Sarah Cromarty in group show at Charlie James Gallery 5.7.19


MAY 11 – JUNE 8, 2019

Charlie James Gallery is pleased to present Time Wounds All Heals, an exhibition curated by Los Angeles artist and critic Daniel Gerwin that examines the legacy of Lucio Fontana among contemporary artists. This presentation gathers works by Anna Betbeze, Sarah Cromarty, T.J. Dedeaux-Norris, Daniel Gerwin, Elana Herzog, and Simon Slater, all of whom work aggressively with their mediums to generate subject matter, engaging a materialist realism flowing from Fontana’s innovations. The exhibition title is a play on the twisting of the phrase “time heals all wounds”, which is normally inverted to “time wounds all heels”, suggesting that nobody escapes life unscathed. In Gerwin’s reformulation of this wordplay, the implication is that no injury is ever fully healed, a core concept underlying the assembled artworks.

In 1958, Fontana nudged the course of art history when he took a blade to canvas and created his first Cuts. Fontana also referred to these works as “Spatial Concepts”, emphasizing his application of sculptural principles to painting language, creating objects that imbued the painting surface with actual dimensional space rather than its pictorial illusion. Less well known than the Cuts are his punctured ceramics, extensively perforated as though by a shotgun. Fontana pioneered an approach to realism in which he relocated content from the representational function to physical facture, a key tenet of modernism. Lacerating, burning, shredding, and chopping are violent in some contexts, but can be refined conceptual actions in others. The artists in this exhibition, like Fontana before them, create art whose physicality directly addresses the body through its haptic attunement. Anna Betbeze’s Dirty Sun (2017) is made from flokati rug that she has torn, burned, shaved, and dyed to resemble the pelt of a shaggy monster, displayed less like a trophy than some abject facsimile of the Golden Fleece. Sarah Cromarty’s raw, untitled constructions involve crudely cut cardboard and forcefully hacked plywood, that in combination with painted photographs, transform into magical and even romantic tableaux. T.J. Dedeaux-Norris’s tapestry, Killing The Black Body (2019), consists of fabrics she dissects and splices together in new configurations to evoke the bodily and emotional assaults she hopes to repair and the destructive cycles she hopes to break. Daniel Gerwin cuts painted wood forms and joins them in new configurations, with An Evening Walk (2019) being both a peaceful family memory and the sum of a series of destructions and recompositions. Elana Herzog’s paper pulp and textile works, as well as her altered logs, use making and unmaking to consider aspects of ephemerality and entropy, pleasure and pain, and attraction and repulsion. Simon Slater’s January In Leucotomy City (2019) is painted on a canvas he altered by removing the weft, or transverse fibers, from the weave, turning the painting into an arrangement of long vertical threads that references distressed jeans, tie-dye, office posters, internet ad banners, and store signage.

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