MADE WITH MUSTARD
ETHAN COOK & JESS FULLER
September 8th, 2012
East Hampton Shed is pleased to announce its second two-person exhibition at the shed behind the Vogel Bindery. MADE WITH MUSTARD features new work by Brooklyn based artists Ethan Cook and Jess Fuller.
Each of the works by Cook and Fuller take a vigorous approach to their practices by taking into consideration semantics and physicality. Both Cook and Fuller are performing visual investigations into the objecthood of painting and painterly materials.
Throughout Fuller's recent work there exist various signs of rebellious youth culture. The unbound, zine like books of smaller paintings stacked atop each other for viewers to take lay in opposition to the priced pieces displaying “swatches” mounted in a text-like grid on stretched canvas. Her work, dyed, frayed, torn and processed through a washing machine creates an aesthetic which teeters on the edge of chaos and hyper-controlled order. Often held in place by either lateral of the canvas and mounted to a gallery wall, the remainder of what once may have been a taut, stretched piece of fabric hangs out towards the viewer like a blown up knee on a pair of denim jeans. Using these signs as a minimal point of departure Fuller is able to investigate what it means to form a painting in a high-gloss, media saturated world.
Ethan Cook's new series differs formally, but not conceptually, from his previous body of work. In the past Cook has worked to describe the depth of visual fields through the flatness of a canvas by applying and manipulating dye directly into the fabric. For his new series Cook has loomed all of the canvases by hand to create his striking and visually minimal compositions. In stark opposition to the physically deconstructed pieces of Jess Fuller, Cook's new attempt at unveiling his process is through its own masking, its mimicry as a post-industrial material. Cook plays the role of the artist/ painter as well as the skilled laborer whose craftsmanship is generally not appreciated as an art form.
Fuller's and Cook's vigorous study of their mediums, processes and involved semiotics leaves us with an unorthodox aesthetic that pushes and pulls against one another, yielding both construction and deconstruction through the use of common materials.
Nate Hitchcock and Hadley Vogel, August, 2012