Breeze Block Gallery presents in Gallery 1: Prints & Photographs; Copies & Concrete: A Solo Exhibition by Alex Lukas And in Gallery 2: Willing To Lose: A Solo Exhibition by Bill McRight Curated by Sven Davis Breeze Block Gallery Portland OR. 9 January 2014 – 1 February 2014
Breeze Block Gallery is proud to present Prints & Photographs; Copies & Concrete, a solo exhibition featuring a new collection of work across a range of media by Alex Lukas in the Breeze Block Gallery 1 space.
With Prints & Photographs; Copies & Concrete at Breeze Block Gallery, Chicago-based artist Alex Lukas will focus on the involvement of printmaking practices in his ongoing investigation and recontextualization of the familiar American landscape. In addition to his painting and drawing practice, Lukas is self-taught printmaker with a background in ‘zine publishing and non-traditional use of print media. For this exhibition he will present several new editions, a new artists’ book, diazotypes, sculptures, offset lithographs and unique works based in printmaking as parts of an ambitious installation at the gallery. Eschewing the concept of using print merely as a means of reproducing an already existing image, all of the work presented here is unique to it’s medium. A highlight of Prints & Photographs; Copies & Concrete will be the release of a brand new print portfolio created for the exhibition. Containing 12 images all measuring 11 x 17 this edition of 15 will include offset lithographs, screenprints, digital c-prints, diazotypes and unique photocopies. The exhibition will also feature several of Lukas’ landscape drawings.
Alex Lukas' highly detailed works on paper and intricate artists' books examine a possible future of destruction and violence, coupled with rebirth and a quiet sense of optimism, alongside an examination of the contemporary landscape. His drawings contrast the contemporary reality of post-industrial cities with fictitious portrayals of an impending end-time. Lukas' work refers to 19th-century grand depictions of the American landscape - where the land we inhabit was a place ripe for discovery questioning the premise of strength and promise inherent in that tradition. Filled with allusions to habitation, Lukas examines how we commemorate our experience of place and the way we communicate outside the digital realm. By declining to answer the pressing question of "What happened?" his images remain devoid of a clear narrative and instead ask viewers to reflect on their own experience, values and concept of loss and re-growth. Lukas' recent installations have incorporated plant life, florescent lighting, industrial shelving and discarded construction materials. Coupled with diazotypes, unique photocopies and offset lithographs - all recently or almost antiquated methods of reproductions - alongside his drawings, Lukas utilizes these materials and mediums as a means to question traditional depictions of time and narrative, specifically past versus future.
Breeze Block Gallery is proud to present Willing To Lose, an all-new solo exhibition by Bill McRight in the Breeze Block Gallery 2 space.
Bill McRight makes work that at first glance gives the impression of a violent and dangerous society. Upon further investigation there are references to childhood, gang culture, punk rock and the working class. His materials are sourced at flea markets, second hand stores and gifted by friends. Hand-to-hand weapons are much more personal than a gun or bomb and the inherent history of their use before being repurposed helps to influence what they become - often tools of construction turn into tools of destruction. Owners of Bill McRight’s shivs can take comfort in that they are suitable for both decorative and home defense purposes. Skulls are a commonly used subject within McRight’s imagery. The skull is a reminder of mortality, serves as a meditation on death, and it symbolizes that death is something all humans have in common. It’s metaphor has always made McRight think of bad assed, tough guy rebels. In some ways this instills fear, but at the same time it inspires admiration and awe. In addition to the weapons, Willing to Lose features a series of ink drawings and metal engravings using tattoo culture for both their narrative and also their visual language. His weapons will incorporate similar imagery either drawn or engraved onto the items themselves. McRight’s intention is to make the viewer ask themselves questions and search for answers about a world that makes us think "Wtf? Ftw!"
Both exhibitions open at Breeze Block Gallery on Thursday 9th January 2014 from 6-10pm. Both artists will be present at the opening.
Alex Lukas ‘Zine Release Details Title - ANFX Black and white and color photocopy, risograph and screen print, with a screen print cover. 52 pages. 8.5 x 5.5 Inches. Numbered edition of 50. Price $20 Alex Lukas will be signing copies of his new ‘zine ANFX between 6 & 7pm for it’s official release event at the opening and will also have copies of previous ‘zines – some of them free – on hand.
About Alex Lukas Alex Lukas was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1981 and raised in nearby Cambridge. With a wide range of artistic influences, Lukas creates both highly detailed drawings and intricate ‘zines. His drawings have been exhibited in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Lima, Stockholm and Copenhagen as well as in the pages of Megawords, Swindle Quarterly, Proximity Magazine, Dwell Magazine, Juxtapoz, Art New England and The New York Times Book Review amongst others. Lukas’ imprint, Cantab Publishing, has released over 40 small books and ‘zines since its inception in 2001. He has lectured at The Rhode Island School of Design, The Maryland Institute College of Art, University of the Arts in Philadelphia and The University of Kansas and has been awarded residencies at the Jentel Foundation, AS220 and most recently The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, Nebraska between September and November 2013. He is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and recently moved to Chicago, IL after basing himself for many years in Philadelphia, PA, where he was part of the Space 1026 artist collective.
About Bill McRight Bill McRight was born in Decatur, Georgia in 1978. He grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida where he became interested in skateboarding, punk rock and art. He has lived in South Carolina, New York, and Philadelphia. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. While in Philadelphia, he was a part of the artist collective Space 1026 where he kept a studio, curated shows and worked with the group on projects and shows. He has exhibited work throughout the United States at THIS Los Angeles, Guerrero Gallery, Space 1026, Blum & Poe, David B Smith Gallery, Curio Gallery and Nudashank Gallery amongst others. He has also exhibited in Cape Town, Berlin and London, where his work was featured in the recent Lazarides group exhibition ‘Brutal’.
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