“Orchestrated Mayhem”: Two Artists Toy with Corporeality and Chaos

In “Rockless Volume,” New Haven gallery Fred.Giampietro pairs paintings by Zachary Keeting with sculptures by Anahita Vossoughi—bringing together two prolific artists from abutting generations. Both artists create with abandon, instinctually building vibrant works that speak to a fascination with the collision of materials.

Working with non-traditonal materials like silicone, makeup, and clothes, combined with standards such as clay and wax, Yale MFA graduate and lecturer Anahita Vassoughi’s sculptures take the shape of surrealistic, often grotesque bodily forms, combining the mood of Hans Bellmer or Kiki Smith with contemporary relics. 

Keeting, whose work has gone through a series of shifts in his career, including forays into hard-edged abstraction and op art, now increasingly creates large works characterized by sweeping, toxic-colored brushstrokes, blots, and masked planes that bubble and fold over one another; they at once embody erasure and palimpsest. As Keeting has said of his work, “The scenes are mash-ups of orchestrated mayhem.” 

The works at Fred.Giampietro harmonize in terms of their noxious, neon palette, as well as the dialogue, revolving around chaos and visceral corporeality, that is created between the works. Both artists develop work as an extension of the physical and psychological capacity of the human body. In Keeting’s paintings, thick, arm-lengthed brushstrokes and blotted impressions indicate the process of their making, while Vassoughi’s biomorphic, materially collaged forms remind of the relationship between anatomy and identity. Each artist experiments with a mad, loose-handed assembly in their chosen medium, building an uncanny symbiosis between the body of the artist, the viewer, and the work itself.  

—K. Sundberg

Rockless Volume” is on view at Fred.Giampietro Gallery, New Haven, Jan. 10–Feb. 21, 2015.

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