Tanya Bonakdar Gallery is pleased to present Charles Long’s second solo exhibition at the Los Angeles Gallery, and thirteenth with the gallery, on view April 10 through May 28, 2021.
In “WORKLIGHT,” a title obtained from a scrap of plastic the artist found while crossing an intersection on his daily bike ride to the studio, Charles Long presents a new body of assemblage works playing with the openness of consciousness (light) against the seeming limits of physical material (work). This dichotomy unfolds Long’s relationship with the processes of time, the flow between inner and outer experience, and the building up and breaking down of realities.
“WORKLIGHT” is laid out in nearly chronological order. In the front gallery space, a wall-mounted sculpture, The Oracle, 2020, grew out of scavenged, disinterred detritus, commingled with fragments of strange quarantine dreams. The white, shell-like surface submerges the origins and identities of its parts, as layer upon layer of white plaster fuses with diverse forms into one illusive body, creating a cohesive but coalescent artifact. This initial way of engaging material and time became the method for the works that followed. Like The Oracle, these enigmatic forms each present their riddle, one whose answer lies with the beholder.
Hung throughout the space are metaphorical work-lights: mounted beacons, camera-like and observational, created with plaster, dumpster treasure, parts of older sculptures, plant material, and unique pieces of venetian glassware the artist inherited from his grandmother. Six of these work-lights function as speakers whose vibrations create an ambient pathway through the space. Long partnered with the studio of experimental trumpeter and composer Jon Hassel to create an aural landscape for the sculptures to inhabit. The 30-minute composition featuring Hassell, Rick Cox and Luke Schwartz embodies Hassel’s “Fourth World” sound, as both primitive and futurist. Hassell’s work has been influential to Long’s practice since his art school days in Philadelphia.
In the main gallery, visitors are met with large installations that transform the space with light, movement, and Long’s own subjective memories. On the back wall, Azazel (after Rogier van der Weyden’s Crucifixion with the Virgin and St. John, c. 1460), 2021, references a historical painting that Long would visit recurrently in his formative years exploring the Philadelphia Museum of Art. New figuration replaces the religious subjects of the diptych with what Long refers to as monads. Monads have been a consistent and important motif in Long’s oeuvre and can be found throughout the exhibition.
On view: April 10 – May 28, 2021; CLICK HERE to make an appointment;
What: “WORKLIGHT,” Charles Long
Where: Tanya Bonakdar Gallery Los Angeles, 1010 North Highland Avenue, LA, 90038
When: By appointment