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Joseph Gross Gallery exhibits works by Chad Wys and Jesse Draxler
Installation view.

NEW YORK, NY.- Joseph Gross Gallery announces Not The Sum Of Its Parts, Just The Parts, a two­-person show that examines the variables of abstraction, conceptualism, and mark­making.

In Not The Sum O f Its Parts, Just The Parts, artists Jesse Draxler and Chad Wys rip apart and question the use of traditional arts materials, rediscovering and reevaluating the limits of the surface.

The title of the show is a reactionary statement against the Aristotelian philosophy that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. Rather, the title attempts to highlight, in a multi­layered approach, that each part is essential, individual, unique, and not-­to­-be overlooked in its contribution to the “whole”. Both artists utilize this principle in their practice.

Draxler’s heavily layered mixed media works utilize numerous independent elements. By examining each of these individual elements during his process to admire as simple and elegant each on their own, Draxler’s compositions ultimately serve as a practice in balance and spacial harmony. The artist aims to lend a voice to every echo and impression, akin to a "ghost" image left behind from an object or a person traversing a multidimensional landscape both physical and virtual. All while questioning the conventions of what is positive space and what is negative space through the lens of the yin and yang.

Wys is interested in manipulating found objects – the more in a state of depreciation, the better – he adds new life, meaning and function to existing materials and products, adding to the object’s history and its journey. Throughout his work he has maintained a longstanding fascination with the ideals of conceptualism. Informed by Dadaism and minimalism as well as post­modernist philosophy, Wys’ work examines visuality, from images and objects to decorations and art, and how the reproduction of these materials influence our visual experience.

Draxler’s mixed media pieces underscore the value of each component and the positive and negative spaces reliant on one another for their existence, neither more valuable than the other. While Wys adds new life, meaning and function to existing materials and products. The parts themselves are essential to conclusion.

Chad Wys (born in Illinois, 1983) is known for utilizing readymade and collage works to express his fascination with art, history and visual culture. With a Master’s degree in Visual Culture from Illinois State University, Wys means to present to the viewer the journey he has made finding the object and revealing the history inherent in the object itself. His work oscillates between figurative and abstract elements, and embodies his lifelong research about the interactions between form, content and critical thought.

Jesse Draxler (born in Wisconsin, 1982) currently works in Los Angeles. He graduated from the College of Visual Arts in Saint Paul, Minnesota, with a BFA in 2007. Draxler is known for his black and white mixed media works and his broken figurative imagery, all works being monochrome as he is color blind. His faceless subjects are carefully deconstructed, anonymous, and universally recognizable at the same time. Draxler works on both commercial and fine­art projects, with clients such as The New York Times on his roster.

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