July 15 – August 26, 2017
at FULL HAUS
Water and Alcohol consists of new drawings, paintings, and ceramics by Brenna Ivanhoe. The title refers to the substances that repeatedly appear in the social scenes Ivanhoe’s works evoke through depiction, material, or mood.
The oil on paper The Floating Flaneur, 2017, shows a goggled woman drifting in pool with a crowd of onlookers on the left. Although confident, direct brushwork unifies the scene, the composition of the painting derives from two separate sketches. The impulse to look and compare manifests in the overall depiction as well as in the fragmentary construction of the work.
Honeycreeper, 2016, a sand-on-photo collage, uses an image of a shirtless man as a ground and the literal ground of the beach as a medium. The collage is both an overt monochrome—the epitome of abstraction— and a defaced pin-up—an icon. In the process of making her works, Ivanhoe does not privilege one mode over the other. Pieces that start with figuration may move to abstraction, or vice versa, as in the gestural intensity of the lines that constitute a portrait of Laura Dern in Seducer Seduced, 2017, or her slyly figurative monochrome Pool, 2017.
Pool might also be a kind of icon, standing for a place where a mind might float, or a vast accumulation of portentous liquid—a model of a viewer and a painter, respectively. As the hand gripping a wine glass in Arrangement, 2016, reminds us, fluids affect feelings.
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Brenna Ivanhoe and Hannah Plotke:
The Sweet Life
July 8th—August 5th, 2017
Opening reception: July 8th, 7-10PM
Curated by Jennifer Remenchik
Indulgent and saccharine, longing, a certain kind of slowness drowned in honey. For The Sweet Life, curated by Jennifer Remenchik, Brenna Ivanhoe and Hannah Plotke have collaborated on an installation of drawings, painting and sculpture. The work is gestural, immediate and from life, depicting quintessential Los Angeles locations which are often used in film and television, as well as drawings from romance novel covers.
Ivanhoe's paintings are translations of stills from melodramatic tv mini series, using oil on vellum, economically and urgently painted: the drama is in the brush strokes and the paint once the images are extracted from their narrative contexts. Plotke’s paintings are large-scale oils collaged together to create tableau's that reference movie posters; a post-apocalyptic, romantic world where narratives are layered and fragmented. An accumulation of storylines, these works are in a constant state of being and becoming. Playful, light, flirtatious, embarrassingly and earnestly camp; characters proliferate: the evil ex-wife, the vengeful lover, the tricksters, cheaters, the flaneur etc. The figures are statues, stand-ins, avatars, vessels for fantasies, memories, and obsessions. They are a contact sport: direct and reactionary.
In The Sweet Life, Ivanhoe and Plotke’s practices parallel each other; both deal with reinterpretations of film tropes and moments of heightened intensity and drama. Using psychodrama and nostalgia to emphasize personal narrative and mythology, the work plays with fantasy and reality, and requires a suspension of disbelief, like film. For this exhibition they have exchanged content, source material, as well as drawings and paintings, layering onto one another’s work, requiring trust, and the necessity of killing their darlings, lovingly.
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