Kim Abeles • exhibitions • Winter 2015-16 De loop der dingen / The Way things go Curated by Judith van Meeuwen and Nynke Besemer Kunsthal KAdE, Ame


Kim Abeles • exhibitions • Winter 2015-16


De loop der dingen / The Way things go
Curated by Judith van Meeuwen and Nynke Besemer
Kunsthal KAdE, Amersfoort, The Netherlands
January 23 - May 1, 2016
Link to museum website

Artists in the exhbition: Kim Abeles (US, 1952) | Gerrit van Bakel (NL, 1943-1984) | Michiel van Bakel (NL, 1966) | Semâ Bekirovic (NL, 1977) | Jan Coolen (NL, 1968) | Driessens en Verstappen (NL, 1963 / NL, 1964) | Zoro Feigl (NL, 1983) | Peter Fischli (CH,1952) & David Weiss (CH,1946-2012) | Kristján Guðmundsson (IS, 1941) | Frank Halmans (NL, 1963) | HeyHeydeHaas (NL, group) | Evelien Lohbeck (NL, 1983) | Martin Luijendijk (NL, 1958) | Damián Ortega (MX, 1967) | Zeger Reyers (NL, 1966) | Miguel Angel Rios (AR, 1953) | Nitipak Samsen (TH, 1979) | Roman Signer (CH, 1938) | Berndnaut Smilde (NL, 1978) | Spullenmannen (NL) | Sam Taylor-Johnson (UK, 1967) | Hildegard Tholens (NL, 1994)


Dinner for Two in One Month of Smog (2011)

Curatorial description:
The exhibition ‘The Way Things Go’ is about the idea of cause and effect as it is incorporated in the work of (contemporary) artists. In science a cause precedes an effect. A seemingly simple fact can set in motion a series of causal laws that create

a chain of events. In this process each event is triggered by the previous. A ‘the way things go’-artwork contains movement (or the suggestion of movement) and the passing of time. It can evolve from organic processes - like growth, bloom and decay - or from a human action, in which the chain of events is set in motion by use of tools, machineries or a variety of objects. ‘Chance’ can be an important element within this process, sometimes with inevitable, definitive consequences.

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Dinner for Two in One month of Smog (2011) Smog (particulate matter) on porcelain dinnerware and linen tablecloth; chiffon chairs with metal framework; table

The Smog Collector

The London Globe printed a new word "Smog," coined in a speech at the 1905 Public Health Congress. They considered it a public service to describe this phenomenon.

The "Smog Collectors" materialize the reality of the air we breathe. I place cut, stencilled images on transparent or opaque plates or fabric, then leave these on the roof of my studio and let the particulate matter in the heavy air fall upon them. After a period of time, from four days to a month, the stencil is removed and the image is revealed in smog. To quote a stranger, they are "footprints of the sky".


Smog Collectors on the rooftop gathering particulate matter, circa 1990

I created the first "Smog Collector" in 1987 while working on artworks about the “invisible” San Gabriel Mountains, obscured by the smog as I looked from my studio fire escape in downtown Los Angeles. In the 1980s it was common to hear people insist that it was fog, not smog, that filled the air.

The "Smog Collectors" are presented in several series, including the "Presidential Commemorative Smog Plates", all the presidents from McKinley to Bush with their portraits in smog and their quotes about the environment or industry hand-painted in gold around the rims. I left them out on the roof longer, depending on their environmental records.

Subjects for the "Smog Collectors" include the cave paintings of Lascaux, images of the body, industry and to-scale translations of American landscape painting and photography. Domestic settings, such as "Dinner for Two in One Month of Smog", have been important to the dialogue of these works. We live in the contradiction that the dangers are out there, beyond, and that we are safe in our homes. Since the worst in our air can't be seen, "Smog Collectors" are both literal and metaphoric depictions of the current conditions of our life source. They are reminders of our industrial decisions: the road we took that seemed so modern. - Kim Abeles

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Enchanted Forest (and City Hall) (2015) Detail of sculpture made with model trees, digital aerial of downtown Los Angeles, and a 1.5" x 2.5" model of the city hall created by assembling photographs of the building taken from all sides.

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Enchanted Forest (and City Hall) (2015)

Two selections from the Enchanted Forest series will be included in the group exhibition, Demarcate: Territorial shift in personal and societal mapping, curated by Donna Napper and Emily Fayet. The exhibit will be on view from February 28 - May 28, 2016 at the Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose.

Link to ICA website

About my work in the show:
In 2004, I started the series, Signs of Life. The work uses satellite photographs and pinpoints trees in urban areas. One of the first pieces, Looking for Paradise (One Tree for Each Tree Downtown) uses hand-painted, model trees to mark each tree in a section of downtown Los Angeles.

Beginning in 2007, the idea expanded into Enchanted Forests. The work broadened the notion of the representation of trees, to involve locations surrounding baseball stadiums for instance, where clusters of plant-life encircle the concrete blankets. Another region of focus is the Newport Coast, and Enchanted Forest Infrared uses palm trees to leave an engraved impression of perfection on the minds of visitors.

The newest selection in the series (completed in 2015) is Enchanted Forest (and City Hall). In this case the trees of downtown Los Angeles are most prominent around government buildings. Palm trees are placed as if they are sentries protecting the officials inside. I made the model of City Hall by photographing all sides of the building and assembling all the digital prints into a tiny model that I could hold in the palm of my hand.

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Enchanted Forest Infrared (2007) Archival ultra chrome print; model trees; wire




Installation view at the Pasadena Convention Center

A Portrait of Trees in Pasadena is an exhibition created for the City of Pasadena Rotating Public Art Exhibition Program. Abeles' artworks have been installed since October 2013 at the Pasadena Convention Center Lobby and will be shown through 2016. These are part of the ongoing 2007 series, Signs of Life, that uses hand-painted model trees to pinpoint trees on aerial urban photographs. To see more about the artworks in the City's program you can link here.

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Schatzie at 95

Society for Photographic Education 2016 National Conference

March 10-13, 2016

Abeles' film, The Sun Prints of Meg Madison – Schatzie, has been selected to screen in the 21st Annual SPE Women’s Film Festival curated by Lynn Estomin

Photographer Meg Madison created a series of cyanotypes entitled, Thirst, featuring women over the age of sixty in a process-powered artwork, and 95-year-old Fran Hoffman, aka Schatzie, agreed to be one of the participants. Meg selected the L.A. River as the site for the print, and the water, dirty though it was, flowed as cleansing and mighty. Schatzie’s daughter, Kim Abeles, created this video about the process.

Watch it on Vimeo here

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