Act I: The Crucible’s Nest
September 10 – October 22, 2016
7313 Melrose Av
Excess furnishes the soul poor of their own warmth, filling the glass, a home, with pretty things.
I sprinkle around their mirages to welcome a ghost of the familiar, retrofitting the divested in a colony of my likeness —
the comforts of my bias.
Taste is the labor of those who forget
The cup is heat
The chair is flesh
The image is stolen
We are fragile—born as work from a crucible
AA|LA is pleased to present Act I: The Crucible’s Nest, a solo exhibition by Alex Ito. The exhibition challenges the hegemony of beauty and comfort while exposing its underlying emptiness and delicate violence. Familiar spaces become alien and objects take on a life of their own as Ito unravels the role of power, mimesis, and manipulation in the artistic and industrial practices of reproducing everyday life. Act I: The Crucible’s Nest is the first in a series of narrative presentations and will be immediately followed by Act II: Carcass and the White Light at Springsteen Gallery in Baltimore this October.
Ito unveils a new body of painting depicting black decanters accompanied by poetically abrasive text painted over the image. Although each text is unique, the paintings are treated as a serial body of work as the decanter image repeats itself in each canvas. Drawing influence from consumer marketing design, Ito considers these paintings and his other two-dimensional work as “critical advertisements” in which the sullen and contentious text challenges the clean and refined imagery within the work. Ito challenges motifs of leisure and luxury through strategic text placement, thus transfiguring the decanter into a symbol of power.
Ghost Rack I & II consist of vertically elongated aluminum sculptures that house arrangements of various objects such as blown glass, taxidermy, and apparel. Acting as both a domestic and commercial display, the aluminum structures become environments for the object they carry. The blown glass pieces grotesquely resemble and mimic the forms of the taxidermy mice, reproducing and simultaneously disfiguring living matter into decoration. Objects, bodies, and environments become hosts and catalysts for transformation, manipulation, and abstraction.
A reclining chair, titled My Mirror, My Cage, is punctured by aluminum rods resembling those within the vertical aluminum structures. Rising from the seat cushion of the chair is a parasitic form with a polished finish. With the reclining chair immobilized and distressed by the alterations, My Mirror, My Cage magnifies an excessive quality of the leisurely manipulation of the body by transforming the chair into an expression of control and infection.
Alex Ito (b. 1991, Los Angeles) lives in Brooklyn and works from Queens, NY. Select solo exhibitions include Cloud Nine (The Still House Group, NY), Tales From A Sardine Run (Rod Barton, London) and The Home of Tao Hsiao (Art in General, NY). Ito has exhibited in a variety of national and international group exhibitions including Kimberly Klark (NY), Galerie Jeanroch Dard (Brussels), Franz Josefs Kai 3 (Vienna), Et Al (San Francisco), Johannes Vogt Gallery (NY), Spreez (Munich), SADE (Los Angeles), Zabludowicz Collection (London), Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens (Belgium), Springsteen (Baltimore) and more. Forthcoming projects include a solo exhibition, Act II: Carcass and the White Light, opening at Springsteen, Baltimore in October 2016. Act I: The Crucible’s Nest is Ito’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles.