Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Brian Jungen at Casey Kaplan Gallery

Walking Heart, 2011
Aluminum Group Chairs, elk hide, tarred twine, granite, steel
Installed dimensions: 50 x 55 x 24.5" / 127 x 139.7 x 62.2cm

   The most recent artworks by Brain Jungen are currently on display at Casey Kaplan Gallery on West 21st Street. Included in the exhibition are various sumptuous sculptures and a collection of large scale prints.  Departing from his usual reconstitution of  “found objects” such as Nike footwear and mass produced plastic objects (lawn chairs, storage bins, etc.), Jungen has chosen the new mediums of modern furniture and American elk hides. 
What once were sleek beacons of modern design have been stripped of their use and composed into primal drum like objects, atop plinths of steel and granite. The raw natural beauty of the elk hide is complemented by the taut symmetry of the threads used to attach the hides to the furniture and consequently blurs the elegant lines of the chairs into more visceral forms.  Alongside these sculptures in the gallery are a selection of silver prints on black polyethylene foam.  Like ghosts, these prints give light to the viewer of what the elk hides once looked like before they where cut and stretched like drums upon Jungen’s personal collection of furniture. The scale and repetitive nature of these prints nod's to Andy Warhol’s Elvis paintings but may lack in comparison to the lavish juxtapositions of the sculptures they are paired with. Although these works are relatively tame for what seems to be a career filled with bold eye catching artwork from Brain Jungen, this show may mark a crucial step into a direction of quiet nuance.


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  2. Your comment that his paintings are a nod to Andy Warhol is an interesting point. That makes sense to me and I would love for you to expand on that, how did you get to that idea?

  3. Across the present essay we can find very sharp thoughts and conclusions about Jungen’s work such as the subtle connection created between the elk and the silver prints, and the relation between the latter and Warhol’s Elvis paintings.

    Nevertheless the text structure is missing a conclusion which should be stated in another paragraph. Also and the introduction needs to briefly mention some information about the show in order to offer a general idea of what is the show about. Thus, for instance, when stating “Jungen has chosen the new mediums of modern furniture and American elk hides.” a response to a question like “what is the artist doing with those mediums?” would give more hints about what the viewer is actually facing.