Brian Kennon and Chris Lipomi
31 Jan - 27 Feb 2009
January 31-February 27, 2009, Opening Reception: Saturday, January 31, 6-8 pm
Mesler&Hug is pleased to present a two-person exhibition with Brian Kennon and Chris Lipomi at i-20 in New York. This new work will be shown as part of a one-month gallery swap between Mesler&Hug and i-20. Brian Kennon’s II, is comprised of framed photographs of 1970’s pin-up magazine centerfold and layouts of Haim Steinbach pieces. Kennon continues exploring a practice based on book design and book making with the visual layouts and negative space within the photographs. In the center of the gallery, there is a table with cutouts, postcards, advertisements and photographs of Alice Cooper that brings together the elements of books, decapitated heads (which have been referenced in past work) and the idea of multiple pieces making up a whole. The Alice Cooper images all fit in a fabric covered box, evoking the look of a book. The pin-up photographs bring to mind and relate to the Steinbach pieces in the way that they hold an object on a pedestal, one figuratively, and the other literally. These appropriated works are presented in a precious manner, lusting after the objects they depict. Even though the magazine cutouts and Steinbach images are appropriated, their composition and the negative space that is created is where the focus lays.
For Chris Lipomi’s exhibition, Good Idea Today, Do it Tomorrow (Gedenke Heute, Fertig Morgen), there are 34 paintings presented on uniform sized canvases. The works were created by Lipomi, drawing from the sensibility and approach to painting of artist Martin Kippenberger. Kippenberger is an influence on Lipomi and one he finds to be fundamental to the foundation of his practice. The paintings have elements and pieces of existing works by Kelley, Basquiat, Warhol, Polke, Nauman and Andreas Slominski to name a few.
The works are accompanied by an installation that pays homage/looks like Kippenberger’s piece I’m Going into the Birch Forest Because my Pills are Kicking In (Jetzt get ich in den Birkenwald, denn meine pillen wirken bald, 1990, Lund, Sweden) consisting of a set of tree trunks arranged in the middle of the gallery with small wooden book sculptures sprawled between them. This project is organized with Kippenberger in mind, however it brings new light to the paintings, adding and subtracting elements and citing art history as an undeniable influence while creating new imagined collaborations within the paintings. In keeping with other exhibitions in this body of work, Lipomi borrows formal structures of Kippenberger’s installations as starting points for his own. Other examples include exhibitions modeled after Jason Rhoades in New York (November, 2007) and Mike Kelley in New Zealand (February 2008).
An artists’ book is available for this exhibition. She Has a Hot Ass, is published by 2nd Cannons Publications. Brian Kennon was born in 1972 and lives and works in Los Angeles. Kennon received his MFA from Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, 2005. He has exhibited at Mesler&Hug, MoCA, Los Angeles (2009), MoMA, New York (2008) and LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions), 2008. He is the founder and publisher of 2nd Cannons Publications, which publishes artist books and also operates the gallery space with the same name.
Chris Lipomi was born in 1975 in Miami, Florida. He lives and works in Los Angeles. Lipomi earned his BFA from UCLA in 2004. He has exhibited at Michael Lett in New Zealand (2008), Domaine de Chamarande, France (2008), European Kunsthalle, Koln (2007), Karma International in Zurich (2006), Shane Campbell, Chicago (2006) and Regen Projects, Los Angeles (2004).