La Vie Éternelle

2006

La Vie Eternelle began with a French Christian pamphlet found on the street in lower Manhattan, urging repentence before an impending end of everything.  The works in the show attempted to think this notion of the end, and the anticipation of the end, that had been so ubiquitous in art criticism, philosophy and culture since the 60s, and especially during the advent and uneventful passing of the millenium.  The 2006 installation at Morgan Lehman Gallery in New York was anchored by a 5-channel video-and-sculpture work, produced in collaboration with Douglas Weathersby (Environmental Services), which documented the quest to destroy, in an industrial wood chipper, a few hundred experimental paintings I had produced between 1990 and 2005.  The pile of resulting painting bits and simple array of monitors was bracketed by Boom, an adhesive vinyl wallwork comprising a huge image of the first atomic bomb test at Bikini Atoll, digitally processed in pixelated psychedelic colors; and Heaven, a grid of acrylic mirrors whose silkscreened fluorescent yellow minimal stripes interrupted and reconstructed the mirrored reflection of viewers and the works in the gallery.  The installation also featured several four paintings from the Ray project, a sound work comprised of field recorded sounds of exercise called John Henry, and a collage that arranged the found pamphlet with splatters of blood-red oil paint.  

The exhibition was the second of two exhibitions (after 2005’s Nature of Things) that explored the formal tension in autonomous artworks functioning also as parts in a subsuming whole.  

Installation view: La Vie Éternelle

2006 | Morgan Lehman Gallery | New York

Left-Right:

Heaven, 2004-2006, silkscreen on Plexiglas mirror, 30 panels, each panel 17 x 31 inches; Untitled, oil on birch panel, 72 x 72 inches

End, 5-channel video installation with woodchips, containers, dimensions variable (collaboration with Environmental Services/Douglas Weathersby)

Untitled, oil on birch panel, 48 x 48 inches; Plenty, oil on linen, 48 x 72 inches; Painting (Guston), acrylic on Plexiglas, 48 x 48 inches; (Background) Boom, 2005, solvent inkjet on adhesive vinyl, dimensions variable

Installation view: La Vie Éternelle

2006 | Morgan Lehman Gallery | New York

(Foreground) End, 5-channel video installation with woodchips, containers, dimensions variable (collaboration with Environmental Services/Douglas Weathersby)

(L) La Vie Éternelle, 2006, oil and collage on paper, 40 x 28 inches (framed)

(R) Untitled, oil on birch panel, 48 x 48 inches; (Background) Boom, 2005, solvent inkjet on adhesive vinyl, dimensions variable

Installation view: La Vie Éternelle

2006 | Morgan Lehman Gallery | New York

(Foreground) End, 5-channel video installation with woodchips, containers, dimensions variable (collaboration with Environmental Services/Douglas Weathersby); Untitled, oil on birch panel, 48 x 48 inches

(Background) Boom, 2005, solvent inkjet on adhesive vinyl, dimensions variable

Video still: End

5-channel video installation

Woodchips, containers, dimensions variable (collaboration with Environmental Services/Douglas Weathersby)

Video still: End

5-channel video installation

Woodchips, containers, dimensions variable (collaboration with Environmental Services/Douglas Weathersby)

Installation view: La Vie Éternelle

2006 | Morgan Lehman Gallery | New York

Left-Right: Nine, oil on linen, 48 x 48 inches; Heaven, 2004-2006, silkscreen on Plexiglas mirror, 30 panels, each panel 17 x 31 inches.

Schematic rendering: Boom

2005 | solvent inkjet on adhesive vinyl | dimensions variable

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