Leo Villareal, Spacetime
January 21 — March 11, 2016
Opening Reception: January 21st, 6-8pm
fused space is pleased to present “Spacetime,” an exhibition of domestic-scale light sculptures by Leo Villareal, creator of the Bay Lights. The works offer immersive experiences through carefully constructed compositions of LED lights, arranged in geometric forms. Each artwork evolves over time and is built from the ground up with hardware and software developed by the artist and his team. Rooted in the art history of abstraction, Villareal’s dynamic sculptures also look forward to a new world.
Villareal focuses on stripping systems down to their essence (such as pixels or the zeros in binary code) to better understand the underlying structures that govern how they work. Inspired by science as varied as Newton’s Laws and John Conway's Game of Life, the artist seeks to create his own sets of rules, which incorporate elements of chance and produce works that move, change and ultimately grow into complex organisms. Villareal’s works adopt random sequences of compositions whose opacity, speed and scale speak to the beauty of the revelation of code in light.
Leo Villareal is one of the most prominent light sculptors of our time. Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1967, Villareal received a BA in sculpture from Yale University in 1990 and an MPS in Interactive Telecommunications from NYU Tisch School of the Arts in 1994 after which he spent three years at Paul Allen’s Interval Research Corporation in Palo Alto, CA. Villareal's work is in the permanent collections of museums such as: the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum, Kagawa, Japan; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR; the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery, Washington, D. C; and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
In 2013, Villareal premiered The Bay Lights, which is the world's largest LED light sculpture, which has received over half a billion media impressions through extensive, world-wide news coverage. Recent group exhibitions include LIGHTSHOW, a survey at the Hayward Gallery in London, which will travel to Auckland (New Zealand), Sydney (Australia), Sharjah (UAE) and Santiago (Chile).
Carter Mull, Theoretical Children
November 12, 2015 — January 17, 2016
Opening reception: Monday, March 23, 5:30-7:30pm
At Fused Space, Jessica Silverman is pleased to present “Theoretical Children,” an exhibition of wall works, sculptures and a video by Carter Mull.
Carter Mull’s Untitled Social Subjects and Theoretical Children are images of social media personae that the artist has met at special invite nightclubs and after parties. These cotton-on-aluminum wall pieces, which combine painting, algorithmic rendering, photography and printing, sublimate lived experience and imagine friends as intricate abstractions. The works are punctuated by letterforms, plush shapes and short figurative passages and borrow structures from magazine layouts and other print media.
These scenes of contemporary social life are Mull’s 2015 version of Edouard Manet’s pictures of 19th century nightlife. Untitled Social Subject (Empathic Chic Boy, Chardonnay Roller Coaster, Cocker, Mr. Magoo), for example, refers to the multiple, virtual identities of youthful nighthawks who inhabit a demi-world that initially echoes the altered state, but is ultimately a far cry from, The Absinthe Drinker.
Mull begins making these works by sketching quick cartoons of the night’s key characters and social situations before he goes to bed. Days later in the studio, Mull uses Photoshop and inkjet printers together with paint and pens to develop his sketches and appropriate imagery. These drawings become the basis for the wall works, executed through a multi-step process that starts with the marbling of paper with oil and colored water. The marbled patterns remind of bound old-school books and also the liminal flow of an image coming into existence.
The exhibition also features Mull’s “Veils,” sculptural works that consist of tulle fabric over ready-made vases and fresh cut flowers, which are installed the day of the opening and left to wilt throughout the course of the show, acting like their own kind of chronometer. Flowers often commemorate or celebrate social relationships while veils, when worn by brides, mark the transition from one social identity to another. These sculptures bring Mull’s layered portraits into three-dimensions.
Mull’s new works meld the phantasmagoria of the contemporary social identity with novel methods and materials. Sensitive to the relationship between subjectivity and the times we inhabit, Mull’s artistic language, a kind of abstract social glue, engages people’s desire to connect and mark the time that binds them together.
Carter Mull (b.1977)
Carter has a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from the California Institute of Arts. Recent exhibitions include “Figure, Image, Armor” at Onestar Press, Paris; “Young Americans” at Franz Josef Kai 3, Vienna; “The Princess is caged in the ©” at Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Switzerland. Forthcoming exhibitions include “Routine Pleasures” curated by Michael Ned Holte at Schindler House, Los Angeles and “The Magic of Photography” curated by Charlotte Cotton at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Carter Mull is represented by Marc Foxx Gallery, Los Angeles. He lives and works in Los Angeles.