Craig Taylor | Enface & Annelie McKenzie | The Enthusiast
CB1 Gallery is pleased to present two new exhibitions in our recently opened 4500 SF downtown LA gallery space at 1923 S. Santa Fe Avenue—Craig Taylor: Enface and Annelie McKenzie: The Enthusiast. Both exhibitions will be on view from March 7 through April 11, 2015.
The paintings in Craig Taylor’s second CB1 exhibition, Enface combine the language of abstraction with the format of a portrait or bust. Systems of marks traverse intensely layered surfaces, coalescing into an image of the bust as passages of thick paint are scraped, layered, blocked out, and worked up into a complex viewing experience. The results are simultaneously direct and nuanced, graphic and atmospheric. One painting, entitled “Without the Transistor of Reason“, bears witness to the systematic formation of a gigantic cartoon rabbit’s head in the process of being built from a palette of grays and greens, the colors of traditional romantic landscape paintings. The experience of viewing these paintings might remind us of a filmed sequence in which a camera slowly closes in on an image of a head. We simultaneously apprehend the surface marks, the painting’s design, and its depth. Right before our eyes the scale unfolds through various visual cues.
The title of Annelie McKenzie’s first exhibition at CB1, The Enthusiast, comes from Sarah Pogson’s play “The Female Enthusiast” (1807), written about Charlotte Corday, the woman who “acts out of political and moral enthusiasm” in assassinating Jacobin leader Jean-Paul Marat during the French Revolution. Several of the paintings deal with that subject directly – they are remakes/covers of work done by several different lesser-known (or unknown) artists as news travelled and Corday quickly became a notorious pop icon of her time. Other works in this show touch on depictions of “virtuous battle” taking place in the heavens – such as sources taken from Tiepolo. Still other works are about the gendered battle for space in the canon of art history (e,g,, works about the artist Marie Laurencin). The artist begins by making a small painting on a decorative frame and adding craft materials thereby feminizing them. Then she enlarges the paintings as a way of heroicizing them.