Bruce Conner: CROSSROADS
"In an untitled work from 1963 a labyrinthine and dense series of black lines simultaneously resembles a thumbprint and a black hole of space; in an inkblot drawing from 1995 the small mirrored shapes recall the self-reflective quality of fleeting images of inner thought."
"Kohn Gallery is pleased to present Bruce Conner: CROSSROADS, on view November 8 through December 20, featuring the iconic 1976 short film of declassified footage of the first underwater atomic bomb test, The fully restored 36-minute film, with original music by Patrick Gleeson and Terry Riley, was last seen in a single screening last fall at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the exhibition at Kohn gallery returns the film to the west coast. In addition to the film, a selection of Conner’s drawings focused similar themes of destruction and resurrection, created between 1962 and 2004.
Accompanying CROSSROADS is a group of works on paper that date from 1955 to 2004 by Conner. These drawings not only relate symbolically to the film, as in MUSHROOM, 1962, but also in the range of emotional depth of the varying works. The mushroom image recurs in a number of drawings from the early 60s, most likely because of the artist’s admiration for the secret, complex growth of this fungal form. The notion of great knowledge and wisdom contained within, be it a fungus or a nylon-veiled assemblage, is a consistent theme in Conner’s works. In an untitled work from 1963 a labyrinthine and dense series of black lines simultaneously resembles a thumbprint and a black hole of space; in an inkblot drawing from 1995 the small mirrored shapes recall the self-reflective quality of fleeting images of inner thought. Other drawings in the exhibition from the FALLING LEAVES series, created soon after 9/11 in 2001, show the fragility of nature in the face of human borne disaster. The pathos of these works on paper is poignantly close to that elicited by CROSSROADS."
"Born in 1933, internationally recognized American artist, Bruce Conner is best known for his assemblages, surrealist sculptures, avant-garde short films and detailed paintings and drawings. Conner’s innovative film works, often utilizing montaged shots from pre-existing footage and incorporation of pop music for sound tracks, have inspired generations of filmmakers and considered to be precursors to the music video genre. He was a central figure in the San Francisco Beat scene of the 1950s and remained an active proponent of the counter-cultural movement, at large through his death in San Francisco in 2008. " (text taken from here)
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