Things fall apart and tend to shatter. Like a plague that attacks every 7 years, these things often shatter in waves. When they reach a point of overwhelming stasis – stasis with the status quo, the rigidity of boundaries, the inability to improvise – they find a way to break through. A break with tradition marks the beginning of this cycle, and out of one thing is born another. The language then used to describe the fallen creates a new system, like a revised taxonomy or semiology.
Nikita Gale uses barricades, literally and figuratively, as both a historical artifact and a tool for protest, asking the viewer to reconsider the individual components of her work. Gale’s concrete dipped fabric and faux ladders are an unexpected assemblage that is neither as static in form nor as utilitarian in nature, as may seem. And across the way, an unfinished gallery wall is made into a jungle of metal, microphone stands and cords – you’re not allowed to enter even though she has broken through.
Pat O’Neill is perhaps best known as an experimental filmmaker whose works note the struggle between human civilization and nature. He uses humor regularly, and prefers to break from a quiet or easy presence in a space, opting for something a bit off the wall. An installation of 50 photographs, each their own collection of 81 thumbnails, collected and categorized over 15 years, read like a visual braille. And what looks like a polished assemblage of parts, bursts through the wall and floor and plays with notions of high and low tech. In the corner, a frame has fallen apart.
Both artists emit a balance of poetic tension in this improvised composition called Fall Apart, on view through February 24, 2019.
Nikita Gale (b. 1983, Anchorage, AK) received a BA in Anthropology from Yale University, and an MFA in New Genres from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is currently living and working in Los Angeles CA. Selected exhibitions include MADE IN L.A. 2018, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Keynote Drift, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta, GA; EXTENDED PLAY, 56 Henry, New York, NY; DESCENT, Common Wealth & Council, Los Angeles, CA; Soft Focus, Reyes Projects, Detroit, MI; and RIFF FATIGUE, Artist Curated Projects, Los Angeles, CA. Nikita Gale is represented by 56 Henry, New York.
Pat O’Neill (b. 1939, Pasadena, CA) is an independent filmmaker and artist who currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California. He received a BA and MA from the University of California, Los Angeles. Selected exhibitions include The Decay of Fiction, Philip Martin Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Let’s Make A Sandwich, Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York, NY; Pat O’Neill: Horizontal Boundaries, Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles, CA; Watching Abstraction in Hollywood: The Work of Pat O’Neill, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Hollywood, CA; and the 1991 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY. Pat O’Neill is represented by Philip Martin Gallery, Los Angeles, Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York, and Monitor, Rome.