Joe Amrhein, Reed Anderson, Graham Gillmore, Ati Maier
21. Juni – 20. Juli 2013
* 1953 in Sacramento, CA, USA
lives and works in Brooklyn, NY
Ati Maier: That’s another piece you have in the show, a broken glass piece.
Joe Amrhein: Yes, the words are painted on the glass and then broken into a large pile so they become artifacts in a way. They become fragments of words and are almost illegible. The color and painting of the words becomes more of a visual abstraction and the broken glass develops a real tension.
Ati Maier: Can you tell me more about this piece? You told me a little bit about the first time you showed it and you said that it got broken in the transport or something?
Joe Amrhein: This is an evolving piece. I started it about eights years ago. It was a very small pile of glass with text the first time I showed it. I saved this pile and every time I re-installed the piece I would add new larger pieces of painted glass and break them on site, always saving as much of the glass as I could afterward. So the piece has been growing and growing and I’ve shown it maybe six times. The last time was in 2005 at Dogenhaus gallery in Leipzig. I shipped the glass pieces and customs was confused because I put zero value on it. The forms just said “broken glass.” I guess because they couldn’t understand it they opened the crate. In the crate were separate sections of broken glass pieces, some larger, some smaller, with text painted on them. I had been preserving the larger pieces separately so they weren’t all just tiny bits. In their somewhat brutal way of opening the crate they did break a lot of the glass. It was fine because that’s the end result of the work, but I was frustrated because I wanted to break the glass on site.
Ati Maier: So tell me about the breaking of the glass. Is it important that you are the one who is breaking the glass? What is the important aspect to that? Because it’s a violent act somehow…
Joe Amrhein: Yes, you don’t want to approach it because you’re going to step on this broken glass. It’s dangerous. It’s the nature of glass. And I utilize that aspect of the broken glass to emphasize the broken language. When I do install it I like to compose the pile somewhat. It’s not just opening a box and dumping it on the floor. There’s a compositional element to it that I like to develop and in doing so the spontaneous breaking of the glass on site becomes obvious and important to the installation.
Ati Maier: So you don’t do it as a performance.
Joe Amrhein: I don’t do it as a performance. It’s more of a process for me.
*1969 in New York City
lives and works in New York
An outgrowth of meticulous incisions, repetitions, and extractions, Reed Anderson’s work reveals the potential of the cut as both a medium and a craft. For Anderson, the cutting of paper is a dissection of the creative process, a way to shape structure through voids and build form through deconstruction. What emerges is, according to Anderson, a new ‘species of abstraction,’ an intermingling of animal and floral contours that suggests the patterns of nature and systematization of craft. As hybrid forms, Anderson’s works are as much a new species as they are
new specimens, examples of a cross between fine art and craft and the grafting of pop onto pattern. Reed Anderson attained a BFA in printmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute, and a recent MFA from Stanford University. He has exhibited throughout the United States and in Europe, and his work is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, NY; The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; The Olbricht Collection, Essen, Germany; The Progressive Art Collection, Ohio; The Burchfield-Penny Art Museum, Buffalo, NY; and Altoids Curiously Strong Collection. Anderson has curated various shows, created videos, designed album covers, and studied Butoh in Japan with Min Tanaka. He has been featured in numerous publications including: Cabinet, New York Times, The Village Voice, Time Out NY, Graphic magazine, and Flaunt. Anderson is currently relocating to New York’s, Hudson Valley.
*1963 in Vancouver, CAN
lives and works New York City and Winlaw, BC, CAN
Graham Gillmore´s works reveal language and the signs constituting it in a looss relationship between topographic form and assumed literal content. The more directly the lettering is carved into the wood, the more the observer´s eye is guided by the shiny differentiated glaze of the paint itself. Remaining subliminal images generated by the viewer´s urge to decipher the images slip into conflict with the actual physical proportions of the depicted texts. Words and phrases mutate. Gillmore turns >The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction< into >The art of work in the age of reproductive mechanics,< of which understanding is one such technology. Thus, the observer might begin to observe the way he/she observes.
*1962 in Munich, Germany
lives and works in New York, USA
Joe Amrhein: When you begin a painting it doesn’t seem like you have it all planned out…it seems very serendipitous. You start it in a very loose manner, using airbrush now, and it develops as you go. Do you have a single idea when you start?
Ati Maier: No, no never. I have an idea when I start with that airbrush sketch, but that’s only the first step and then the piece totally takes over. It’s a process. I just go step-by-step and look at it and talk to it and see what it says. It’s like I switch from channel to channel, from one space to another space, creating a mental and visual concentration and density.
Joe Amrhein: Some of them still reference landscape but they have much more of an outer space orientation; there’s no signifier in terms of place. They have more of a foreground / background now and abstraction in that sense. It seems much more evolved and away from that landscape orientation even though there are still signifiers, and you still kind of read into it that way.
Ati Maier: Well, before I had actual landscapes and actual figures, like horses or astronauts or spaceships, which you could still identify after I was finished. The final painting came out of the beginning sketches and you could still see them in it. But now the sketches really just start the process where I put a bunch of different realities on top of each other on one piece of paper or canvas. They can be different perspectives, warped spaces, or just normal landscapes…trees, mountains. I put one sketch on top of another so they overlap. Through the overlapping I get new dimensions, new intersections or new spaces, which I then go into and that tells me where to go next. I try to connect everything through the process of painting and then it becomes way more abstracted. It becomes like an interactive web between the sketches that are like servers—they’re all overlapping and some of them are totally different and then it starts to become a web. So I’m connecting different sketches and layers, just as everything and everyone is connected through WiFi networks and cyberspace.
Joe Amrhein: Your process seems very kinetic in that way. It does drive a very motion-filled, almost futurist, image.
Ati Maier: All the sources I use now are very different too. I use a lot of things from way back—ancient maps or whatever. I also try to use the aerial view of things, like NASA reports or topographical maps. It’s a micro / macro-cosmos situation: transforming vast spaces and distances into a miniature scale, or fitting a universe into a nutshell. That also gives a surrealistic aspect to my work. I want to connect all those sources and see what happens on the paper, then something new comes out of that. And I really never know what’s going to happen. It’s like a vision reporting on places I’ve never seen and have never been to. It’s a filtering of the information overload in my mind, and I then transform certain interesting parts into the works. Sometimes I have a new idea and I put a new sketch on top of everything I already have there because it looks like it needs something. And then it might change the whole painting again.