Alex Israel, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, 2014
Alex Israel’s work taps into the atmosphere, aesthetic qualities, and cultural context of Los Angeles, where he also lives and works. His trademark wall-pieces quote the backdrops of film sets, appropriating the form of stage props while also displaying colors reminiscent of the polished gradients of California Light and Space art.
In his edition for TEXTE ZUR KUNST, Israel continues this harnessing of West Coast styles. Here, the artist has produced an embossed silkscreen print of an Illinois vanity license plate that reads “NRVOUS.” Perhaps riffing on the use of typography of California master conceptualist Ed Ruscha, Israel adds a crucial twist – an engagement with the output of LA’s culture industry, thus placing this piece distinctly within his own idiom. Israel has derived this image from the 1961 Ferrari that Ferris Bueller, in the eponymous John Hughes film, breaks out of his friend’s father’s Miesian glass box of a garage. The car serves as Ferris’s vehicle of choice during an epic day playing hooky from school. The resulting print not only has material depth, but, rendered in trompe l’oeil and sized to match the dimensions of the original plate, in turn, reproduces its referent while nevertheless remaining in the realm of the picture/screen – not unlike the simulacra generated, with spectacular efficiency, by the apparatuses of cinema and TV.
Medium: Embossed silkscreen with collage (hand-applied stickers)
Size: 61 × 45.7 cm
Edition of 100 + 20 A.P.
Numbered and signed on the front
Price: SOLD OUT
Laura Owens, Untitled, 2014
There is hardly an artistic technique that reads as materially concrete and palpable as ceramics. Necessarily registering the traces of the artist’s hands that were involved in its shaping, the ceramic object appeals to the haptic sense. If Laura Owens, for her edition for TEXTE ZUR KUNST, hence decides to recreate a set of twelve emojis using this technique, the effect is both ironic and intriguing. These pictorial symbols have come to encode, most succinctly, a basic set of emotions and are used for digital communication, whether via texting or social media, where they circulate weightlessly as funny little standardized replacements for the human face; substitutions for the materially absent interlocutor. Remodeled as a set of irregularly shaped white globes that stand out in front of a wooden background, they now lurk in real space like a collection of animal specimens. This arrangement is photographed and then digitally manipulated to create, for example, the blue tear, and the black pupils of the emojis’ eyes. Further, Owens has added a set of three residually expressive yellow strokes executed in vinyl polymer. The result is a work that is at once intricate and entertaining: Firmly rejecting any easy conceptualization of “post-net” art, it bounces back and forth between analogue and digital, drawing its qualities from this ongoing traffic between the domain of objects and the realm of information.
Medium: Inkjet print and Flashe vinyl paint on Gampi paper
Size: 49.5 × 41.6 cm
Edition of 100 + 20 A.P.
Numbered and signed
Price: € 350.- plus shipping
These limited editions are available at Texte zur Kunst