Jacin Giordano

GALERIE SULTANA
10 rue Ramponeau
January 9–March 7

View of “Jacin Giordano,” 2015.

Testing the limits of conventional painting—both as a medium and a process—Jacin Giordano’s latest works are born of a cyclical, waste-not studio practice. The bulk of the works presented (all 2014) were made with the byproducts of an ongoing series—a single example from which, Cutpainting #52, represents the cornerstone of the show. To create his “Cutpaintings” Giordano layers thick coats of brightly colored acrylics onto wood supports, then sands, cuts, and shreds the paintings to reveal their multicolored strata. Conscious that this additive/reductive process is also potentially wasteful, Giordano has found various ways to recycle his materials, reusing everything from leftover acrylic deposits on his palette knife to wood scraps that fall to the studio floor.

“Arrowheads,” a series comprising hundreds of small, flat oblongs, is installed in neat rows on three low pedestals. The title and clinical presentation likens the collected multicolored slivers of hardened paint to archeological finds awaiting classification. Elevating these fragments from remnants to artifacts, Giordano reveals their intrinsic aesthetic value. Two wall-mounted series are made up of canvas shreds, paint gobs, glitter, and other detritus accumulated in the artist’s studio. The “Monochromes” are canvases covered with a layer of said studio refuse and then painted a single color. The row of seven such works, representing a rainbow spectrum from red to violet, links the artist’s process to a dispersive prism. Taken one step further, the “Shredded Paintings” are “Monochromes” whose surfaces Giordano has stripped and sanded to a smooth finish. One can only imagine what new series the resulting dust might inspire.

Mara Hoberman

Trisha Donnelly

AIR DE PARIS
32 rue Louise Weiss
January 17–March 14

Trisha Donnelly, Untitled, 2014, projection, dimensions variable.

With her mostly mute recent projections it becomes clear that noise is no mere synonym for sound for Trisha Donnelly but a constitutive aspect of any transmission. Featuring untitled works from this year and the last, this exhibition comprises six projections united by formal resonances and a hypnotic restructuring of time; their ambient light provides the only illumination for a single, demure drawing. Within the darkness glimmers a subtle approach to thinking through technological media and their relationship to language and experience.

In the longest of the looping videos we may recognize an outmoded “dip-and-dunk” film processor in action. That the dark, grainy footage paradoxically exposes the darkroom clearly appeals to Donnelly, whose show is punctuated by similar cognitive blips and flashes. Wave and cloud forms dominate, evoking analogies for signal and noise respectively. Crisp moving images are superimposed on low-resolution stills. Moiré patterns screen foggy valleys.

According to Hubert Damisch, clouds expose the limits of linear perspective as a representational system for painting. As a sign, the cloud’s lack of definable surface evades geometric description but is well suited to brushwork and the physical substance of paint. Donnelly is onto something similar with the way she sutures together vaguely photographic and cinematic materials in her projections. Her motifs are emblems of dynamic change. Unintended effects transfigure the signifier when it is filtered through the apparatuses that render technical images, loosening it from its representational function—as in the flash of light that solarizes a photograph developing in the darkroom. Interference becomes a generator of new forms. These days, we surf and save to the cloud with hardly a thought. In Donnelly’s luminous spaces, we’re left to our own devices to craft new metaphors for the information we register.

Phil Taylor