Liza Ryan: Wind(shield)
Max Hooper Schneider: Accidental Menagerie

Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles / United States

May 26, 2015

Liza Ryan: Wind(shield)
Max Hooper Schneider: Accidental Menagerie

May 29–July 11, 2015

Kayne Griffin Corcoran
1201 S La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90019

Kayne Griffin Corcoran is pleased to present Wind(Shield), a new body of work by Liza Ryan, and Accidental Menagerie, two new large-scale sculptural projects by Max Hooper Schneider.

In the main gallery, Wind(shield) continues Ryan’s long-running exploration of the idea of separation. Looking closely at boundaries such as skin, the walls of a house, or the cars that separate us from the world, she examines the fluidity of interior and exterior that we often take for granted. In the Wind(shield) series, images of wrecked and abandoned cars show protective barriers to be fragile in their very nature. Questioning our illusions of safety, Ryan’s “shields” become reflective and permeable façades.

Similar themes have appeared in Ryan’s earlier work in which bodily boundaries are breached, meditating on occurrences of metamorphosis between human and nature. While in the past Ryan has used the human form to explore the unreliability of the skin as separator, in these new photographs the human presence is only implied: an exploded airbag, a discarded scarf, an effaced silhouette. Many of these images also obliquely reference the landscape, formally echoing the planes of land, sea, or sky. This hybridization has long been part of Ryan’s process of working with photographic imagery, through cutting and collaging pieces of her photographs or drawing directly onto them. In the Wind(shield) series, the collaging occurs in camera as she combines reflections and fragments within the composition of each frame. The multiple layers in these new works produce a unique sensation of glimpsing past, present, and future at once—blurring time as well.

Ryan’s work has been exhibited at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Miami Art Museum; and in the 2006 Biennale of Sydney. Her work is held in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. A forthcoming publication of her mid-career work will be available in 2016. Ryan lives and works in Los Angeles.

On view in the south gallery is Max Hooper Schneider’s Accidental Menagerie. Initially studying landscape architecture, Schneider’s artistic practice is derivative of his interest in biological constructs. Combining a multiplicity of objects, forms, and sources, each is treated as having agency and life unto itself even if inanimate or inorganic. Through this approach to material, Schneider seeks to shift the viewer from their assumed position of centrality as knower and actor into a more investigative and experiential role. Accidental Menagerie follows on from recent works that have explored living systems and specimen production in an expansion of site and scale.

Made up of over 25 specimen trays and created through a horizontal process of arrangement, the components of Accidental Menagerie are hung vertically to create a visually permeable “wall.” Composed of many counter-taxonomic parts, these trays include rogue specimens and fragments from lived experiences such as a well-worn band t-shirt or the contents of an anonymous junk drawer. In the next room, Blackwater Jacuzzi functions as an aquatic extension of this project. Using a Jacuzzi as a container, Schneider presents a living system within what might otherwise be understood as a highly artificial environment made singularly for human use. Schneider has often adopted appliances designed for consumer ease, taking items like washing machines, treadmills, popcorn makers, and dishwashers and frustrating these systems through a process of slippery hybridization, offering an escape from empirical modes of knowing the world “out there.”

Schneider studied landscape architecture at Harvard Graduate School of Design with additional degrees in urban design and biology. Schneider participated in the 2014 and 2012 editions of the Mongolia Land Art Biennial and has exhibited at Vavassori, Milan; Jenny’s, Los Angeles; with a forthcoming exhibition at High Art, Paris. Schneider lives and works in Los Angeles.

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