The Los Angeles based artist David Korty continues his recent series of Blue Shelf Paintings, where hand-drawn or printed objects, figures and abstract fragments are collaged onto startlingly deep blue grounds, arranged on shelves or stacked in architectural and anthropomorphic compositions. Here, Korty is both creator and curator, selecting from among his own monochromatic ink drawings and screen prints and combining them to form individual wunderkammer, where personal and cultural artifacts merge to generate new sets of associations. Like a sentence, these layered forms invite the viewer to read as much as look at the paintings.
Language, both visual and epistolary, punctuates the exhibition. In Blue Shelf #32, the word “STACACCATO” (a play on the word “staccato”) is stacked between “CALIFORNIANS” and “SPEEDBAALL,” to form a Tower of Babel where a structure is built through an accrual of words. Just as “staccato” in musical composition is characterized by disconnected elements and represented by a dot, wedge or line, the forms that comprise Korty’s arrangements seem disparate until presented en masse. These components range from Hollywood icons (Isabella Rossellini is a recurring character), to sections of textiles that nod both to Korty’s background in printmaking and his ongoing work in ceramics, images of local dirt and houses surrounding the artist’s studio, and details of brushstrokes and scribbles of various styles and size. The combination presents a forensic cross-section of the life of a specific artist working in a specific place at a specific time, while tracing how a personal lexicon is developed through parsing both art historical reference and the flotsam of daily life.
David Korty - Blue Shelf Paintings
Wallspace, February 20 - March 28