Chris Wiley: BLACK AND WHITE
Exhibition dates: September 18 – November 13, 2015
Chris Wiley photographs “found” subject matter to create “technical abstractions” that exist as unique objects with sculptural frames that are as much a part of the work as the photograph itself. These works exist in a liminal place between sculpture and photography and tend to emphasize object-ness of a photograph over the image-ness. This engagement with photo as sculpture is something that has become a sort of movement among New York City based artists of late, and not surprisingly Wiley has been included with others in exhibitions of this type of work at prestigious Hauser and Wirth Gallery and MoMA’s PS1. Wiley’s work engages heavily and smartly with the idea of the grid, an imagined mathematical compositional tool Modernists spoke of when discussing abstract compositions, particularly in painting. Wiley’s photos strive to be perfect compositionally and in this sense, the image part of the work engages in an historical “high” formalism. Combining the images with his whimsical and sculptural frames deconstructs the language of formalism, makes the works much more than photos, and adds a level of cynicism about the very possibility of perfection in form.
Wiley works with Nicelle Beauchene Gallery in New York City. His work has been exhibited worldwide and has been written about in Art in America, The New Yorker, Kaleidoscope, Modern Painters, and Frieze. As a curator, Wiley has curated or co-curated important exhibitions worldwide including: “Part Picture” at The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, “Younger than Jesus” at The New Museum, and “The 55th Venice Biennale.” He received an MA in Contemporary Art Theory from Goldsmiths College, University of London, and a BA from Sarah Lawrence College.
Sean Moyer presents an installation that is intended to feel like a retail space where he presents carefully crafted modernist sculptures made of Mylar and metallic window tinting. The works are grouped together on shelves to reference the grid and wall-oriented language of painting. The works themselves reference abstract Modern sculpture, but the over-the-top “beauty” of them fits more in the world of the faux sculpture of Las Vegas. They are made of cheap materials and adhered with scotch tape. The translucence, metallic colors, and gem-like shapes end up being a tongue-in-cheek critique of consumer culture.
Moyer is based in Salt Lake City. He received a BFA from Weber State University. He recently exhibited at Utah Museum of Contemporary Art where he was a AIR residency program.