Workplace is delighted to announce that it now represents Los Angeles based artist Joel Kyack.
Kyack's first UK solo exhibition The Very First Day is extended until Saturday 11th July.
(Click on the image below to stream a video of the exhibition)
Joel KyackThe Comeback, 2015, Urethane arm, dress shirt, crutch and wire, Courtesy of the artist and Workplace Gallery
Joel Kyack brings together a combination of unlikely components purchased from hardware stores, health care industries and Hollywood prop-houses to create surreal, darkly humorous objects and paintings that evince a dysfunctional and chaotic social context as their origin. Kyack maintains a Dadaist anti-bourgeois position rejecting 'taste' and traditional aesthetic sensibilities. He instead finds pragmatic yet subversive relationships between functional objects to achieve an outcome that relates back to the body and to the abject absurdity of the individual in relation to a disturbing and complex social world, always with the potential for violence and the grotesque.
The Very First Day (below) is a continuation of Kyack's fountain series, comprised of a jet of black water springing from the tip of a plastic finger set in the centre of a pool at the bottom of a white industrial bucket atop a black tiled plinth. Simulating a divine moment of creation, the work is talismanic - functioning both as origin myth and as omen of ill-portent - a figure eerily emerging from the unfathomable dark depths, or a Michelangelo-esque finger of God conferring Genesis unto Man. The Comeback is an expanded painting made from an underarm crutch leant against the wall, supporting both the wall and a plaid dress-shirted fake arm bought from a Los Angeles prop-shop. Functioning as a device for recuperation and healing, this work implicates the gallery wall, and by extension the institution of Art as deficient or degenerate. As We Go Up We Go Down is the latest in a series of kinetic sculptures employing a record deck and suspended aluminium spring that seemingly traps cheap party balloons in a state of perpetual ascension, when in reality they are going nowhere.
Kyack's work in this exhibition operates in a territory between threat and jest; functioning as visible manifestation of cruel intent or as the result of a transgressed moral or physical boundary, coercing us to shift from our normal patterns of behavior. Humour is employed by Kyack to articulate an uncanny brutality, which as with the jokes and play of children, often pertains to extreme violence or death. The black humour in Kyack's work creates a third position, beyond artist and viewer, wherein existential anxieties can be addressed.
Joel Kyack was born in Born in 1972 in Pennsylvania, USA. He received his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1995, studied at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine in 2004, and received his MFA from the University of Southern California in 2008. Recent solo projects include Old Sailors Never Die and Escape to Shit Mountain at François Ghebaly, Los Angeles; Point at the Thing That's Furthest Away at Praz-Delavallade, Paris; Superclogger, a public project produced in collaboration with LA><ART and The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles; and The Knife Shop at Kunsthalle - LA in Los Angeles. Recent performances include Portrait That May Look Like You (public) in Los Angeles; Buy What I Say, FIAC, Paris; Growing Pains Leave Stains, Kaleidoscope ARENA, Macro Testaccio, Rome, Italy; and Wattis Up with this Guy?, Wattis Institute, San Francisco, CA. He is represented by François Ghebaly in Los Angeles and Praz-Delavallade in Paris. He lives and works in Los Angeles, California.
The Old Post Office
19-21 West Street Gateshead NE8 1AD
Exhibition continues until 11th July 2015
Tuesday - Saturday, 11am - 5pm (or by appointment)
Workplace Gallery is a contemporary art gallery run by artists.
Based in Gateshead UK, Workplace Gallery represents a portfolio of emerging and established artists through the gallery programme, curatorial projects and international art fairs.