Sim Buhls: John Evans & John O'Connor
Pazo Fine Art is pleased to announce Sim Buhls, an exhibition featuring collages by John Evans and drawings by John O'Connor.
Sim Buhls phonetically merges symbols with cymbals through their shared sound, as a means of encapsulating the playfully complex artworks of John Evans and John O'Connor. Both artists engage in a kind of visual alchemy, re-working the stuff of the everyday until something new - poetic, humorous, abstract, subversive, even transcendent - materializes. Their methods are akin to hitting a metallic cymbal, whose sonic potential is only activated and revealed once it's struck at the moment of crescendo.
Evans's and O'Connor's complementary sensibilities are exemplified in their exploration of current events, social class structure, personal experiences, and construction of narrative. Both artists employ vibrant colors and graphic imagery, which foster an indelible immediacy to their works and signal to viewers a sense of urgent communication.
Evans's collages adhered to a small-scale format: he fixed the actual found material from his daily travels mainly onto 8.5" x 11" copy paper and painted into and around it. The ritual production of these pieces was quick and automatic; however, the resulting pieces anchored – and therefore elevated – transient, pedestrian encounters with common, castaway objects to specific points in time, thereby creating a visual and linguistic archive.
O'Connor's large-scale drawings, in contrast, are produced over several months and are labor-intensive. They transform systems that exploit or influence human behavior (social, political, historical, or psychological, for instance) by rearranging their data into imaginatively unique visual forms and patterns. This results in single drawings that feel cumulative, sometimes creating an arc of a story, other times generating symbols or versions of process maps which allude to greater forces at play.
Where Evans saw patterns in terrestrial objects, O'Connor sees patterns in belief systems, and their works both depend on the phenomenon of chance.
Impossible to ignore, then, is the profound influence that the work of yet another John, John Cage, had on both Evans and O'Connor. Cage's work was integral to the Neo-Dada movement, as was Evans's. O'Connor's work, too, demonstrates fidelity to the movement's central tenet of merging art and life via real objects, which, although drawn, maintain verisimilitude. In this way, O'Connor is assuming the mantle of a pioneering generation.
John Evans (American, 1932 – 2012) was a New York-based artist who figured prominently in the New York Neo-Dada community. He is best known for his daily collages created from objects found on the streets of his East Village neighborhood and personal ephemera between the years 1964 to 2000. His work is included in the collections of the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., and the Morgan Library & Museum, New York. His estate is represented by the Nicelle Beauchene Gallery in New York.
John O'Connor (American, b. 1972) lives and works in the greater New York City area. His work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, and the New Museum of Contemporary Art, NY. He is represented in New York by Pierogi Gallery and will have a solo exhibition there in the fall of 2023, accompanied by a catalog with an essay by Philip Glahn. O'Connor is also a member of the art and technology collective NonCoreProjector.
A catalogue with an essay by Sasha Helinski will be published to accompany this exhibition.
February 4th, 2023 - March 23th, 2023
Opening reception: Saturday, February 4th, 2022
4228 Howard Ave Kensington MD 20895
Open by appointment Tuesday – Saturday
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