Night Gallery is pleased to present a group of new paintings by Los Angeles artist David Korty. Korty’s new work is a departure from familiar ground into new territory, where color and references to figuration enter the elegant formalism that has characterized his past work. Since 2010, his paintings have been built on smoothly papered canvases, coated in a layer of deep blue: a monochrome ground upon which to order configurations of both painted and drawn forms. Known as the Blue Shelf series, these paintings were composed of horizontal levels at varying intervals inside of a frame that echoed the canvas itself.
The new paintings, by contrast, are premised on the figure, both human and animal, grounded in the plane. Color and gestural strokes add depth and muscularity to flat blocks of collage: ink drawings, monoprints, and painted text. Korty pushes his consequential logic, and finds a new set of formal solutions.
The moments of text are derived from an associative contemplation of Korty’s immediate surroundings, and within the paintings they become abstract passages of language amongst the other elements. Pushed by familiar letter-shapes to attempt decoding, the viewer finds more form than meaning. The recursive illusion of content creates an alternating current in the optic nerve, a rapid cycling back and forth between two modes, the cerebral and the intuitive.
A number of the artist’s ceramic works will also be on view. Here the viewer can sense an architectural underpinning as well as the rhythm of construction also evident in the paintings. Geometric elements stack, in systematic contention with gravity. Compositional decisions made in the paintings—where to emphasize with color or form, when to cut a portal through to the blue background, with each move a consequential logic toward the formal decision specific to itself—start here.
David Korty (b. San Francisco, CA, 1971) received his MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. He has shown extensively in Los Angeles, with solo exhibitions at such venues as Night Gallery, China Art Objects, Michael Kohn, and LAXART, at Greene Naftali in New York, and at Sadie Coles HQ in London. Korty's work has been acquired by the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the Grunwald Center for Graphic Arts, Los Angeles, the Judith Rothschild Foundation, and the Rubell Collection. His work has been covered in Artforum, The New York Times, The Guardian, and Modern Painters, among other publications. He will have a monograph published by Sadie Coles and Night Gallery in late 2015. Korty lives and works in Los Angeles.