THE MODERNS: Curated by Ben Cooper
DECEMBER 3, 2010 - JANUARY 22, 2011
In this three-person exhibition, Jason Kalogiros (b. 1975, New Brunswick, NJ), Jonathan Runcio (b. 1977, Montreal, Canada), who both live and work in the Bay Area, and Marko Lulic (b.1972, Vienna, Austria), based in Vienna, explore diverse manifestations of the Modernist project, focusing on the work of Bauhaus teachers and students Josef Albers (1888-1976), Otti Berger (1898-1944) Marcel Breuer (1902-1981) and Mart Stam (1899- 1986). Most of the work in The Moderns is new or has not previously been shown on the West Coast.
Jason Kalogiros’ photograms, created through a camera-less photographic process, investigate Josef Albers' seminal study of color theory, Interaction of Color (pub. 1963), and a 1965 edition of his Homage to the Square print series. His interest in the work of Albers springs from Kalogiros’ broader research into the history of photography. His photograms are chromatic inversions of the prints and color studies on which they are based, thereby embodying optical effects at the heart of much of Albers’s teaching and writing.
Marko Lulic has explored numerous aspects of the history and legacy of Modernism through installation, sculpture and video. In the large textile Hommage Otti Berger, 2004/2007, Lulic celebrates Otti Berger, a Serbian Jewish textile designer, born in Yugoslavia, who was murdered in Auschwitz in 1944. This show borrows its name from Lulic’s 2005 videoThe Moderns (Vienna). The video selectively focuses on Modernist buildings in Vienna, creating a portrait of the city radically at odds with its chocolate box image. The subtitles describe an alternative, imagined history, in which the citizens have completed a vast, utopian social project, building a new Vienna from the rubble of war.
Jonathan Runcio’s paintings use a simplified formal language reminiscent of Modernist abstraction. As hinted at by their titles, the compositions actually derive from details of suburban architecture. Runcio’s sculptures are built from replicas of chairs by Marcel Breuer and Mart Stam, who pioneered the design of tubular steel furniture in the 20s and 30s. The sculptures are made with cast offs found on the street. Like Lulic, Runcio is interested in the gulf between the original utopian aspirations of Modernist designers and the way we actually experience and live with their works today.
Ben Cooper, Curator December 2010