Jun 262013
 June 26, 2013
June 30, 2013 – September 14, 2013
Opening Reception on June 30, 2013 from 11am – 2pm
Artist Reception on September 11, 2013 from 6-9pm

The Guggenheim Gallery at Chapman University in conjunction with the 2013 California Pacific Triennial is pleased to present Syrop & Chang. York Chang’s and Mitchell Syrop’s exhibition explores the artists’ interest in the fabrication of narratives and supposed truths through the authority of text and context.

Mitchell Syrop has been investigating the written word in previous bodies of work, hereby drawing connections between text and its qualities as an image. His maniacally written abstracts, blow-ups of scribbled notes are concerned with ambiguities of language, the visual properties of its presentation, identity, and interchangeability. The physio-psychological aspects of the work and its self-deprecating content are disrupted by the technical sophistication and confidence of the final image, evidence of performative actions, presented in a distanced manner.

York Chang’s interest in text lies with its possibility to create history. Via the construction of a fictitious historical art movement, the “visceral realists” and the re-enactment of actions attributed to the group, he challenges the notion of the grand historical narrative, which contemporary art is committed to. He exposes it as similarly arbitrary, playing with its function as creating meaning, and makes us aware of a society drawing conclusions based on truths, which are always created one-sidedly, as is mostly the case, by the ones in power. The notion of the type of political and actionist artist that the visceral realists promote is an option that although it never existed, indeed had its moment in time. Chang poses questions of identity and authorship in creating these heroes, which are not a romantic fantasy, but rather a poetic improvisation on art history’s keyboard. This in turn is utterly contemporary.

Where Syrop is direct, expressive and sometimes goes blue, Chang answers in his deadpan, sly and calculated style. The pairing of their different methods of investigation provides commonalities, and exciting new constellations and timbres of their respective work, while showing the continuation of conceptual approaches in L.A.’s most recent art history.

Mitchell Syrop was born in Yonkers, New York and lives in Los Angeles. He earned his BFA in 1975 at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY, and his MFA in 1978 from the California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA. Many of the methodologies and concerns found in his early work, remain fundamental elements of his work to this day. He often returns to earlier works and starts again where he left off, almost following a psychoanalytic model. Over the course of his career he has worked with a wide range of materials and approaches including photography, film, video, sculpture, writing, performance, as well as, computer based production and presentation methods. Although his practice is frequently regarded as “conceptual”, it is not theory driven. Additionally for the past 24 years he has taught at a number of academic institutions in the Los Angeles area including faculty positions at ArtCenter, CalArts, USC, Otis, and Chaffey Community College.

He has been exhibiting his work for the past 30 years, throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Significant exhibitions include: Avante-Garde In The Eighties, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA (1987), Striking Distance, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA, (1988), The Photography of Invention: American Pictures of the Eighties, National Museum of American Art , Washington DC (1989), A Forest of Signs: Art in the Crisis of Representation, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (1989), Constructing A History: A Focus on MOCA’s Permanent Collection“, MOCA, Los Angeles, CA (1990), Special Collections: The Photographic Order from Pop to Now, Int’l Center of Photography, NYC (1992), Tomorrow Land: A Tribute to CalArts, Museum of Modern Art, NYC  (2006

York Chang (b. 1973, St. Louis, MO) is a conceptual artist and painter who manipulates the cultural projection of ideology, fanaticism, identity and political power. He creates immersive “total” installations, exploring the exhibition construct’s potential for literary fiction writing and turning forensic and archival information systems into supports for poetic gestures. Chang’s work often explores fiction and deception, blurring conventional notions of authorship, appropriation, and credibility in cultural production. He earned both his BFA (1996) and Juris Doctorate (2001) from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). York Chang lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.

Select exhibitions include York Chang: The Winners, Greene Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA (2013), Ping Pong at Art 43, Basel, Switzerland (2012); Incognito at Santa Monica Museum of Art (2011); The Workers at MASSMoCA (2011); Suelto at La Central Gallery, Bogotá, Colombia (2011); Open Daybook at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (2011); ARCO Madrid with g727, Madrid, Spain (2010); ZOOM at the Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA (2009); The Search for the Visceral Realists at the Federal Art Project, Los Angeles, CA (2009); Asian New Media, Center for Democracy at Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles CA (2008); Hard Left, at Merry Karnowsky Gallery, Berlin, Germany (2008); Legally: An Unethical Happening at the Hyperion Tavern, Los Angeles, CA (2007); Santa Monica Originals at the Arena 1 Gallery, Santa Monica, CA (2005); Open Show 2004, curated by James Elaine, Hammer Museum Curator, Gallery 825, Los Angeles, CA (2004).

Co-curated by Marcus Herse in conjunction with the 2013 California Pacific Triennial curated by Dan Cameron

Jun 072013
 June 7, 2013

California Visual Music

Three Generations of Abstraction

May 20, 2013 – June 15, 2013
Please join us for the opening reception on May 25, 2013 from 5-8pm

Heather Brown
Tony Delap
Michael Dopp
Roy Dowell
Craig Kauffman
Ed Moses
Michael Rey
Brian Sharp
Jay Sagen
Patrick Wilson
Bobbi Woods

The Guggenheim Gallery at Chapman University in conjunction with Chapman University’s Escalatte Collection is pleased to presentCalifornia Visual Music – Three Generations of Abstraction. The exhibition brings together work from L.A.’s vital art scene with selected pieces from the Escalate Collection that exemplify key innovations in abstract art.

Abstraction’s debut on the California stage was initiated by pioneering gallerist Felix Landau and the legendary Ferus Gallery in the 1950’s. The 1960s and 70s brought Finish Fetish and Light and Space, distilled from op art, minimalism and geometric abstraction, which are identified with the American West and are tied to a unique period in which many California artists investigated the picture plane beyond the concerns of the canvas and representation. Craig Kaufman, Tony Delap and Ed Moses, whose works are highlights of California Visual Music, developed a discourse with regional specificity in company with artists such as Robert Irwin and James Turell.

Most recently, the broad field of what abstraction could mean is being re approached by a new generation of L.A. artists. Some of the most vivid of these new positions are featured in California Visual Music alongside their predecessors. The exhibition examines the heritage and influence of classical abstraction while presenting a survey of strategies that continues to bring new insights, from the serendipitous experiments of light and space to the manias for new materials and properties of color.
Co-curated by Marcus Herse and David Michael Lee