallery (526 W 26th Street Suite 205) in New York.

Left: A.K. Burns, "Hard Rock", 2012, Digital C-Print, 34 x 44 inches / Right: G.T. Pellizzi, "Conduit in Red, Yellow, & Blue" (Detail), 2011, Light bulbs, galvinized steel, convolute porcelain, and wire
Left: A.K. Burns, “Hard Rock”, 2012, Digital C-Print, 34 x 44 inches / Right: G.T. Pellizzi, “Conduit in Red, Yellow, & Blue” (Detail), 2011, Light bulbs, galvinized steel, convolute porcelain, and wire

A.K. Burns presents excerpts from two new bodies of work that come out of an ongoing obsession with the land of southern Utah. Hard rock, 2012 is part of a series of large scale photographs of tightly cropped desert-scapes, eerily lit illusions of granular matter that take shape from the depths of shadowed crevices. The light is akin to dusk and dawn remaining at a time and distance that deny locational specificity. A toxic mix of the desert sun and grossly enlarged expired 35mm film produce surreal colorations that are rhythmically interrupted by light beams (a result of the film passing through airport security scanners). The beams evoke the arrival or presence of an ‘other’ within the stillness of the ostensibly lifeless space. Hard rock, refers both to the material of the landscape as well as the audible hallucination image ‘noise’ creates. Heavy film grain merges with the surface of the rock to create an optical fluctuation between flat and spatial dimensions.

Also on view is a preview version of a video work entitled, Earthship 2013, 2012. In reference to the sustainable biotecture in Taos, NM, Earthship 2013, is a poetic homage in which the artists body is suspended in ceiling hung restraints mimicking a photograph by Bob Mizer. Mizers’ original is complicated by the artificial insertion of Utah landscape (via green screen) and the reveal of the making process. Burns brings awareness to the hegemony of gay male masculinity within the esthetics of masochism by inserting herself into the image. As in Hard rock, the essential material of the desert negates the human ability to situate oneself. Burns is precariously arched, hanging and constructed to appear sun burnt. The impression of unbearable heat, a strained body and an incongruous sense of location, affirms the artificiality of sustainability. Both works are alien landings that challenge the disproportionate significance given to our own time and place.

G.T. Pellizzi engages in a critical approach towards modernist artistic concepts. He uses iconic elements throughout art history and relates them to current social concerns recognizing the metropolitan landscape as a source of abstraction. He points out both the artistic and urban elements that constantly reappear in an ever-changing metropolis. His use of primary colors refer to the scaffoldings surrounding buildings in his monochromatic blue paintings constructed on plywood, and his painted light bulbs and fixtures allude to the loft spaces in industrial buildings where artists initially work before the gentrification process takes over.

Travis Boyer, "Uh oh, competition" (Detail), 2012, Cyanotype on Silk, 60 x 42 inches
Travis Boyer, “Uh oh, competition” (Detail), 2012, Cyanotype on Silk, 60 x 42 inches

In Today in Me, Boyerʼs use of silk fabric as canvas and sterling silver for sculptural objects forms a dialogue with the body and the nomadic qualities of clothing and jewelry. The images of belts in many of his paintings begin as cyanotype photograms exposed to sunlight at locations, such as Fire Island, New York, Joshua Tree, California, and Taxco, Mexico. Boyer uses belts collected from friends, lovers, and fellow artists in these places.

The artist’s relationship to touch and the painted surface is also evident in his paintings on velvet. Quasi-geometric abstractions, the velvet paintings show Boyer’s unique mark as both a stain and a massage. The marks recall daily grooming, like brushing your hair, or applying lotion. The burnished metallic surface of the velvet paintings denies a strictly frontal read of the conventionally sized panels.

Boyer recently explored his own body as a vessel for serving tequila out of his chest. The Tequila Neti Potsculptures are similarly performative. Integrating themselves as partygoers, each sculpture is wearing a belt inspired by William Spratling, an important figure in the history of Mexican modernism. Like the belt buckles, his doorknob sculptures are symbolic transitional geometry; visual, tactile, and sonic gateways between public and private, interior and exterior.

Boyer’s performance works are experiments in socio-kinetics, an idea concocted by Boyer and curator, Sarina Basta. His events draw from socially engaged structures, such as drinking games, craft workshops, group fitness, and party hosting, as potential vehicles for performance. These performances evade a predetermined outcome by creating a legible and open-ended structure and resist enforcing utopian notions onto the group. Over the past few years his Indigo Dye VatGuacamoleHome Tour andSlurp Shot Performances have defined Boyer’s practice as interactive, social experiments that dissect and examine the invisible lines of social geometry between participants and medium. This is also the foundation for Boyer’s abstract paintings.

Travis Boyer was born in 1979 in Fort Worth, Texas. He received an MFA from the Milton Avery Graduate School of Fine Arts at Bard College. His artwork and performances have been shown at many museums and institutions including Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, High Desert Test Sites, Joshua Tree, California; Goethe Institute, New York, John Connelly Presents, New York, SOMA Arts, San Francisco; and Louis B James Gallery, New York; He recently had a three-day long performance at Participant Inc, New York. He lives and works in New York.

A.K. Burns is an interdisciplinary artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Burns is a founding member of the artists activist group W.A.G.E. (Working Artists and the Greater Economy), and co-editor of RANDY, an annual trans-feminist arts magazine. Burns released the acclaimed feature-length video, Community Action Center in collaboration with with A.L. Steiner in 2010, and maintains an ongoing site-specific collaboration with partner Katherine Hubbard. Burns’ work has been exhibited internationally at the Tate Modern, London; TAG, The Hague, NL; The Andy Warhol Museum, PA; The Museum of Modern Art, The Hessel Museum of Art, The Brooklyn Museum, and Sculpture Center, all in NY. She received a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from Bard College. A.K. Burns is represented by Callicoon Fine Arts.

Giandomenico Tonatiuh Pellizzi (G.T. Pellizzi) was born in 1978 in the state of Morelos, Mexico. He studied philosophy at St Johns College and is a graduate from The Channin School of Architecture at the Cooper Union. From 2001-2011, Pellizzi co-founded and has been involved in various art collectives, with whom he has exhibited at the Whitney Museum of Art, MoMA PS1, Centre Pompidou, PAC Murcia, and the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo and various art galleries in New York, Zurich, Berlin and London. Currently he collaborates with several characters of his own making in the guise of different personalities, of which G.T. Pellizzi is one. Pellizzi lives between New York and Mexico.

Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 11 am – 6 pm and by appointment.

For further details including images please contact Fabian Bernal via email or at 212.255.2671

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