“It was just a color out of space—a frightful messenger from unformed realms of infinity beyond all Nature as we know it; from realms whose mere existence stuns the brain and numbs us with the black extra-cosmic gulfs it throws open before our frenzied eyes.”
Lowell Ryan Projects is pleased to present Color Out of Space, a group exhibition inspired by the eponymous short story of H.P. Lovecraft that brings together works by Mark Flood, Nasim Hantehzadeh, Kysa Johnson, Laurie Nye, and Galen Trezise. In Lovecraft’s story, a meteorite crashes in a remote farm and, as it shrinks, releases globules of “impossible to describe” colors that have mutative effects on the surrounding plants, animals, and humans. No solution is found. No motive is uncovered. “Do not ask me for my opinion,” the unnamed narrator concludes. “I do not know—that is all.”
Written in 1927, the story has been adapted and reinterpreted for nearly a century––most notably in the cult classic The Blob, Stephen King’s novel Tommyknockers, and most recently in the movie Annihilation. This kind of repeated return to a single narrative is never a matter of prolonged aesthetic fancy; it stems from perpetual social and psychological relevance.
Lovecraft lived amidst the uncertainties of a much different era, but like this exhibition, his story speaks to many of our own concerns. We cannot today consider our future without also thinking of global warming, nuclear arsenals, and genetic engineering. Not long ago these things were relegated to pure science fiction; they were what we feared most, what we considered unnatural, alien. Now they’ve been made manifest by... what exactly? Human will, ambivalence, or neglect?
From the unstable lookout of our present, art––whether visual, cinematic, or literary––has the potential to ground our perspective; to have us consider what we otherwise disregard or actively shirk. Bringing different artistic voices together, Color Out of Space aims to do just that. It creates a visual dialogue centered on questions like: what is of this earth and what is extraterrestrial? Are we the doomsday aliens we’ve always feared?
Perhaps then, mutation is not all bad. With politicians treating scientific findings as science fiction, and scientists editing DNA without any ethical research––a metamorphosis of thought might be exactly what we need.
Mark Flood is an internationally renowned artist who lives and works in Houston, TX. He is known for his interdisciplinary and irreverent artistic practice that probes institutional realms, particularly the art market. His works are included in the collections of the Dallas Museum of Art, the Marciano Foundation, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the Menil Collection, the Rubell Family Collection, and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. He has exhibited widely, including with Zach Feuer Gallery, New York; Peres Projects, Berlin; Gagosian Gallery, New York; Venus Over Manhattan, New York and Marlborough Gallery, New York. His work has been written about in Artforum, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Art in America, ARTnews, Frieze Magazine, The Village Voice, and Artinfo, among many others.
Nasim Hantehzadeh is an Iranian American artist who lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. Working across painting, drawing, and sculpture, Hantehzadeh’s work addresses human relation to time and space through concepts of memory, belonging, isolation, and transience. She received a BA at the Art and Architecture Tehran Center University in 2007, a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013, and an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2018. She has exhibited with Ochi Projects, Los Angeles; Driveway 327 Project, Los Angeles; Et al, Human Resources, San Francisco; Stuart & Co, Chicago; and Artology Gallery, Chicago, among others. Her work is included in the collection of the Frederick R Weisman Art Foundation, and has been written about in publications such as Juxtapoz and Ammo Magazine.
Kysa Johnson was born in Illinois, trained at Glasgow School of Art in Scotland, and now lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. Rooted in scientific theory, her paintings and installations explore biological, physical, and astronomical extremes in order to probe our metaphysical limits. She has exhibited widely, including with Morgan Lehman Gallery, New York City; Halsey McKay, East Hampton; Roebling Hall Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; 0-0 LA, Los Angeles; The Pit, Los Angeles; ESXLA, Los Angeles; Kunsthalle Projects, Brooklyn, NY; and institutions such as the National Academy of Science and The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art. Her work has been written about in The New York Times, Hyperallergic, Interview Magazine, VICE, Artforum.com, Artinfo, Wallpaper, Wall Street International, and Fabrik Magazine, among others. She is a NYFA fellow, and a Pollack Krasner Grant recipient.
Laurie Nye is a Los Angeles based artist who was born in Memphis, Tennessee. Through a robust and exuberant palette, her densely populated paintings and drawings achieve a phantasmagoric level of vivacity conjuring distinctly extraterrestrial potentials. She earned a BFA from the Memphis College of Art in 1995 and a MFA from the CalArts in 2002. She has exhibited with The Pit, Los Angeles; Big Pictures LA, Los Angeles; 5 Car Garage, Los Angeles; Guerrero Gallery, San Francisco; 0-0 LA, Los Angeles; PostLA, Los Angeles; Statlor Waldorf Gallery, Los Angeles; Elizabeth Dee, New York City; Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles; among many others. Her work has been written about in publications including The New Yorker, Los Angeles Times, Artforum, and LA Weekly. Nye is a member of the all-female collectives The Binder and the sci-fi oriented Witch and Chameleon.
Galen Trezise is an American artist who lives and works in Tucson, AZ. Working across sculpture, video, and drawing, Trezise applies a metaphysical, spiritual, and processed-based approach to concepts of gender identity and the sociopolitics of representation. He received his BFA at Pratt Institute and MFA at the School of Art at the University of Arizona. He has exhibited widely in Tucson––including with Hausq, TMA, Triangle Ranch, The Loft Cinema, Boathouse Gallery, and Everybody Gallery, and nationally at galleries including Antenna Gallery, New Orleans, and Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco. His work has been written in about in publications such as Burnaway and 5 Senses Magazine.