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Press Release

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to announce ACTIVISION, Brenna Youngblood’s second solo exhibition with the gallery.

Youngblood uses materials and images taken from the domestic space to create densely layered works that oscillate between abstraction and referential content. Her practice, which includes painting, sculpture, and photography, utilizes an intuitive, bricolage approach. This exhibition will focus on a new series of large-scale paintings, along with a site-specific installation.

Youngblood pushes further towards abstraction in her new works on panel and canvas. The dynamic compositions are created through a handmade process of addition, subtraction, layering and peeling. The sheets of paper and washes of acrylic and spray-paint produce an immediacy in the gestural imperfections and improvisational marks. Continuing the conversation on assemblage and found materials initiated by artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Noah Purifoy, Betye Saar, Youngblood infuses the textured, collaged surfaces with elements of the everyday. Throughout her practice she has maintained a commitment to the quietly generative qualities of the familiar and incidental, of the aggregate effect that common objects possess in communicating personal experiences. She embeds fragments of items that are often overlooked, but which are intimately connected with her daily life: food wrappers, wallpaper, wood paneling, and photographic images of clocks and light switches. Rather than speaking explicitly to the social and class associations that are built-in to these common objects, Youngblood instead opts to convey a subtler atmosphere. She focuses on deconstructing these stray details, purposely subverting their familiarity by slicing and repeating the image, or turning it at an oblique angle. The result is a collaged work that plays with the logic of both illusionistic and metaphorical space.

In addition to the new paintings, Youngblood will also include a site-specific installation of a functioning revolving door connecting the two rooms of the exhibition. Composed of interlocking found doors, this sculptural installation acts as bridge between the artist’s environment with that of the gallery’s. As a spatial intervention, it alters the context of the works hanging on the walls, not only wryly disrupting the high principles of the white cube, but also unifying the space in creating an unexpected and total environment in which to view the paintings.

Brenna Youngblood (b. 1979) lives and works in Los Angeles. Most recently, she was included in the group shows, Fore, at the Studio Museum in Harlem, and Made in L.A. 2012, organized by the Hammer Museum and LAXART in Los Angeles. Youngblood will be part of a forthcoming exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum, Houston. Past solo exhibitions include Nathalie Obadia, Brussels; Jack Tilton, New York; Susanne Vielmetter, Berlin; and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. Youngblood earned a BFA from California State University, Long Beach (2002) and an MFA from UCLA (2006).

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