“The problem of painting is, what are you going to paint”?
- Willem de Kooning
Meliksetian | Briggs are pleased to present Pizza, Bagpipe, Carburetor, an exhibition of new work by Los Angeles – based artist Meg Cranston.
Cranston has a conceptual approach to art making, exploring the connections between personal experience and the world at large with energy and wit. Working in painting, collage, sculpture, video and performance, Cranston’s work fuses imagery drawn from her personal archives and popular culture with anthropological, indexical and archival methodologies and approaches.
For this exhibition, Cranston created a list of nouns using a random noun generator program on the Internet and used the list to create the paintings, drawings and objects that make up her latest body of work. In our image saturated culture, the avalanche of images that we are bombarded with daily can be overwhelming. As Cranston states “I have 10,000 JPEGs on my computer not counting all my photographs. Any one of them could be a starting point for a work but how to choose? Using the random noun generator isn’t really a new strategy but it does help” By acting as a filter, the use of the algorithm and widening of the decision making process to randomness and chance, the artist’s subjects are released from over determination. Cranston goes on to say “it is liberating to work from a neutral anonymous source. Paradoxically neutral information can produce the most unpredictable results. “
Meg Cranston (b. 1960) received her MFA from California Institute of the Arts and her BA from Kenyon College. She has received awards such as the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, J. Paul Getty Community Foundation Artist Grant, Architectural Foundation of American Art in Public Places Award, and a COLA Artist Grant and is currently the Chair of Fine Arts at Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles.
Cranston has been exhibiting internationally since 1988. She was one of four female artists in Paul Schimmel’s seminal 1992 exhibition Helter Skelter at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and and she participated in the 1993 Venice Biennale. As well, she curated the influential exhibition 100 Artists See God with John Baldessari. Solo exhibitions include the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Witte de With, Rotterdam, Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Aachen, Artspace, Auckland and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. More recent exhibitions include solo exhibitions at the Kunstverien Heilbronn, Germany in 2015 and LAX><Art, Los Angeles in 2013, as well as, the group exhibitions The Afghan Carpet Project at the Hammer Museum curated by Ali Subotnick, Made in LA 2012, also at the Hammer Museum and Hans Ulrich Olbrist’s ongoing Do It project.
Among her publications, Cranston is the co-editor of the JPR | Ringier books More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About John Baldessari volumes 1 and 2 with Olbrist. A monograph on her work Hot Pants in a Cold, Cold World also published by JRP | Ringier is available.