February 6, 2020—March 21, 2020 | Reception Saturday, Feb 8th, 3-5PM
James Harris Gallery is pleased to present Talking to a Stranger, a group exhibition in which the works unveil themselves through continued looking. Using painting or photography, each of the artist’s approach challenges the traditional craft associated with it. Like an encounter with a stranger often reveals a connection or a shared commonality, the disparate artworks on view are strangers amongst themselves but taken together, threads begin to appear challenging our perception of space and connectivity through the use of repetition, fragmentation and assembly. The show presents work by three artists, two painters Evan Nesbit and Brad Winchester and one photographer Amir Zaki. The artists bring a theoretical approach to their work that is concerned with aesthetics, perception and image production.
A firm believer in the transformative power of the photographic image, Zaki images are rooted in the history of the medium and uses it to shed light on the means of representation. Over the last 16 years, Zaki has pushed the physicality of the photograph’s two dimensional construct, allowing it to exist on its own and also exploring its own object-ness. In order to capture and record the original site, Zaki’s representations depict the complexity of place in terms of interactive evolving experience, an ongoing ecological intervention. The artist responds to the shifting contemporary landscape where nothing is permanent, constructing his own visual language to illustrate an entire mythology of place.
Amir Zaki lives and works in Southern California. He received his MFA from UCLA in 1999 and has been exhibiting nationally and internationally since graduating. He is a full professor at the University of California at Riverside. His work is included in many museum collections including the Hammer Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, New Museum of Contemporary Art, Orange County Museum of Art, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, among others.
Winchester combines his training as a painter with his current interest in process, material plurality, and postconceptualization. In his recent work, Winchester began by reconsidering painter’s linen as a sculptural and structural problematic. Using methods of deconstructing, dying, and re-presenting in unexpected ways in three dimensional space, Winchester challenges our relationship to and preconception of art objects. Winchester’s effort to lay bare his process emphasizes the equal importance of conceptualization and actualization in this work.
Winchester received his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2000. He currently lives and works in Seattle, WA.
Evan Nesbit's primary focus iss spatial abstraction where his burlap canvases were meticulously crafted through a process of dying, sewing and extrusion of acrylic paint pressed through the weave of the material. By dying the support structure and driving the pigment medium through it, the artist seamlessly integrated the medium with the support, creating an aesthetic teleology of flatness and pictorial organization. Nesbit continues his use of pushing pigment through the reverse side of the substrate, and now photographic images have been introduced by printing on a vinyl matrix. His markings compliment and disrupt the physical traces of reproduced photograph, trapping the image between the mechanical and the painted gesture. Nesbit’s new paintings allude to the inevitable commodification of the digital image but through his use of highly saturated color and neon tones of paint, the works situate themselves between the historical and contemporary painting antecedents in which artists incorporated found or mechanically produced images.
Evan Nesbit (b. 1985) lives and works in Grass Valley, CA. Nesbit received his BFA from San Francisco Art Institute in 2009 and his MFA from Yale University in 2012. He has been awarded the Yale University Ely Harwood Schless Memorial Fund Prize for painting. Other recent solo exhibitions include: Van Doren Waxter, New York, Annarumma Gallery, Naples, Italy (2017); Koki Arts, Tokyo, Japan, Roberts and Tilton, Los Angeles, CA, 11R, New York, NY(2016. His work has additionally been included in numerous group exhibitions, such as: Sargent’s Daughter, New York NY (2017) 88 Projects Berlin, Germany Praz-Delavallade, Paris, France (2015).