MASS Gallery is pleased to present our upcoming group exhibition Extended Technique featuring the works of three contemporary artists: David X Levine (NY, NY), Kaz Oshiro (Los Angeles, CA) and Xochi Solis (Austin, TX) opening April 29 from 7-11 pm. Friday’s opening will feature DJ sets from the Chulita Vinyl Club !
Long associated with improvisation and experimental modes of expression, the musical term “extended technique” refers to a variety of unorthodox approaches to playing a musical instrument. These methods elicit unfamiliar sounds and blur the distinctions between instruments.
The diverse methodologies of the artists employed in Extended Technique challenge and expand the boundaries of their own mediums. They approach their work with a musician’s spirit of free play and improvisation. With more than a passing association with the musical, the works in Extended Technique also exist in conversation with this world in content and approach.
David X Levine was born in Boston, MA, and currently resides in New York City. He creates intimate to monumental scale abstract drawings with collaged elements taken from high art, popular music and television. Early in his career Levine discovered that he could accurately render the same figure with incredible precision. This precision and his smooth blocks of color (lacking telltale marks) give his laboriously rendered drawings a sense of being mechanically reproduced. In person his surfaces have the luminosity of an oil glaze. This result is accomplished by applying numerous layers of colored graphite, which Levine buffs to a near mirror finish. Inspired by the music that surrounds him, the critic Michael Wilson describes Levine’s work as, “the blending of a million beats into a visual wall of sound.”
Born in Okinawa, Japan, Kaz Oshiro lives and makes work in Los Angeles, California. Most celebrated for his meticulously crafted three dimensional trompe l’oeil canvases, Oshiro is known for rendering everyday objects such as Marshall amplifiers, speakers, trashcans and microwave ovens with exacting detail, paying special attention to the cracks and surface imperfections. His current Still Life series consists of monumental minimalist color fields on canvas. These canvases are just as illusory as his previous work, having the appearance of mistreated art objects that have been crushed, crammed into corners, or slumped down the wall in some chaotic incident. Despite their sculptural effect, for Oshiro, all his work is abstract painting. Born out of a desire to paint without hesitation—akin to the immediacy of a De Kooning—Oshiro concludes that the scratches, scuffs and imperfections are evidence of his gestural marks and a record of time.
Xochi Solis is a native Tejana, living and working in Austin, TX. Like every good improviser Solis is a collector. Among the things she collects are records, papers, pigments, images, quotes and experiences. The improviser’s art is built from these deep catalogs, it is what allows the artist to act in the moment and it is the structure of intuition. Solis begins her work with a reflection on a mood, often represented by snip of a lyric from a popular song or a turn of a phrase. Then come the materials: hand-dyed paper, vinyl, plastic, cork, images from books, and gestural marks in paint. The materials are shaped and stacked with each layer being contingent on the previous. Her process produces an archive of her interaction with her materials in geological layers. The resulting work is harmonious layers of frozen melody that push and pull between the gestural, the natural and built environment, collage, painterly abstraction and the sculptural. MASS gallery is pleased to be debuting Xochi Solis’ first works published with Pele Prints, a collaborative printmaking studio.