Giulia Piscitelli: Wide Rule
Rosha Yaghmai: Easy Journey to other planets

Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles / United States

March 20, 2015

Giulia Piscitelli: Wide Rule
Rosha Yaghmai: Easy Journey to other planets

March 21–May 16, 2015

Opening: Saturday, March 21

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

Kayne Griffin Corcoran is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Italian artist Giulia Piscitelli. Wide Rule includes a series of tapestries, sculptures, drawing, photographs, and a video work.

Wide Rule includes a new group of tapestries, each making reference to symbols found within American history and often with a pointed relation to masonry or, more generally, to “work.” Piscitelli uses bleach to draw on her velvet tapestries, a process in which creation and destruction become inextricably entwined. Several tapestries display a symbol of utility—for example an anvil, a tuning fork, a level, and a compass. On others appear more material icons such as the “1″ of a dollar bill, a simple handshake, or the familiar Coca Cola script written in a foreign language, portending the slyer undertones of creation and exchange. Shown alongside these works is a video of the artist ironing her tapestries. This performance of historically “female” work emphasizes the complex relationship between labor, subjectivity, and gender.

In her work, Piscitelli has found herself driven to rescue the debris of modern life. In a new set of sculptures Piscitelli has repurposed a group of objects each adorned with the Ferrari emblem. The yellow logo, pulled from covers of found Ferrari Encyclopedias, represents the apex of Italian industry and manufacturing, yet it also signifies a culture of luxury and excess deeply at odds with the country’s recent austerity measures. Piscitelli’s appropriation elevates these castoff items carefully collected by the artist while at the same time addressing their status as objects in our world.

Giulia Piscitelli’s works have been included in exhibitions at the Venice Biennale (2011), The Fondazione Giuliani, Rome (2011), Kunsthalle Basel (2010), the Berlin Biennial (2008), and Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2007). She was born in 1965 in Naples, Italy, where she lives and works.

Also on view is Easy Journey to other planets, an exhibition of new works by Rosha Yaghmai and her first with the gallery.

This group of new sculptures stems from Yaghmai’s ongoing experimentation with materials, in this instance incorporating “elemental” substances—each found in its natural state on our planet and those beyond—such as graphite, iron, aluminum, neon, copper, nickel, bentonite clay, and mineral pigments. In Easy Journey to other planets the result could be described as a silent scene in faux outer space; an expedition through Yaghmai’s manipulation of form, motif, and material.

While drawing references to the tradition of West Coast conceptualism, Yaghmai’s vernacular also recalls the layered and crumbling façades of Los Angeles—from fringe mysticism to psychedelic drugs, yard sales to DIY architecture, led by the likes of dropouts, tinkerers, and cult leaders. A hand-sewn “umbrella” made from space blankets wilts above a heavily rusted pool chair. Nearby, a collection of neon “tools” hangs from a rod in the wall, their glow shining like the artificial sunlight of a solarium. Across the floor lay scattered resin forms resembling moon rocks, their textured skins cast from the landscapes of Topanga Canyon and Vasquez Rocks. For each, Yaghmai colored the surface using ‘Mayan’ pigments to mimic the jagged flatness of satellite photography. Against the walls, Yaghmai’s Gates repeat the patterned doorway to the Griffith Observatory, an entrance for accessing unseen depths into space. Yaghmai’s sculptures stand like moments of odd pause within a larger sequence of unknown events. In Easy Journey to other planets each sculpture insinuates the slumping effects of gravity upon both the objects themselves and the beings that might come into contact with them.

Rosha Yaghmai graduated an MFA at CalArts in 2007, and was a Terra Foundation Fellow in 2009. In 2015 she will be the subject of an exhibition at LAX><Art in Los Angeles. Her work has been exhibited at spaces including Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions; Estacion Tijuana, Mexico; Riverside Art Museum, Los Angeles; Transmission Gallery, Glasgow; Public Fiction, Los Angeles; and GBK, Sydney. Yaghmai lives and works in Los Angeles.

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