Alexander and Bonin opens an exhibition of works by fourteen artists

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Alexander and Bonin opens an exhibition of works by fourteen artists
Michael Buthe, Untitled 1991. Acrylic on wood, 15 1/2 x 37 x 17 1/2 in/39.4 x 94 x 44.5 cm.

NEW YORK, NY.- Alexander and Bonin announced Index, a group exhibition of work by John Ahearn, Carlos Bunga, Michael Buthe, Roman Cochet, Willie Cole, Eugenio Dittborn, Willie Doherty, Emily Jacir, Robert Kinmont, Stefan Kürten, Jorge Macchi, Rita McBride, Ree Morton, and Sylvia Plimack Mangold.

John Ahearn has made casts directly from life models since 1979. The resulting portraits - through their vivid pallets and highly individualized, naturalistic feel - provide a dynamic account of the different sitters’ personalities. Ahearn met and cast the subject of Qevin's Friend (1992/2018) while working on a community project in Anacostia in Washington D.C. in 1992; he revisited and completed the work in 2018.

Carlos Bunga’s Three Legs Coffee Table (2020) was created for his recent solo exhibition, A Sudden Beginning, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Toronto. The sculpture was made using locally sourced furniture to which the artist applied layers of cardboard, latex paint, and glue. Recalling the textured surfaces of Bunga’s paintings and installations on cardboard, the work alludes to Bunga’s interest in architecture as an ever-adapting element within a broader environment.

Michael Buthe’s Untitled (1991), incorporates two characteristic elements of the artist’s work – patterning and the use of found objects. The largest component in this assemblage is a cross-section of a tree trunk which has been angled forward and painted to represent a face. Buthe’s paintings, sculptures, and installations demonstrate his extraordinary ability to combine color and mark-making into highly complex yet coherent entities.

Roman Cochet’s paintings depict scenes in which humanity appears to have disappeared. As demonstrated in Cochet’s Wasting telescope time (2018), a sense of desolation is palpable; pieces of furniture, abandoned bottles, untamed vegetation, and somnolent animals coexist as relics of human civilization. These enigmatic spaces are possible afterimages of the Anthropocene. Adroitly executed in oil, the paintings, however, reincorporate a human touch and presence that laments its own vanishing.

Willie Cole began developing a series of iron scorches on smooth, canvas-covered ironing boards in the early 1990s. Recently, the artist created Domestic Shields XIII-XVI (2020-21). The four individual works are a distillation of personal and collective stories: the role of African-American women in domestic labor, marking and branding practices representative of distinct African ethnicities, and the ironing board as protective armor.

Eugenio Dittborn’s Yellowblack Airmail Painting No. 187 (2017) is composed of two sections − although made with distinct techniques – that enter a dialogue of parallel forms. Both the yellow dye and the charcoal frottage follow multidirectional paths, echoing the very essence of Dittborn’s work, that is, their constantly evolving trajectory throughout the world.

As with much of Willie Doherty’s earlier work photographed at the Irish border, At The Border, Neutral Zone (Don’t Look Back) Fabens, Texas (2017) was taken along the US-Mexico border, and its title alludes to situations beyond what is visible in the photograph; to precarious conditions, uncertainty, and an escalating erosion of tolerance in the negotiation of frontiers and national boundaries.

Emily Jacir’s ex libris (AP 4813), (AP 5201), (AP 2179), and (H 591) (2010-12), are details the artist selected as individual works from her larger installation, ex libris, that was commissioned and produced by dOCUMENTA (13). ex libris commemorates the approximately thirty thousand books from Palestinian homes, libraries, and institutions that were looted by Israeli authorities in 1948. Six thousand of these books are kept and catalogued at the Jewish National and University Library in Jerusalem under the designation “A.P.” (Abandoned Property). ex libris is currently on view at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, as part of the exhibition Stories of Resistance.

Robert Kinmont grew up in the desert near Bishop, CA and has lived most of his adult life in northern California. These rural environments have provided the practical and conceptual foundation for his work. As exemplified in I have been older than this before (2015), Kinmont uses commonplace and natural materials to explore the relationship between the environment and his own life.

Stefan Kurten's Pink Turns to Blue (2019) depicts fourteen houses with infamous histories or owners. Some are drawn from fiction or film such as the house from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho and the House of the Hewitt Family, from the film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Some of the other homes are known from the media coverage of startling murders including the home of Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski. This selection of images was originally presented as a project for Electra magazine published in Lisbon by Foundation EDP.

Jorge Macchi’s paintings alter scale and context, employing a system of layered visual complications that offers a sensorial and disconcerting experience. In the large-format canvas False Ceiling (2016), a close contemplation gives rise to a series of confrontations, reproductions, and ruptures. What appears as a geometrically ordained architectural setting becomes fragmented and imprecise. Macchi’s painting transcends a banal occurrence to provide the viewer with a myriad of visual possibilities.

Rita McBride’s Access (2015) consists of twenty-four plasma cut anodized aluminum keys. The sculpture is from a larger body of work, consisting of keys, door knocks, locks, keyholes and rings made of brass, aluminum and steel. The artist uses these objects to connote and unpack social structures.

Ree Morton's Drawings for Manipulations of the Organic (1977) is a set of seven studies based on ornamentation in Louis Sullivan's buildings. These drawings led to a cycle of fourteen paintings originally exhibited with a Sullivan quotation and installed like a frieze at Walter Kelly's Gallery in Chicago in 1977. The paintings are in the collection of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and were most recently exhibited in The Plant that Heals May Also Poison at ICA, Philadelphia.

Sylvia Plimack Mangold began focusing her attention on the landscape around her property in Washingtonville, New York, in the late 1970s. Initially portrayed as an image through a window or as a drawing ‘taped’ to the studio wall, the landscape increasingly occupied the surface of her canvases, gradually pushing out to the painting’s physical edges. The Chinese Scholar (1987-88), includes a band of trompe l’oeil tape and sheets of paper across the tree’s trunk.

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