These recent artist shows caught our eye
Brian Bress, Rickybird (mint, hot pink), 2017, High definition single-channel video (color), high definition monitor and player, wall mount, framed
(Loop 24 minutes, 18 seconds)
Brian Bress has described himself as coming to video with the agenda of a painter. His single and multi-channel videos address the connections between film, photography and painting. In his video works, Bress plays a range of characters: chefs, cowboys, firemen and farmers. These characters look directly at the viewer, breaking an unspoken barrier, turning passive watchers into active participants. Bress pulls apart the assumption that picture looking - or screen-watching - is a passive, one-sided relationship.
Brian Bress, Looking (for Joseph Albers), 2017
High definition dual-channel video (color), high definition monitors and players embedded in collage and flashe on stretched linen
(Loop 15 minutes)
All the costumes we see in Bress's works are made in his studio, as are shallow sets in which his characters act. While the mechanics of the camera rationalize his actions two-dimensionally, the action in the studio is physical. It is the movement of Bress's own body that creates the shape, or form we see in these works. Bress's body moves like a sculpture and the costumes he wears are sculptural, leading us to understand that his latest works are about the relationship between sculpture and video, the play of light, and using form in that space rather than flattening the space out.
Brian Bress, WOW MOM, 2015, High definition, synchronized three-channel video (color), high definition monitors and players, wall mounts, framed
(Loop 18 minutes, 18 seconds)
Brian's work was recently included in "Commercial Break" (Public Art Fund, NYC); and the 2016 Moving Image Biennial in Switzerland. Bress has had solo exhibitions and projects at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museo d'arte contemporanea (Rome, Italy); Santa Barbara Museum of Art; and the New Museum (NYC). He lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.
Tucker Nichols, Untitled (BR1710), Enamel on panel
With an uncanny eye for color and composition, Tucker Nichols has recently taken his paintings in a more complex direction. Made with discarded house paint on wooden panels, his most recent works are composed of layers of flat shapes that seem to float on separate planes.
The new works depict what has become a signature subject for Nichols: arranged flowers on display. As he sees it, vases full of blooms are a stand-in for everything we don't quite know how to say in this world. At the same time, flowers, like art, aren't very good at saying anything specific--the exact same bouquet can mean anything from I'm sorry to Thank you to I can't believe you're gone. That's valuable right now for Nichols, especially since the 2016 election. His new series, Flowerland, is both a tribute to and a rebuke of the insistent smile we maintain in the face of chaos and destruction.
Tucker Nichols, Untitled (BR1701), Enamel on panel
Tucker Nichols lives in Northern California. His work has been featured at the Drawing Center in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Denver Art Museum, Den Frie Museum in Copenhagen, and the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. His drawings have been published in McSweeney's, The Thing Quarterly, Nieves Books and the Op-Ed pages of The New York Times.
Since the late 1970s, Bernard Frize has explored the processes that define painting, with inventive means of applying paint that allow him to develop a profound exploration of his method and of the materiality of the medium. Devising a method that allows the painting to emerge through its implementation, the works develop out of the logic of material procedures instead of a pre-determined composition. Frize eradicates personal decision rather than pre-meditating the end result. Free of personal expression, his practice is based on technique and movement in which paint, tools and formulated methods for applying paint on canvas determine the motif or pattern.
Investigating the permutations of brush, paint and action, Frize's vibrantly colored works of acrylic trace patterns of interconnected and alternating gestures. At times using several brushes concurrently, each loaded with a different hue, a sequence of movements is executed, trailing the paint-filled brushes across a canvas coated with shining layers of resin. These rigorously choreographed brushstrokes result in interlocking, overlapping grids and geometric forms often derived from contemporary mathematical theory. Wet, translucent layers of paint bleeding into one another, brush marks and variations in pressure and speed on the painted surface achieve a surprising unpredictability, opening up the exploration of line and color to new alternatives.
Bernard Frize, Segmente, 2015, Acrylic and resin on canvas
Bernard Frize was born in 1949 in Saint Mandé, France and lives and works between Paris, France and Berlin, Germany. His work is in major private and public collections including the Tate, London; Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna; Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Belgium; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Museo Nacional Centro de Reina Sofia, Madrid; Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; and Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany. In 2019, his work will be the subject of a major solo exhibition at Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, France.
Enoc Perez, US Embassy Beijing, 2017, oil on canvas
In his latest series of work, Enoc Perez has created a set of architectural paintings that feature the United States Embassy buildings scattered across the world. Born from frustrations with the country's recent presidential election, the artist seeks to unpack the collective identity that these physical constructs generate (or perhaps impose on citizens). More specifically, Perez questions how the contemporary political landscape has narrowed our relationships with these buildings. His meditation likens them to bunkers--decaying shelters that refute the utopian ideals they seemed to offer in the past.
Enoc Perez, US Embassy Baghdad, 2017, oil on canvas
Perez's paint is layered onto canvases in a manner that reflects that of a blueprint--here viewers are forced to confront the polarizing path that a select group of individuals have devised on behalf of an entire population.
Enoc Perez, US Embassy Dublin, 2017, oil on canvas
Born in San Juan in 1967, Enoc Perez first took painting lessons at the age of eight. As the son of an art critic, he spent family vacations traveling to museums in different countries and learning about the history of art. In 1986, Perez moved to New York to study painting at the Pratt Institute before earning his master's degree at Hunter College. Perez's work can be found in the permanent collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; British Museum, London; Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, Florida; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven; New York Public Library; RISD Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Juan, Puerto Rico; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; among others.