Marlborough Chelsea is pleased to present the first solo exhibition of Los Angeles artist Joe Deutch, opening the evening of Thursday, June 21, 2012 from 6PM – 8PM at the gallery, located at 545 West 25th Street.
Coming out of a long Los Angeles tradition of performance that includes such canonical artists as Chris Burden and Ron Athey, Joe Deutch’s practice seeks to continue a commitment to physicality through an exploration of his body and the constructed landscape beyond the studio as compelling sites for artworks. Among other feats of self-imperilment, his performances have included disabling a police car in broad daylight, being intentionally bitten by a poisonous rattlesnake and, most infamously, playing Russian roulette in front of an art class at UCLA, a performance that has been linked to Burden’s departure from his position at the university.
The risk of incarceration, disfigurement and death are palpable in Deutch’s works. The works are highly choreographed and practiced in a concerted effort to evade detection, prosecution and, where possible, injury. Working on L.A.’s storied freeways and city streets and documenting his actions in lush photographs or surveillance-style video, Deutch is able to bring the dynamism of his physical interaction with systems of power and control into the exhibition setting.
Where many artists are celebrated for merely making formal, stylistic gestures toward outrageousness or transgression, Deutch embodies and enacts a real engagement of actual risk. In his work in performance, photography, video and both found and constructed sculpture, he is determined to push the boundary of what he is capable of losing, what sensations (pain, exhilaration, fear, humiliation) he is capable of experiencing, and ultimately and wholeheartedly committing to a rejection of complacency and conformity to some of our social and artistic conventions.
Joe Deutch received a Master of Fine Arts from UCLA in 2006. He has mounted a solo exhibition at Parker Jones Gallery, Los Angeles (2010) and was included in group exhibitions including Greater L.A., New York (2011) and at Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York (2006).
For more information about the exhibition please visit our website at marlboroughchelsea.com.