Anna Meliksetian and Michael Briggs are pleased to present Jason Yates’ second solo show at the gallery, Ghost of an Ideal Life.
Expanding on his previous installation at the gallery in October 2012, Yates’ will present four new paintings, the artist’s characteristic cross hatch motif that ran through the last exhibition reappearing in the multicolored canvases, along with two large scale Black Monk floor sculptures.
Yates’ work finds meaning and therefore truth in contradictions, a reflection of a culture chasing it’s own tail. The artist distills his punk aesthetic, editing out representational imagery, to find the essential. The paintings’ various elements, the layering of motifs, both visual and conceptual, vie for the viewers attention on the canvas, the shimmering of mirrored Mylar, the cuts in the canvases, the mark making, the colored washes of paint, the armatures, resonate individually yet combine to find a synergy in the whole. There is heaviness - the work is a primitive, atavistic hangover - as the works succumb to gravity, suggested by the downward flows of colored paint, yet the heavy, muscular wood sculptures seem to hover slightly above the floor.
The large-scale canvases, cut away in the center with semi-circular forms, and backed with reflective Mylar, offer glimpses beyond the surface of the painting, catching the light, and reflecting it as the viewer navigates the space. The crosshatched lines, laboriously hand
drawn in a variety of configurations, represent reflexive labor to the artist. Is this a penance? Or a pursuit of a state of bliss; a meditative pursuit, almost like repeating a mantra? The repetition of forms throughout the surfaces of the canvases creates optical effects, further heightened by the cut away surfaces. The patterns cascade toward the bottom of the canvas before stopping, creating a theatrical effect like that of a curtain. At once obsessive, meditative, and transcendent, the motif characterizes Yates’ work and recurs throughout his oeuvre from his Fast Friends Inc. work to the hand-etched mirror pieces through the current paintings and sculptures in the exhibition.
“Any study of the confluence between music and visual culture in the last two decades would cite Yates’ work”
~ Chris Kraus “Where Art Belongs” Semiotext(e), 2011
Since graduating from Art Center, Pasadena with his MFA in 2000, Jason Yates’ exhibitions have straddled the intersection between conventional gallery and institutional shows, and the unconventional, artist-run and ad hoc, where he has often exhibited under the name
of his collaborative project Fast Friends Inc. Working with collaborators such as musicians George Clinton, Ariel Pink, HOLY SHIT, Animal Collective, Lee Scratch Perry and fashion designer Christophe Lemaire, among many others over the years, the projects took the Los Angeles based artist to London, Berlin, San Francisco, Paris, New York City, and Austin, where he made important contributions to bridging the gap between various genres, namely art, fashion, design and music.
Jason Yates’ work has been exhibited at, among others, Barbara Davis Gallery, Houston, Land of Tomorrow, Louisville, KY, Circus Gallery, Los Angeles, Tiny Creatures, Los Angeles, Black Dragon Society, Los Angeles, Human Resources, Los Angeles, Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), Los Angeles.
His works has been well reviewed in various publications such as Artforum, Art Review, the Los Angeles Times, the Houston Chronicle, May magazine (France), Semiotext(e) and numerous blogs.
Yates has an upcoming solo show in Houston, Texas and a major institutional collaboration, to be announced, in 2014.