Nicodim Gallery Los Angeles presents “The Grief I Have Caused You,”  by Devendra Banhart. This is Banhart’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles. 

Devendra Banhart. Barbarous Nomenclature, 2021

Banhart’s barbarous, nonlinear nomenclature is savage in its nonaggression, and completely at peace with its perverse audacity. The recursive abstracted forms within his canvases are a non-hierarchical alphabet of allegories for the diminishment and destruction of ego. Each mouth, prick, eye, and ass breaks apart and reconstructs itself until they become a collective commune of equally all-important, yet weightless pieces of the tantric universe. They are a cycle of mala beads through the fingers of time.

“The Grief I Have Caused You” is a survey of recent paintings and drawings mostly completed during a year when the Grand Pendulum neglected to swing back to “having suffered.” Though they were sowed in a moment of near-universal hurt, each composition manifests an equal, harmonic measure of joy: grotesque figurations of comedy and tragedy embrace and approach fellatio in Nyima & Dawa, 2021; a fat-bottomed, high-heeled hiker rejoices at a finally flat stretch of terrain while a behemoth of a feline looms menacingly overhead in Twilight Hiker, 2021; Offering, 2021, is a total deconstruction of the elements represented within the first two, a Buddhist garden partially digested by the biome of infinity. (Banhart’s flora includes the cubist and surrealist tendencies of Paul Klee, the expressionistic poetry of Helen Frankenthaler, and the violent gestures of Ethel Schwabacher, to name a few.)

If time is a circular property, then the human condition is a perennial state of suffering and having suffered, often and increasingly all at once. The Grief I Have Caused You is the artist’s rumination on the uniquely personal, yet absolute universality of this push-and-pull. His grief is your grief, but so is his ecstasy.

Simphiwe Ndzube: Like the Snake that Ate the Chameleon is also opening in Unit 160. 

On view: February 13 – March 20, 2021; View these exhibitions by appointment. Email to set up a time.

What: “The Grief I Have Caused You”
Where: Nicodim Gallery Los Angeles,1700 S Santa Fe Avenue, #160, Los Angeles, CA 90021 

When: By appointment – email gallery