Joyce Kozloff: Navigational Triangles
October 2 - October 30, 2010
Opening Reception and Book Signing: Saturday, October 2, 4:00-6:00 PM
DC Moore Gallery is pleased to present Joyce Kozloff: Navigational Triangles from October 2nd to October 30th, 2010. Long before Google Maps or GPS, seafarers used navigational triangles to pinpoint their location and to chart their course in relation to celestial bodies and the earth’s poles. This exhibition comprises paintings and mixed media works that expand upon this concept and continue the artist’s longstanding engagement with cross-cultural issues.
Migration, commerce, and conflict course through Kozloff’s art as she captures the cyclical nature of history while preserving the resonance of specific events. Geographic regions reappear through lenses of the past, present, and future, with implications from one piece informing the next. Several works, including the tondo Revolver and the 18-foot-long triptych Middle East, Three Views, combine imagery from maps and renderings of galaxies to imagine the escalating scale of future wars. Another highlight of the exhibition, the series China is Near, consists of nearly fifty mixed media works that explore Chinese popular culture and track its dissemination around the globe. Coincident with this presentation is the publication of China is Near by Charta Books with an essay by Barbara Pollack. The book will be distributed in the United States by D.A.P.
Discussing the inspiration for Revolver, the largest tondo in the exhibition, Kozloff states: “After years of making art about wars past and current, I began to wonder whether I could be more proactive, whether I could visually dramatize future threats.” The circular painting measures eight feet in diameter and rotates on a central axis. Its imagery collapses ancient science with contemporary fantasy, merging Arabic and Chinese star charts with the futuristic monsters that populate boy’s war toys.
Other paintings in the exhibition, such as the triptych The Middle East, 3 Views, address the frightening possibilities of future violence by juxtaposing military charts of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine, and other contested areas with imagery based on photographs taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. Some of the cities shown in these maps overlap with those dotting the Silk Route series, a set of nine intricately detailed paintings of historic maps overlaid with diverse collage elements – from ominous fighter planes to cheerful cartoon characters to textile patterns that evoke ancient weavers and traders.
China is Near traverses the Silk Route of the twenty-first century through an exploration of its outposts in American cities. Rather than traveling to China itself, Kozloff took “an imaginative leap into the unknown,” photographing the Chinatowns of Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Oakland, and San Francisco. Her images convey the sensory overload triggered by a surfeit of kitsch – gaudy trinkets, cheap apparel, and glittering electronics. Reveling in the ways this visual clutter rhymed with her own layered, dense aesthetic, Kozloff paired her photographs with drawings of old maps, information from Google Maps, and Chinese cutouts. She explains: “My project is about the exchange. These are Chinese artifacts after they enter our culture, mingle with indigenous kitsch, and become dislocated from their origins. American pop saturated the globe first, and now we are seeing a Chinese blowback.”
Joyce Kozloff earned her MFA from Columbia University in 1967. Active in the feminist movement since 1970, Kozloff played a central role in establishing the Pattern and Decoration Movement. After a sustained commitment to public art throughout the 1980s and 1990s, she returned to a studio practice that encompasses painting, sculpture, installations, printmaking, and now photography. Recent solo exhibitions of Kozloff's work include: Co+Ordinates, Trout Gallery, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA (2008) and Voyages + Targets, Thetis, Venice, Italy (2006). Her work is included in important public collections such as the Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.