Night Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition by JPW3 titled Drifting the Bog. It will be on view from March 18 through April 29, 2017.
For his second exhibition at the gallery, Los Angeles-based artist JPW3 presents a new series of works that capture the layered, transitional condition of images and materials, offering a diagrammatic view of his multivalent practice. In transposing many contents of his studio into the exhibition space, the artist furthers his synesthetic approach to medium and process, and his longstanding fascination by both the technical and performative aspects of recording as a gesture capable of merging the ephemeral and the concrete. Wax, chosen for its indexical potential, is the cornerstone of this body of work, a medium which allows experimentation with how ideas and images, and their traces and combinations, phase in and out of one another.
One central piece of the show is a monumental, three-panel landscape of a lone Japanese boatman guiding a long log flume through the Doro Gorge. The ritualized process of producing this work began with the discovery of a comparatively miniature, photographic version of the image. The artist enlarges the source image via photocopy and draws over this copy with an ink stick, allowing this wet iteration to be transferred onto canvas. These distinct vessels for visual information are bonded together in a synthesis that stands for both the permanence of their fusion and the provenance of their inherently separate natures, their differences in viscosity, temporality, and behavior. Two American flags, each hung askew and bearing traces of one another, have been cast using a similar process. Weathered and scabbed, with rivulets of missing image, they imbue the space with an aura of degeneration.
Adjacent to these works is a structure elevated a few steps off the ground, encased in plastic curtains, and laden with popcorn. An ad hoc system of industrial fans, when activated by the motion of a viewer, blows the white kernels around in a snowy disarray. Another, smaller and inaccessible cage, triangular and hoisted a couple inches off the ground so that it slowly twirls with tension, is also filled with popcorn, and other refuse. It’s suspended as a kind of peaceful prison alluding to similarly paradoxical structures the artist has built in the past.
Alongside the main gallery wall, there are groupings of car parts and wires, chunks of wax and cloths. The latter are remnants of the messy process that produces works like the boat painting and flags. Anchoring these constellations of ready-mades with more composed, sculptural works: tires encased in concentric layers of burgundy and amber wax, placed on the ground; or elevated above prism-like plexiglass plinths, used as bases for bonsai trees in a corroded silver coating, which are used as decorative holders for nuggets of marijuana. Motion sensors scattered throughout the heaps trigger various lights and other contraptions. These robotic, sensorial disturbances reanimate the refuse and light patches for the viewer to venture into the details and emotional landscape of all this aggregated stuff, suggesting both the mundane existence of a working artist, and a kind of desperate, post-apocalyptic recycling of goods and devices. The implied merchandising of this slovenly yet meticulous bazaar calls attention to the transience of ownership that imbues things of all values with a certain kinesis, a parallel to the transience of materials evidenced throughout the exhibition.
JPW3 (b. Tallahassee, FL, 1981) received his M.F.A. from the University of Southern California in 2012, and his B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2005. He has had solo exhibitions at Night Gallery (Los Angeles), Michael Jon Gallery (Miami), Martos Gallery (New York), and Galerie Nagel Draxler (Berlin), and most recently at MOCA Tucson, AZ. In 2017 he will have solo exhibitions at Kunstverein Heppenheim and Galerie Nagel Draxler. His work has been covered by Artforum and Art-Agenda, among other publications. JPW3 lives and works in Los Angeles.