Joshua Liner Gallery is pleased to present Hallucinatory Enhancements, an exhibition of new work from Kansas-based artist Kris Kuksi. This will be Kuksi’s sixth exhibition, and largest exhibition of the artist to be shown at the gallery. The artist will be in attendance for an opening reception on Thursday, October 12, 2017.
Inspired from sources such as classical art and architecture, the rhythm and movement found within Kuksi’s intricate and ornate assemblages, pull directly from rococo and baroque aesthetics. Each work carries the familiarity of history, with elements collected from discordant paths. Religion, culture, war, industry, and sex are all densely juxtaposed to seek out new meanings through new visual relationships. It is the combination of elements that creates Kuksi’s surreal universes of endless opposition and dichotomies. This tension creates work that is at once, peaceful and violent, beautiful and grotesque. As we allow our eyes to explore each assemblage, the works unfold into a boundless world of infinite narratives, evoking but rewriting history, breaking apart the narrative understanding.
The title of this collection of work, Hallucinatory Enhancements, takes aim at that way in which the viewer examines each piece, contemplating the work as a whole. It is how we perceive the work, that the artist equates to a hallucinatory journey. The extreme density and multiplicity of the work, allows for a personal, and private experience for each viewer. As our eyes explore the seemingly infinite assemblages, we become more aware of how we behold and understand the work. Kuksi’s art take us inward, and connect with us both directly and indirectly, creating a hallucinatory effect that becomes apparent as we metaphorically engage with the works.
Not unlike a musical, improvisational score, each piece is created one step at a time, until the artist comes to the perfect conclusion. It is a painstaking, and timely process of sourcing the parts for his works, followed by the meticulous process of hand-painting, arranging, and securing each element into the larger assemblage. Most works feature a main figure from which the piece appears to emanate as Kuksi continuously builds upon the work until he reaches a balance found within the organized chaos. For this latest exhibition, Kuksi expands this idea, with the inclusion of multiple, major figures. For Maneuvering Tranquility (2017) the artist widens his assemblage with three supporting figures. Here we see the goddess of compassion and mercy, Guan-Yin, sitting in a possible judgment in the center between two oppositional figures: one engages in an intense, ongoing struggle, while the other exudes tranquility.
Building upon his previous shows, the artist describes this latest exhibition as more expansive, incorporating more architectural elements and form than previously, while breaking away from his usual symmetry, to explore a new kind of balance.
Born in 1973 in Springfield, Missouri, Kris Kuksi earned his BFA and MFA in painting at Fort Hays State University and works in Hays, Kansas. Solo exhibitions of his work include Amalgamation (2015), Revival (2013), Triumph (2012), Beast Anthology (2009), and Imminent Utopia (2008) at Joshua Liner Gallery, New York; Antiquity in the Faux at Mark Moore Gallery, Culver City (2014); The Strange and The Fantastic, Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, Kansas City, MO (2004); and The Within, Fraser Gallery, Washington, DC (2003). Selected group exhibitions include SHOWcabinet curated by Iris van Herpen at SHOWstudio, London, UK (2013); Hey! Modern Art & Pop Culture, Halle Saint Pierre, Paris, France (2011); Paradise Lost, Williamsburg Art and Historical Center, Brooklyn (2008); and Flights of Imagination, Museum HR Giger, Gruyères, Switzerland (2006).