55 Fifth Avenue – New York, New York
September 29, 2016 – March 01, 2017
Time Equities Inc. Art-in-Buildings is pleased to announce the next exhibition in the lobby of 55 5th Avenue, Brian Bress: The Desmond Six.
Brian Bress is a multi-media artist whose work explores relationships, gestures, and humor through videos, installations, sculptures, and photo-collages. The six-channel video The Desmond Six, on view in the lobby of 55 5th Avenue, is representative of these career-spanning investigations. Originally commissioned by the Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND) for display in the storefront windows of the former Desmond Department Store, The Desmond Six is part of a broad series of works in which characters, contained within the frame of the screen, cut into and through what may be perceived as the “surface” of the video.
The Desmond Six, and many of Bress’ other multi-channel works, is rich in art history and theory references, playing with perceptions of space and flatness in the (digital) picture-plane. Beginning with a minimalist grid, a classic reference to flatness in painting, the artist disrupts the surface of the screen, creating the illusion of depth behind the monitor. The cutting slowly reveals layers of color and pattern that confuse the scene. Finally, enough of the plane is cut away, uncovering that we have been watching the efforts of a camouflaged character (Bress in a burdensome costume), masterfully using a chainsaw to slice silhouettes of men and women into the grid. Each silhouette dons hats and haircuts reminiscent of the cast of characters who appear in many of Bress’ other videos. Cutting complete, Bress playfully poses within the frames, layering his patterned costume within the cutout to fill in the portraits’ features. The result is visually striking both in its historical references (Sol LeWitt drawings come immediately to mind) and its silliness. Bress’ work calls into question formal distinctions between mediums and elucidates clear connections between painting and video. His boundary-pushing work engages and entertains, rewarding repeated visits to the Art-in-Buildings lobby.
Brian Bress received a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and a MFA from University of California, Los Angeles. Current solo exhibitions include Chrysler Museum (VA) and a ten year retrospective at the Orange County Museum of Art. In 2017, Bress will be included in the Moving Image Biennale in Geneva. His recent solo exhibitions and projects were at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles, CA); Museo d’arte contemporanea (MACRO) (Rome, Italy); Santa Barbara Museum of Art (Santa Barbara, CA); and New Museum (New York, NY). Bress is represented by Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles.
For press inquiries contact: Monique Peterson, QUINN |email@example.com | 212.868.1900 x264.
The Desmond Six is curated by Jennie Lamensdorf and sponsored by the Time Equities Inc. (TEI) Art-in-Buildings. TEI is committed to enriching the experience of our properties through the Art-in-Buildings Program, an innovative approach that brings contemporary art by emerging and mid-career artists to non-traditional exhibition spaces in the interest of promoting artists, expanding the audience for art, and creating a more interesting environment for our building occupants, residents, and their guests.
Photos by Sol Hashemi.