Catch as Catch Can

Feb 13 - Mar 30, 2013

Will Benedict, Madame President We are Breaking Up

Will Benedict, Madame President We are Breaking Up, 2011, gouache on canvas and foam core, photograph, aluminum, glass, tape, 42 1/2 x 61 inches

Kerstin Brätsch, Interchangeable Mylar (3 parts), Glow Rod Tanning Series for DAS INSTITUT and UNITED BROTHERS

Kerstin Brätsch, Interchangeable Mylar (3 parts), Glow Rod Tanning Series for DAS INSTITUT and UNITED BROTHERS, 2012, oil on 3 mylar sheets with lightbox, 86 1/2 x 139 3/4 x 14 3/4 inches

Tom Burr, An Orange Echo

Tom Burr, An Orange Echo, 2012, plywood, mirrored Plexiglas, used theater seats, 72 x 42 1/2 x 36 inches

Tom Burr, November Nerves

Tom Burr, November Nerves, 2012, wool blanket and upholstery tacks on plywood, 72 x 72 x 3 inches

Michaela Eichwald, Gerichtstraße

Michaela Eichwald, Gerichtstraße, 2012, acrylic, oil, crayon, lacquer on nettle, 70 7/8 x 47 1/4 inches

Michaela Eichwald, Lustgrotte & o.T.

Michaela Eichwald, Lustgrotte & o.T., 2010, cast resin, 7 7/8 x 3 15/16 x 3 15/16 inches

Nicole Eisenman, Untitled

Nicole Eisenman, Untitled, 2012, monotype, 28 1/2 x 23 1/2 inches (framed)

Nicole Eisenman, Untitled

Nicole Eisenman, Untitled, 2012, monotype on paper, 23 1/3 x 17 1/2 inches (image)

Nicole Eisenman, Untitled

Nicole Eisenman, Untitled, 2012, monotype, 28 1/2 x 23 1/2 inches (framed)

Jutta Koether, I Know There's Nothing Else To Do

Jutta Koether, I Know There's Nothing Else To Do, 1994, oil on canvas, 87 x 76 inches

Jutta Koether, Beyond the Beautiful View

Jutta Koether, Beyond the Beautiful View, 1993, oil on canvas, 98 x 86 inches

Nick Mauss, Hinge

Nick Mauss, Hinge, 2012, glazed ceramic, 13 3/8 x 17 1/4 inches

Nick Mauss, Partition

Nick Mauss, Partition, 2012, glazed ceramic, 13 3/8 x 17 1/4 inches

Nick Mauss, For two days I was unable to do anything, I was so stunned

Nick Mauss, For two days I was unable to do anything, I was so stunned, 2009, cold rolled steel, magnets, inkjet prints, Xerox, pastel shavings, 30 x 20 x 10 inches

Nick Mauss, Conversion

Nick Mauss, Conversion, 2011, ink and colored pencil on paper, 23 1/4 x 16 1/2 inches (paper)

Shahryar Nashat, Modern Body Comedy

Shahryar Nashat, Modern Body Comedy, 2006, S8mm-film transferred to video; color, sound, 2:46 minutes

Lucy Skaer, Harlequin is as Harlequin Does

Lucy Skaer, Harlequin is as Harlequin Does, 2012, c-print with silkscreen, 44 x 36 inches

Lucy Skaer, Leonora (The Joker)

Lucy Skaer, Leonora (The Joker), 2006, 16mm film, 45 seconds

Kianja Strobert, Untitled (Yellow Border)

Kianja Strobert, Untitled (Yellow Border), 2013, mixed media on paper, triptych, 50 x 38 inches each

Viola Yesiltac, this eye is burning

Viola Yesiltac, this eye is burning, 2013, fountain pen ink on seamless background paper, 77 x 53 inches

Viola Yesiltac, Vom rudimentaeren Unverstaendniss

Viola Yesiltac, Vom rudimentaeren Unverstaendniss, 2012, calligraphy and fountain pen ink on paper, 19 1/2 x 25 1/2 inches

press release

Locks Gallery is pleased to present Catch as Catch Can, a group exhibition curated by Fionn Meade. The exhibition will be on view February 13 through March 30, 2013. There will be a reception for the artists on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 from 5:30–7:30 pm.

Viola Yesiltac will perform her piece Taking a Stroll with the Lift Operator in collaboration with Oliver Input, at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, February 13th. It will be followed by a walk-through with Fionn Meade and the artists. (Follow this link to listen to the audio recording of the performance.)

Artists in the exhibition include: Will Benedict, Kerstin Brätsch, Tom Burr, Michaela Eichwald, Nicole Eisenman, Jutta Koether, Nick Mauss, Francis Picabia, Shahryar Nashat, Lucy Skaer, Kianja Strobert, and Viola Yesiltac.

Catch As Catch Can inhabits a gap between parody and seriousness, consorting and mingling with sculpture, film, graphic design, and poetry, but always with a wry yet beholden eye towards painting and its terms and limits. Taken from the nickname for wrestling match entertainments of the early 20th century, Catch As Catch Can embraces a "no-holds-barred" attitude of reinventing genre, medium, and persona via available means.

Inspired by the presence of Francis Picabia's painting of the same name—Catch As Catch Can, 1913—the exhibition engages a prying apart and emptying out of stylistic investments, critical prompts, and polemical stances in order that these tactics be revitalized with a restless comic gravitas. Painting as a genre and idea of mobility and mimesis—moving readily between graphic optical forms, versioning of the artistic self, and gestural pose—is explored in contemporary artistic practices that embrace a spirit of rupture, allowance, and divided attentions.

Made just after the succès de scandale of the Armory Show, which opened in New York, February 17th, 1913, Picabia's Catch As Catch Can is an emblem of divided desire, existing between the lyrical embrace of Orphism's colorful abstraction and the diagrammatic noise of the mecanomorphs, disassembled figuration, and embedded commentary that were to ensue. Conflating the artist's memory of a dancer's risqué routine aboard a transatlantic voyage with a no-holds-barred wrestling match Picabia viewed with his friend Apollinaire and first wife, Gabrielle, Catch As Catch Can insists and interprets simultaneously, offering up a critique of its own seductive advances. Mixing up the French words étoile (star) and danse (dance) in the lower right hand corner, the painting deflates yet asserts its own rhythmic abstraction, and brings together the filmic collapse of two indelible memories.

From the Keatonesque pratfalls of Sharyar Nashat's film Modern Body Comedy, 2006, to Lucy Skaer's filmic portrayal of an encounter with the elderly Surrealist painter Leonora Carrington, Leonora (The Joker), 2006, the language of cinema as the least faithful art form recurs here in the exhibition in the cinematic ability to frame and repeat heightened moments, inverting dramatic tension and revealing illusion and viewer expectations. As with the two rows of movie seats facing each other in Tom Burr's An Orange Echo, 2012, the mirror of cinema inverts, fragments, and upends our memory through impossible repetitions, forever altering the imprint of the constructed, painted encounter along the way.

A similarly uneasy, dismantled approach to portraiture and interiority is animated in the work of Jutta Koether, Nick Mauss, and Will Benedict, as they hold equally to the effects of advanced abstraction and décor while taking apart art historical context and social behavior. While the line and language of satire embedded in the work of Viola Yesiltac and Nicole Eisenman puts forth an unresolved dialog between caricature and lyricism, Kerstin Brätsch’s optical distortion and rotating display tactics resonate with Kianja Strobert’s staccato substitutions and Michaela Eichwald’s writhing and recalcitrant compositions to further rouse the spirit of distribution, mutation, and mischief carried forth within the exhibition.

Click here to download a PDF exhibition catalog.

Click here to download a PDF press release.

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Feb 24, 2013
Philadelphia Inquirer