Slots and Holes by Steven Parrino - EXTRA CONTENT When pigs fly or that great big blank in the sky by Dan Colen
10.09.2009 | 20.11.2009
Massimo De Carlo, London
Carlson is delighted to present Slots and Holes, and exhibition of the artist Steven Parrino. The show takes its title from the inversion of a historical exhibition (Holes and Slots) made by Parrino in 1987 at the Nature Morte Gallery (then in New York, run by Alan Belcher and Peter Nagy). Slots and Holes is also a technical term that defines the two most common ways of classifying the openings produced in industrial materials, such as pipes or wooden structures. In fact, Parrino conscientiously alluded to the incisive way in which he intervened on the canvas, which recalls the exactness of industrial processes. This mechanical and precise act of cutting the surface of the painting was sometimes twisted by Parrino, who crumpled the cloth or painted drops of paint in the inside folds, as to produce a rich and sensuous work that contrasts with its dry and masculine cuts. It is as if the legacy of artists such as Frank Stella or Donald Judd clashed with Parrino’s relaxed attitude and unorthodox aesthetics. For this exhibition, Carlson presents some of Parrino’s most precise and flat paintings, the ones in which the artist dealt more clearly with the potentialities of sharp and incisive cuts and gashes. The three paintings, Aluminum Hole (1994), Four Slots (1988), and Squeaky Fromme (1987), create a geometrical and optical interplay that reflects about the classical issues of flatness and depth in the tradition of painting, as well as allude to both industrial references (Aluminum Hole or Four Slots) and to underground culture (Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme was a member of the Manson family, imprisoned for attempting to assassinate US President Gerald Ford in 1975, and released last August after being 34 years in custody). The series of drawings The End of All Things (2002) well reflect Parrino’s passion for the subculture and to his subversive way of turning the feminine body into something virile, aggressive and extremely powerful, and once again deal with the dichotomy between absolute dryness and pure voluptuousness. When pigs fly or that great big blank in the sky (2009), is a new work by Dan Colen. With this insertion we want to force the classical concept of the solo show. In the EXTRA CONTENT situation we invite, besides the solo show, another artist to act almost like a virus, incorporating his own work inside another show, thus forcing a dialogue or a crack. Colen’s creation counterpoints Parrino’s holes and slots in both a formal and antagonistic way, as the artist violently crashed the flat surface of a basketball panel that generates a hole as well. But while Parrino is precise and clean, Colen is disruptive, also introducing random and daily-life elements (the fruit and the tab locks inside the bowls), and giving the work an absurd feeling. If Parrino reflected about his previous tradition, that of painting and of its possibilities, Colen clashes with his own culture and, even destroying an icon of his youth references in his typical irreverent, ironical and chic-punk attitude.