NICK ANGELO BREAD AND CIRCUSES
DECEMBER 11, 2020 – FEBRUARY 14, 2021
F is pleased to present Bread and Circuses, an exhibition of new work by Los Angeles-based artist Nick Angelo. Bread and Circuses pairs three oil paintings from Angelo’s Fun House Fantasy Fear Factory Fiction (2019–) series with Remuggings / Remugging Remnants (2020), a work in 10 parts that consists of five silver gelatin prints (Remuggings) and five gold wall reliefs (Remugging Remnants). This is Angelo’s first solo show outside of LA.
Angelo’s Fun House Fantasy Fear Factory Fiction paintings depict groups of architectural façades organized in a near grid and rendered with a childlike crudeness. Each painting has a single colored ground on top of which, in addition to the façades, the artist layers two additional systems that fill the paintings. In the first, rhizomatic webs or grids of black lines underlie and overlay the façades, implying a network of connection that pulls the architectural forms in each painting into a kind of cohesive constellation. The second system illustrates something more structural, as a cartoonish scaffold built out of heavy wooden beams that attach the façades to one another in the manner of an erector set. In conflict or fundamental failure, all of the beams are breaking and exploding into fire, signaling this system’s post-structural collapse.
In the paintings, each architectural façade represents a specific building. These range from institutional structures that embody power and authority such as art museums (the Whitney, the Guggenheim, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Tate Modern), government buildings (the White House, Pelican Bay State Prison), and corporate headquarters (Purdue Pharma, Google, the Swiss Bank), to a more vernacular architecture drawn from Angelo’s daily life, of methadone clinics, dope houses, churches, rehabilitation centers, supermarkets, laundromats; even Angelo’s high school and childhood home. The paintings function as a flow chart—the viewer chooses where to start, and how to proceed. Certain pictorial moves in the paintings upend a simple read, as with Fun House Fantasy Fear Factory Fiction, Act 4, Scene 21 (Sites of Production and Consumption) (2020), in which Angelo has painted Mike Kelley’s Unisex Love Nest (1999) upside-down (and twice) in the lower left and right corners of the painting (a move that suggests inverting the painting to put Unisex Love Nest right-side-up and at the top of the painting). In Fun House Fantasy Fear Factory Fiction, Act 4, Scene 1 (Sites of Production and Consumption) (2020), the inclusion of the fictional façade of Tyler Durden’s rundown mansion from the (coincidentally, also 1999) cult film Fight Club throws a curve into the rest of the painting’s non-fictional content. The personal and art historical details, at times recognizable, and others obscure, both anchor and puzzle these pictures.
In Remuggings / Remugging Remnants, Angelo takes an emphatically more methodical approach to examining the intersection of architecture and ideology. Installed in neat columns, the Remuggings display the exterior of five American pharmaceutical headquarters (Allergen in Irvine, CA, Endo in Malvern, PA, Purdue in Stamford, CT, Janssen, a subsidy of Johnson and Johnson, in Rariton, NJ, and Teva, in North Wales, PA) as photographed in 2019. The Remugging Remnants are gold plated aluminum casts made from molds Angelo took directly from each building’s exterior, installed as if in orbit around the photographs. A label adhered to the mat of the photographs states that each pharmaceutical company was sued by the state of Ohio in 2018 for falsely advertising the opioid products they produce, spreading misinformation about these products that led to the opioid crisis.
Nick Angelo (b. Los Angeles, 1990) lives and works in Los Angeles. Previous exhibitions include Fear Gauge, The Shed (2017), The Conspiracy of Art: Part II, Château Shatto (2019), Open House (in collaboration with Skylar Haskard) at Angelo’s home (2020) (all venues Los Angeles), and REAL ESTATE, at F, Houston (2020). His work will be included in the group exhibition Recent Pasts, organized by Aurora Tang, which will open at ArtCenter, Downtown Los Angeles, in the Fall of 2021. Angelo received his MFA from California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA, in 2019.
Paintings, clockwise from entrance:
Fun House Fantasy Fear Factory Fiction, Act 5, Scene 1
Oil on linen
77 x 55 inches
Fun House Fantasy Fear Factory Fiction, Act 4, Scene 21 (Sites of Production and Consumption)
Oil on linen
48 x 60 inches
Fun House Fantasy Fear Factory Fiction, Act 4, Scene 1 (Sites of Production and Consumption)
Oil on linen
48 x 60 inches
Remuggings / Remuggings Remnants
Silver gelatin photographs of five American pharmaceutical headquarters (Allergen; Endo; Janssen, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson; Purdue; Teva) matted in artist’s frames with adhesive photo description labels; five gold plated aluminum wall reliefs cast from molds taken directly from each building’s exterior, nails
Framed photographs, each: 18 x 20 inches. Reliefs: Allergen, 12 1/2 x 10 x 1 inches; Endo, 9 x 10 x 2 1/2 inches; Janssen, 6 x 10 x 2 inches; Purdue, 13 x 9 1/2 x 1 inches; Teva, 12 x 9 x 2 1/2 inches. Installation dimensions variable
4225 Gibson Street
Houston TX 77007
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