Sean Horton (presents) is pleased to announce its inaugural exhibition of paintings and video by Belgian artist collective Leo Gabin. The first Texas exhibition of the Ghent-based group’s work will occupy the gallery’s new storefront space on West Jefferson Boulevard in Oak Cliff from February 22 to March 30, 2019.
Contemporary American culture fascinates Leo Gabin. They watch it from afar and respond like a DJ—sampling, mixing, and reinterpreting existing tropes to create something entirely new that nonetheless brings to light unexpected aspects of the original. And, like the rest of us, Leo Gabin gets much of their information about America from the internet, an endless repository of content, both meaningful and meaningless. They gravitate toward user-generated material, searching for images and footage that individuals make themselves and post to share lives, ideas, and ideals. In a sense, Leo Gabin search for content that reveals America revealing itself. When they give this back to us, re-orchestrated as paintings, videos, and sculptures, they present us with our own self-image, refracted through a particular collective sensibility.
The suite of Leo Gabin’s paintings in the exhibition, all 81 x 58 inches, includes silkscreened imagery sourced from online photos of American subjects—suburban houses, baseball caps, over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, pickup trucks, refrigerated beverages, and a woman apparently doing pushups in front of an American flag. Informally juxtaposed on various canvases, the photographic images share the picture plane with marks both gesturally painted and indexically imprinted, including the prints of sneaker treads. Harking back to the masters of transmuting found American images as art, Rauschenberg and Warhol, Leo Gabin’s paintings offer a dispassionate yet critical assessment of identity, authorship, and meaning.
A series of short videos Leo Gabin created between 2009 and 2013 demonstrate a similar modus operandi. In these, found footage, often of young people performing for their own cameras, is lightly massaged to tease out underlying or hidden connotations. In some, a gesture—such as obscuring one’s face by shoving a product up to the lens, or entering the frame to execute dance moves in front of a sofa—is repeated by a number of people. In others, similar scenes are set to new soundtracks to produce a third meaning. As in their paintings, Leo Gabin’s videos give us back ourselves, slightly altered or reorganized, a self-portrait through the eyes of others.
Lieven Deconinck, Gaëtan Begerem, and Robin De Vooght have worked together as Leo Gabin since 2000. They earned BFAs from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent, Belgium, and have taught there as Leo Gabin. Their work has been included in many exhibitions in Europe and the United States, including solo shows at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center (2017); Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Ghent (2015); and Cultural Centre Bruges (2012). Leo Gabin is represented by Peres Projects in Berlin and by VNH Gallery in Paris.
Sean Horton (presents) is the new project of Sean Horton, who founded and directed galleries in New York and Berlin, beginning with Sunday L.E.S. on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in 2006. Under several names, Horton Gallery realized more than 150 exhibitions, art-fair presentations, and offsite projects around the world. A native of North Texas, Horton plans to make the new Dallas gallery his center of operations while maintaining an office and organizing exhibitions at various spaces in New York. Horton Gallery has been a member of the New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) since 2008 and has participated in NADA Miami, NADA New York, The Armory Show, Art Brussels, Independent Brussels, and the Untitled Art Fair, among others.
The exhibition of Leo Gabin’s work is organized by Joseph R. Wolin, an independent curator and critic in New York.