Born only a few months after the Chernobyl Disaster in 1986, Romanian artist Mi Kafchin was inundated as a young child with fear-driven remedies that would help to cure the invisible but pervasive radioactive toxins that enveloped her region and in effect her being. Trust in aspirational progress or the security of big government would dissipate into that same air. The chemtrails that crisscrossed the sky above represented a direct and constant communication of this reality but banalized into a sublime of the everyday. This toxic cocktail of aluminum, barium and strontium militaristically seeded into our atmosphere successfully keeps society under control… at least, that is, until the EMF from 5G begins to vibrate our delicate bodies. This legacy of trepidation from sources governmental, paranormal and extraterrestrial has festered into a menacing ideological vortex of possibility, one looming large in the work of Mi Kafchin and mapped out here in her second solo exhibition at Nicodim Gallery. Chemtrails is on view through June 1 at Nicodim 571 South Anderson Street, Los Angeles. photographs by Agathe Pinard
Cristian Răduță’s animals march in droves. A Noah’s Ark of improvised genetic anomalies populate Nicodim Gallery like an emergency spawning ground, but no two are paired or exactly alike. Apelikenesses can be seen from one angle and a shuffle of animalian ciphers from the other. Răduță is their shepherd, bringing to each form a unique trembling glory. This harmonious pattern of origin stories—both raw and cooked—ludically swirl in the artist’s grand tale of a double helix. His creatures are echos of archetypes, songs from a golden record played deep in outer space. Cristian Răduță: The Diamond Hunters is on view through April 13 at Nicodim Gallery 571 South Anderson Street. photographs provided by Nicodim Gallery
Ornament and crime are not synonymous to Zhou Yilun, however. His influences begin with the Western, Judeo-Christian canons he studied and was trained to emulate in school, but skew more heavily to the laborers he saw building, tearing-down, painting, and repainting the structures in the city surrounding him, and the American basketball players, hip-hop stars, and black celebrities he grew up mythologizing and imitating. Zhou lifts and distorts techniques inherited from the Renaissance, Baroque, and Romantic eras, revisiting, perverting, and parodying their ideas for the new globalist regime. Each of his artworks is formed from the same bricolage of identity—the sum of stretcher, wood, and canvases painted, deconstructed, and constructed again. Zhou’s practice is alive with Chinese bones and Western sinew and flesh, torn down and built back up with the same materials again and again, so that the elements that once existed as ornament are now integral to the identity and essence of each artwork itself. "Ornament and Crime" will be on view @ Nicodim Gallery 571 S Anderson Street Ste 2 until February 17. photographs by Oliver Kupper
To Hugo Wilson, animals are mirrors of human consciousness. We project our desires, hopes, and impulses onto the animal, and the animal reflects, refracts, and hurls them back to us. Unlike the Old Masters he references in his paintings and bronzes, however—George Stubbs, Peter Paul Rubens, Nicolas Poussin—Wilson’s menagerie is not beneath the human on the food chain or emblematic of the love of Christ. These creatures are Gods themselves, emerging from turbulent clouds of divine ether, meme warfare, and YouTube clips with agendas all their own, radiating their sentience in neon geometric yantras. In our eagerness to apply our own personal narratives to Wilson’s beasts and the baroque noise from which they emerge, one begins to question herself, her own genesis and binary belief systems: Is this the birth or demise of the universe? Why can’t Jesus be an ostrich? Is that really what a zebra’s teeth look like? Wilson’s work doesn’t answer. Wilson’s work is. Hugo Wilson’s solo exhibition will be on view at Nicodime Gallery 571 S Anderson Street Ste 2, Los Angeles, CA 90033 until December 22. photographs by Lani Trock
A suite of three large-scale drawings encircle the room. They show Mureșan’s voracious appetite for metabolizing the reference indexically. This tabula scripta is rewriting art history without affect, without nostalgia, rather as something akin to data mining, a forensic nutrition for the eye as it smudges across the surface.
I bet you’re wondering what that carnage before you is. This is Mureșan’s newest untitled sculptural installation. The work shows the process of writing history played out through the live-action drama of sectarian slapstick. Mureșan has made several archetypal forms atop pedestals that have run amok in the gallery. Wax reductions of spiritual forms, icons, churches and spires, all in a soft beeswax that is more Brancusi than Orthodox, fight for momentary status of survival. Here the pantheon has turned itself into a Thunderdome as these sibling sculptures rival for supremacy.
This is how cultural sausage is made.
Ciprian Muresan’s solo exhibition will be on view at Nicodim Gallery 571 S Anderson Street Ste 2, Los Angeles, CA 90033 until December 22. photographs by Lani Trock