James Verbicky Visualizes the Media in paintings, and on a Lamborghini

Featuring in Madison Gallery’s main salon this month is James Verbicky’s latest, much-anticipated solo exhibition, “Mode Selector.” The prominent piece that inspired the show’s title, one of the artist’s signature “media paintings,” has been seamlessly executed on the exterior of a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder, which will be exhibited as a showpiece on the opening night. The artist’s automobile symbolizes the disorienting effects of rampant branding, and the contemporary craze for speed and acceleration. Elsewhere, the panel Mode Selector 6 (2014) proposes a bold checkerboard system to contain the infinite logos and other graphics that otherwise proliferate throughout advertising space.

A selection of Verbicky’s prior works, from the “Citta Samtana,” “Force Bloom,” “Monetaire,” and “Blitz” series will also be on view, along with “Papillon En Fleur,” a new set of butterfly paintings commissioned by Neiman Marcus. His earlier series feature large-scale, glossy assemblages made from vintage magazine cutouts applied in brilliant geometric or grid-like patterns to Baltic birch panels, then finished with slick resin.

Drawing from the aesthetics of Pop and Minimalism, with a truly sharp eye for color, Verbicky’s panels pay homage to the once totalizing influence of print media and advertising. In vibrant works such as Unikalna Replika 1 and Citta Samtana Diptych 90 (both 2014), vintage materials from yellowed books and discarded fashion magazines are transformed into tight compositions that echo the rhythms of masterpieces by Kenneth Noland and Frank Stella. Verbicky’s works seem to explode with sensitively repurposed visual information, venturing into the realm of sculpture based on the physical accumulation of media clout.

Mode Selector” is on view at Madison Gallery, La Jolla, California, from June 21st–July 21st, 2014.

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