21st Century Cyphers

 Karla Kinght Web

May 12 - July 14, 2018

21st Century Cyphers is a group exhibition about the phenomenon of language in the technological age. It brings together visual artists who use both written and spoken language structures in their work through translation, abbreviated means of communication such as symbols and glyphs, and visually coded ways of conveying information. Using a variety of processes that include painting, sculpture, digital and new media, installation and sound, the works on view in this exhibition highlight language itself as a diverse medium to be explored, dissected and reframed to reflect the nuances of communication in the 21st century.

Curator Claude Smith, 516 ARTS’ Exhibitions and Fulcrum Fund Manager, says, “Contemporary language is a complex melting pot of syntax, emotion and expression. It has become increasingly common to express our feelings visually, due in part to the frequency in which our daily correspondences are mediated by a screen. We now conveniently have immediate access to entire dictionaries or repositories of alternative language signifiers. Textual abbreviations, symbols, glyphs, memes, gifs and even video/sound clips are ready for deployment as clever substitutions.”

The artists in 21st Century Cyphers explore these notions, using language and words as the basis for literal compositional structure as well as creating new systems for communication that reflect a growing hybridization with technology and a desire to locate oneself within that expanding universe of possibility.

Featured artists: John Phillip Abbott (NM), Gina Adams (KN), Mirtha Dermisache (Argentina) Bart Exposito (NM), Asuka Goto (NY), Sky Hopinka (WI), Nina Katchadourian (NY), Karla Knight (CT), Matt Magee (AZ), Guillermo Gomez-Peña & Enrique Chagoya (CA), Hayal Pozanti (NY), Walter Robinson (NM) and Joel Swanson (CO).

Image Gallery 

Image credits from top left:

Karla Knight, Red Spaceship (UR OM UM OX UH), 2018, Colored pencil and graphite on paper, 50 x 90 inches, Courtesy of the Artist

Hayal Pozanti, 81 (Percentage of CEOs with high intuition scores who doubled their business in five years), 2016, Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 60 inches; courtesy the artist and Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Gina Adams, Treaty of Guadalupe Hildago 1848 Broken Treaty Quilt (detail), 2018, hand cut calico letters and cotton thread on antique quilt, 85 x 80 inches  

Joel Swanson, Zapf Dingbats Revolved Around Their “Y” Axis (detail), 2015, 3D printed plastic, 2 x 2 inches; courtesy David B. Smith Gallery, Denver, CO

Walter Robinson, Tartan Wordcross (Cruel Truth), 2011, Mdf, epoxy, metalflake, 48 x 48 x 1.5 inches; courtesy the artist and Turner Carroll Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

Asuka Goto, lost in translation (installation detail), pencil and collage on paper, 10 x 13 inches 

Matt Magee, Meme 5, 2017, ink on mulberry paper, 15 x 10 inches; courtesy the artist and Richard Levy Gallery, Albuquerque, NM

John Phillip Abbott, Datsun, 2017, acrylic and spray paint on canvas, 66 x 62 inches

Bart Exposito, Untitled, 2018, Acrylic and Charcoal on Paper, 21 x 29 inches

Sky Hopinka, Visions of an Island (still), video, total run time 15:00

Nina Katchadourian, Talking Popcorn (still), 2017, video total run time 2:28 minutes; courtesy the artist and Catherine Clark Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Mirtha Dermisache, Sin título (texto) from Mirtha Dermisache Selected Writings,128 pages, Siglio Press | Ugly Duckling © 2017