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Aspen Art Museum

Aspen Art Museum

Podcast by Aspen Art Museum
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This Weeks Blind Contour comes from painter Nir Hod at ArtCrush 2019. Hear him speak about the importance of beauty, and his approach to painting his monumental, reflective canvases. About the artist: Nir Hod’s paintings and sculptures address the paradox of beauty and horror, repulsion and attraction, and the declining state of American culture in late capitalism. Working in techniques handed down hundreds of years from Old Masters, the beauty of these oil paints belie other more sinister and disturbing truths. It took Hod two years to develop a process of control versus random, chance reactions between chrome, solvents, and various industrial tools used to remove top layers of chrome to ultimately reveal the colorful Pollock-like action paintings shown above. Hod’s “performative” approach to painting produced highly reflective surfaces, drawing the viewer in and allowing the viewer to see their reflection as if looking into a large mirror. A commentary on today’s highly self-absorbed “selfie” culture, the paintings are also a reference to Oscar Wilde’s cautionary tale, The Picture of Dorian Gray. Wilde’s infamous hedonist character was inspiration for Hod’s exploration of creating highly reflective surfaces where the viewer can become a part of the composition. The sensuality, debauchery, and pursuit of beauty found in this nineteenth century novel are all themes that Nir Hod has explored in his work over the years. Nir Hod was born in Tel Aviv, Israel in 1970 and currently lives and works in New York.
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This week on Blind Contour we’re sitting down with Christina Quarles, our final interview from ArtCrush 2019¬. In this audio profile we check in on the artist and discuss her current practice, composition choices, and goals within her abstract, figurative paintings. Legibility teeters on the edge of lack and excess; when we lack information about a thing, it is vague. However, as information accumulates, the risk for contradiction increases and legibility tips into ambiguity. As a queer, cis woman born to a black father and a white mother, Christina Quarles engages with the world from a position that is multiply situated. Her work is informed by her daily experience with ambiguity and seeks to dismantle assumptions of our fixed subjectivity through images that challenge the viewer to contend with the disorganized body in a state of excess. Christina Quarles (b. 1985 Chicago, USA) currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. She received an MFA from the Yale School of Art in 2016 and holds a BA from Hampshire College. Quarles was a 2016 participant at the Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture. She was the inaugural recipient of the 2019 Pérez Art Museum Miami Prize, and in 2017 she received the Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Grant. She will have a solo show at the Hepworth Wakefield Museum in October 2019. Recent exhibitions include: But I Woke Jus’ Tha Same, Regen Projects, Los Angeles (2019); Always Brightest Before Tha Dusk, Pilar Corrias, London (2018); Christina Quarles / MATRIX 271, UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley (2018); Made in L.A., Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2018); Trigger: Gender as a Tool and as a Weapon, New Museum, New York (2017-18); It’s Gunna Be All Right, Cause Baby, There Ain’t Nuthin’ Left, Skibum MacArthur, Los Angeles (2017); No burden as heavy, David Castillo Gallery, Miami (2017); Fictions, The Studio Museum, New York (2017); and Reconstitution, LAXART, Los Angeles (2017); among others.
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