Nothing Lasts Forever
Los Angeles | January 24 - March 15 2016
Revealing a gesture's ability to adapt to and manipulate our interpretation, April Street's paintings open up their surface to express not only the inner workings of painting's history but, through her continuous repurposing of their material parts, she rebuilds them in a frankensteinian manner. In her new exhibition at 5 Car Garage called "Nothing Lasts Forever" the paintings lean, wind, and ball up in a stop motion moment of reckoning. Street's two monolithic leaning paintings ask us if we really trust what we see. Like the trust fall, when one person blindly falls backwards into another's waiting arms, the two 7' by 12' paintings (implicitly mimicing the size of the garage doors) seem to delicately hover backwards in mid-fall towards the walls of the garage. Are they asking us to believe in the illusion of painting or maybe their ability to survive a fall?
Each of Street's paintings are tenuously spun into ropes or wrapped in black nylon with holes cut or punched through, revealing layers of paintings on hosiery material. The hosiery layers are artifacts of a private performative act in which the artist wraps herself in hosiery material to enact a series of precise body positions, recorded while sleeping, into pools of acrylic paint on a canvas. The impression made by this act creates a positive and negative, and, at times, the mark making looks almost photographic. The negative on the hosiery is then reassembled onto painting’s frame. For the rope paintings, she uses the same skin-mimicking textiles as her paintings' ground, and then tightly spins the finished paintings into ropes held together only by a cast bronze knot and a bronze tack where they meet the wall or the ceiling. These spun paintings conceal most of the painting inside them and act as strands of DNA that would unravel without the weight of their fixture's weighty history.
The puncturing of the surface is made to reach inside for an understanding of how these objects can reenact a sensation of blushing or bruising skin and create the psychological territory of the painting itself. These gravitational configurations evoke a tenuous dialog between painting and sculpture while conjuring ideas of skin and duration, posturing and adaptation.The work ignites a conversation with eccentric abstraction, feminist performance art from the 60's and 70's, Post-Minimalism and Art Informel, while occupying a new inner outerspace.
April Street lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. She studied traditional bronze casting in central Italy and painting at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Recent exhibitions include Carter & Citizen, Los Angeles, CA; Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Santa Monica, CA; The Santa Barbara Museum, Santa Barbara CA. She received an NEA Project Grant for her video collaboration, "Imaging Appalachia." Press includes reviews and articles in Art Forum, Art in America, the San Francisco Arts Quarterly, Huffington Post, LA Weekly, The Los Angeles Times and The New York Times.