Pasadena, CA – Expanding on an expansive subject, Part 6: Kendell Carter, Constructs features Kendell Carter’s newest works, multilayered paintings that critique and acknowledge the social constructs that exist within individuals and communities through the physical and aesthetic properties of painting. The exhibition runs from Saturday, May 9 through June 14, 2015. A reception, free and open to the public, will take place on Saturday, May 9, from 6 - 8pm. The series Expanding on an expansive subject has been organized by the Armory’s Gallery Manager/Assistant Curator Sinéad Finnerty-Pyne.
Through a multi-sourced approach to art making that includes sampling from pop culture, design, architecture, and modernism, Carter explores painting’s position within a post-modern condition. Using hip-hop culture as an aesthetic and ideological model, he references the fluidity of contemporary culture where individuals and objects flow in and out of identities, roles, and expectations.
Carter’s title “Constructs” suggests a double entendre, referencing both the formal composition of his work -- how objects are physically assembled -- as well as the social constructs that exist within cultures, where race, gender, and sexuality are assigned rather than chosen. He questions the expectations surrounding these designated roles and how they can be both useful and detrimental simultaneously. Carter’s layered paintings become physical metaphors for the human experience, revealing what is transparent and opaque, what rises to the top, and what lies beneath the surface.
Kendell Carter’s “Constructs” like Robert Rauschenberg’s “Combines” from the 1960s, incorporate various objects onto a painted canvas surface, a hybrid between painting and sculpture, that explore the blurred boundaries between art and life. Like Rauschenberg, Carter employs signifiers from urban culture; hoodies, gold chains, and do rags, for instance, that are
loaded with significance, and call for multiple interpretations at once. Additionally, Carter addresses the liquidity that exists between high and low culture -- where painterly fine art gestures conflate with everyday objects.
About the Artist
Kendell Carter (New Orleans, 1970 ) received a BFA from Atlanta College of Art in 1994, a BA in environmental design at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, and holds an MFA from California State University, Long Beach. Recent solo exhibitions include WE, with Darren Hostetter, University Galleries, Illinois State University, Normal, IL (2012), It is what it is but it isn’t, Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah and Atlanta, GA (2010), and Hammer Projects, UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2007). His work is in the collections of Fundação Sindika Dokolo, Luanda, Angola; Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego, CA; and the Savannah College of Art and Design Museum of Art, Savannah, GA. Carter has received critical acclaim in publications such as Art in America, Sculpture Magazine and the Los Angeles Times. He lives and works in Long Beach, CA.
About the exhibition Expanding on an expansive subject In order to find new meaning in a centuries-old artistic pursuit, Expanding on an expansive subject features nine artists’ investigations of painting’s range and potential as a cross disciplinary medium, and its relationships to the disciplines of sculpture and performance. The show asserts a unique model as a group exhibition displayed as individual solo projects in the Armory’s intimate Pasadena Art Alliance Gallery, located on the building’s second floor. Expanding on an expansive subject has included work by Margie Livingston, Analia Saban, John Burtle, Liat Yossifor, John Knuth and continues with projects by Kate Gilmore, Sarah Kate Wilson, and Constance Mallinson. Each of the nine parts of Expanding on an expansive subject run for approximately six weeks.
About the Armory
Armory Center for the Arts, in Pasadena, California, believes that an understanding and appreciation of the arts is essential for a well-rounded human experience and a healthy civic community. Founded in 1989, the Armory builds on the power of art to transform lives and communities through presenting, creating, teaching, and discussing contemporary visual art. The organization’s department of exhibitions mounts over 25 visual arts exhibitions each year at its main facility and in locations throughout the City of Pasadena. In addition, the Armory offers studio art classes and a variety of educational outreach programs to more than fifty schools and community sites.
Gallery hours are Tuesday - Saturday, noon -5pm; admission is free and donations are accepted. Parking is available on the street or in the Marriott garage directly north of the Armory for free for 90 minutes. The Armory is off the Gold Line at Memorial Park – walk one half block east to Raymond and one half block north to the Armory. For more information please visit www.armoryarts.org