Megan Cotts solo exhibition at Junior Projects, NY 5.5.15
May 9 – July 2, 2015
Opening Reception: Saturday May 9, 2015 6-8 p.m.
JUNIOR PROJECTS is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new works by Los Angeles-based artist Megan Cotts. This is the artist’s first solo show at the gallery. Inspired by inventions in ‘honeycomb’ technology that her second great-grandfather’s company patented in Germany in the early 1900s, Cotts creates a new aesthetic framework to explore the uniquely manufactured hexagonal decor that once was the basis of her family’s daily existence prior to being ejected from Germany during the tide of National Socialist uprising. Cotts inscribes her family’s patents into her work as well as the former factories’ architecture, social sphere, and machinery, and connects the oral histories she’s absorbed and locations she’s visited during her research, including what were once her family’s factory buildings in Halle (Saale), Germany and Paris, France. In this way, her work invokes the spirit of the novels of W.G. Sebald, who weaves historical documentation into his quasi-fictional narratives and with whom Cotts finds a kindred inventive spirit.
In IDEA’L, Cotts debuts her ‘punch cards’. Here, torn, collaged and painted canvas covered with numerous carefully plotted holes allude to the cards fed through hand-crank machines in the Heilbrun & Pinner factories to yield various paper patterns. Cotts’s ‘punch cards’ are a vehicle to explore the idea of input rather than output. Cotts morphs what were effectively common mechanical instructional documents into seductive, hand-made repositories of idea and social exchange. The holes and torn canvas further function to highlight the notion of physical displacement and psychological loss. Named after specific factory locations, for example, Geiststrasse 21-22, each work signifies a collective longing to fill and understand gaps in one’s personal history.
In her other works, Cotts stitches her inheritance into found linen remnants to create objects that are at once painting and sculpture. Cotts first dyes the linen in a palette inspired by the colors of the walls and tiling of the factories and subsequently tucks and stitches it by hand into an all-over interlocking pattern of diamonds (“the honeycombs”). In DE528136 Fig.3 (The Unintended), cream white striations appear to hover over and weave through the threedimensionsal dunkelfelder wine-stained folds. These works feature and are titled after the actual patented schematic drawings as used by Heilbrun & Pinner over eighty years ago. They offer a poignant physical mapping of her family’s diaspora while also commenting on the allure of mechanized perfection in art making by recreating a machine-crafted aesthetic by hand.
Megan Cotts was born in New York, NY in 1979, and received her MFA from California Institute of the Arts in 2009. She has exhibited at Klowden Mann Gallery, Los Angeles, Future Gallery, Berlin, Germany, and Atelierhof Kreuzberg in Berlin, Germany. Cotts has also performed and exhibited with D3 at Machine Project and Human Resources in Los Angeles, CCS Gallery at UC Santa Barbara, and Central Trak Gallery in Dallas.
Junior Projects is located at 139 Norfolk Street, one block east of Essex Street between Rivington and Stanton Streets. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, from 11am to 6pm, and by appointment. For more information or press materials, please contact Lance Goldsmith at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-228-8045.