Jacin Giordano — Damage
Past: June 9 → July 23, 2011
There is the old trope of the painter in his studio, agonizing in silence, waiting for a flash of inspiration — that stroke of genius that will provide the next excuse to pour his guts out on the canvas. And then there are the makers of “critical painting” — neat conceptualists who arrive on the scene equipped with premeditated stances. Part of what makes Jacin Giordano’s work compelling is that it is so hard to locate it with respect to these stereotyped positions. In place of an ideology or ulterior motive we find a straightforward and compulsive urge to work, to labor — to cut and gouge and most of all, to pour — with a relentless discipline that yields its own aesthetic. Each object is the result of innumerable micro-decisions — so many, in fact, that they drown each other out. Stylistic excess combines incongruously with a withholding of expressivity. There is a strenuous refusal to abide by the principals of compositional resolution: A typical work seems to end not with that aaah moment at which an abstract image ostensibly ceases to be arbitrary, but at the point beyond which the object simply couldn’t take any more work, lest it give out under its own weight, fray apart or disappear. There are no dramatic crescendos within a given painting or sculpture, nor within the artist’s practice as a whole; in place of the modernist’s quest for a mystical breakthrough there is a nervous yet steady rhythm.
One of the subtle, cumulative effects of these and other aspects is to make conspicuous the artist’s deliberate pursuit of that strangely elusive condition of authorlessness, of negated subjectivity. Above all this implies a rejection of the heroics that have been deleteriously attached to the painting traditions of the last century. At the same time, it signals an uneasy alliance with post-conceptual approaches that nevertheless manages to side-step their flat-footed tendency to illustrate or declare their own theoretical intentions. Something along the lines of a metaphorical deconstruction of artistic conventions could perhaps be made of how Giordano’s processes and techniques result in literal transitions from drippy paintings to freestanding stalagmites, and back again to paintings (reborn in different form); but these contiguities seem less consistent with any sort of challenge to semantic categories than with the artist’s efforts to keep pace with his own production. In the end, it comes down to the hum of a project that generates its own energy, a project that could go on forever.
Opening Thursday, June 9, 2011 at 7 PM