January 26, 2019 - March 15, 2019


This exhibition focuses on  the dynamic, unstable relationship between visual image and language, blurring the boundaries between text as abstract signifier and literal object. The work is compelling in how it uses the two media to create a mysterious alchemy, upending the traditional relationship in which image serves text or text serves image depending on context. The ways that these artists blend and fuse the two means of communication create unstable, lyrical pieces that resist neat categorization.

Some artists in the show mine the ambiguity of written content through decontextualization or visual innuendo.  Others infuse banal phrases with a resonance at odds with their intended, often instrumental, purpose. Several artists “write” with unconventional materials: words in porcelain that tend to break, stars used as point sources to create letters, sentence fragments inscribed in a remote forest. One quality the work in this exhibit shares is rather spare means; much of it is akin to poetry in its ability to convey complex content with the least possible words.

Eve Luckring’s Junicho Video-Renku, to be presented at the reading and screening in conjunction with the exhibit, juxtaposes visual imagery with spare phrases suggested by Renku, a linked form of Japanese poetry from the 17th Century. As in the sequence excepted from her book-length poem, The Tender Between, each scene is briefly revealed and folded back into a visually intense whole.

Ramon García’s poetry, to be presented at the reading and screening in conjunction with the exhibit, reflects his practice of collaboration with visual artists and a scholarly interest in visual culture. The poem presented here, Outsider Artist: Martín Ramírez (1895-1963), plumbs the interiority (and imposed isolation) that generated Ramirez’s otherworldly drawings relative to the aggressive exteriority of the Cold War years.


Ginny CookIn Ginny Cook’s Sleep State Misperception, spare letters evoke stages of falling asleep by way of their visual presentation: blurry, soft or hard-edged, they express the liminal space between sleep and waking. Cook’s text of the same title operates as a companion piece to her photographic series; the challenges in realizing the visual work are as much a subject of the poem as not sleeping.
Carole KimCarole Kim’s video stills of sentence fragments projected on a remote Norwegian forest give the paradoxical impression that it is populated with voices. In this series of images, a dense wall of trees serves as screen for a plein air installation that evokes the legendary nature spirits of Northern European forests.
Thomas MüllerThomas Müller’s meticulously crafted ceramic phrases shatter, slump and sag in a way that is analogous to how language tends to break down when conveying complex content.  His fragile hollow letters spell out words and phrases with a conceptual relationship to their form and medium. They are vessel-like in the sense that we conceive of words as “holding” meaning.
Laura ParkerLaura Parker uses celestial phenomena to write with by positioning the camera on a point of light in the sky and moving it in the shape of a letter. This lends an otherworldly aura to common words, some of which  have an uncanny affinity with the source of light they are drawn with—“cOOL” evokes the remote, cold light of a star.
Anne Seidmanbuilds her drawings from blocks of color. Dense fields of letters and word-fragments serve as composition elements that lend dimensionality and muscular light-dark contrast. In these intuitive constructions, language is an ambiguous element which alternately sustains the structure and amplifies the precarity of the whole.
Danny ShainDanny Shain’s work evokes expanses of turf and asphalt characteristic of LA landscape. Several incorporate place-names and sign-like shapes that are transformed by context from their intended  purpose to more resonant subject matter. The Echo Park series suggests both classical pastoral and  local freeway signage.

Public Events

Medium: Opening Reception

January 26, 2019
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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Medium: Reading and Video Screening

March 2, 2019
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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