Dan Kopp - Timeaway
Josh Bernstein - Galveston
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Bryan Miller Gallery is pleased to present TIMEAWAY, a solo exhibition of new work by Dan Kopp and Galveston, a project space exhibition by Josh Bernstein.
The impulses behind Dan Kopp and Josh Bernstein's exhibitions are in a way, totally opposite. While Kopp is careful to remain inside the creative confines of his own mind and studio, Bernstein ventures out in the forlorn footsteps of a shipwrecked conquistador.
Dan Kopp's new paintings continue his alchemical experimentation with custom-made paints. His palette, ranging from intense acidic neons to muted metallic milk-tones, along with super-smooth medium-density fiberboard surfaces lend the work a formal consistency. But more obvious than these material consistencies, is the technical and compositional experimentation that charges each painting with vigor and freshness.
Kopp's approach to painting could be described as a skillful synthesis of Automatic Drawing and painterly expertise. Solitary figures composed of lines and oblong shapes are often discernible and geometric formations repeat themselves at varying degrees of magnification. Elements of landscape and portraiture also give structure to Kopp's variegated surfaces. With these recurring visual cues, each piece informs and elaborates on another.
The title of Kopp's exhibition TIMEAWAY, references the distinctive isolation of the artist in the studio, a place of creative research and training. His paintings faithfully transpose the experience of being faced with a difficult question and finding its answer elusive, a process that occurs, so often and so much more forcefully, when we are alone.
For his project space exhibition, Galveston, Josh Bernstein investigates the unfortunate Texas adventures of Spanish explorer Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca. De Vaca's bizarre travels function as a framework for Bernstein's own expeditions along the Texas gulf coast. Without trying to literally recreate or portray particular events, Bernstein conjures the sense of alienation and dislocation that a naked, shipwrecked conquistador would have undoubtedly experienced. Bernstein inserts himself into a 500-year-old narrative by fashioning costumes and sculptures based on de Vaca's written account and using them as props in his photographs at various locations on Galveston Island. The resulting photo-based works provide an updated perspective on a mythic-seeming, yet historically documented escapade.
Dan Kopp lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. His work was included in Greater New York 2005, at MoMA's P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center. He has had solo exhibitions at Bryan Miller Gallery (CTRL), Houston, Volta Art Fair, NYC, Shoshana Wayne Gallery, LA, Motus Fort, Tokyo, Bravin Lee Programs, NYC and BucketRider Gallery, Chicago. Kopp studied painting at the Cleveland Art Institute, the Lacoste School of Art in Lacoste, France and at the Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture.
Josh Bernstein lives and works in Houston, TX. He studied art at Amherst College, Brandeis University and received his MFA from Rutgers University (2008). Exhibition venues include the Hunterdom Art Museum, Clinton, NJ, Arthouse, Austin, TX and Shores Institute of Contemporary Art, Long Branch, NJ.
* Many thanks to Alex Lessard-Pilon for his thoughtful written insights from inside the studio of Dan Kopp.