Ochi Projects is pleased to present Bright Maing Melchi Puleo, a four person exhibition featuring Los Angeles based artists Sara Bright, Susanna Maing, Jacob Melchi and Antonio Puleo. The exhibition is on view from May 14 through June 18 with an opening reception Saturday, May 14 from 6-8 pm.
Both transplants that migrated to Los Angeles for graduate school, Jacob Melchi and Antonio Puleo met several years ago and began a dialogue between their respective practices. Over the course of several visits, the two realized that they were both interested in the idea of seriality as it relates to abstract painting. For instance, while in the studio Jacob Melchi stretches specific gestures across multiple canvases—applying repetitive marks to explore how he might make a better painting. Once the works are finished they are clearly associated, but ultimately Melchi deems them to be disparate. Puleo is also interested in repetition and for the past several years he has been experimenting with pattern in varying form. Also working in series, Puleo makes grids of related, but consciously different, paintings that (unlike Melchi’s sequences of works) stay together as one piece. He also explores the way an image in a painting can leave its surface, becoming a 3D sculpture; essentially replicating shape in alternate dimensions.
Using these similarities and differences between one another’s processes as a point of departure, Melchi and Puleo have considered exhibiting together for years. Ultimately deciding to expand upon the conversation when the opportunity arose, each invited another artist to partake in the dialogue. Puleo invited Susanna Maing, who approaches each new surface individually and distinctly. Starting with the first moves on a blank panel Maing consciously tries not to repeat the gestures she made in the preceding painting. She does not predetermine her compositions, but rather seeks to arrive at something via a process of carving, editing and destroying previous layers, eventually arriving at a singular painting that is correlated to, but intentionally very different from others in the studio. Melchi invited Sara Bright (both of them show at George Lawson Gallery in San Francisco). Bright’s work contemplates the way a few organized brushstrokes can evoke a complete concept, carrying the idea across multiple mediums. Working in fresco, ceramic and painting, Bright reproduces swift, confident marks between each medium, despite varying processes of preparation.
To further emphasize the idea of iteration, Melchi and Puleo also integrated the architecture of Ochi Projects into their installation, incorporating elements of the exterior building and unique construction within the gallery to highlight formal relationships and activate the space.