David Kordansky Gallery is pleased to participate in FIAC (Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain) 2019 with 11:11, a solo presentation by Jennifer Guidi. Featuring a new series of works on paper installed within a specially designed architectural structure, the presentation will provide an immersive experience of focused viewing within the open, vaulted spaces of the Grand Palais in Paris. Guidi’s longstanding connection to the landscape, as well as her affinities for visionary and occult art historical traditions––from the iconography of ancient Egypt to the transcendent vistas of Agnes Pelton––are on full display in these intimate drawings. Each one is a universe of symbols, mark-making patterns, and color combinations unto itself. The structure in which the works will be housed in is a circular, twenty-two-sided room whose walls are covered with black sand, establishing one of several connections between this project and the artist’s mandala paintings.
11:11 comprises the first comprehensive body of works on paper that Guidi has made in years. It can, therefore, be considered, among other things, as a cyclical return to beginnings, especially since her early career was characterized by the production of figurative paintings. The figures in the new works, however, emerge from an array of sources, observations, and meditative states that make them highly personal responses to current conditions in the artist’s consciousness. Produced over a year, with celestial phenomena like eclipses making frequent appearances, the project charts the continual unfolding of a world that is neither wholly internal nor wholly external. Guidi treats perception as a unifying phenomenon; small, repetitive marks that echo those in her paintings conjure flows of energy, water, and light, weaving together otherwise disparate elements in the compositions. As has been the case throughout her entire career, radiant color allows the eye––and the body too, even at small scale––to immerse itself in the environment of the pictures, taking its place among the mythical beings and vivid territories of the mind on view inside the drawings.
Guidi amplifies this immersive condition by installing the works inside a temple-like structure composed of a single encircling wall made up of twenty-two consecutive panels, each of which supports a single work. An opening where the twenty-third panel would be provides the only entryway into a round room that surrounds the viewer and absorbs the entire field of vision in an uninterrupted panorama. Covered with black sand, the panels establish contrasts between the light-filled world outside the structure and the nocturnal environment within, as well as between the panels’ light-absorbent surfaces and the luminous images on view. The structure as a whole, meanwhile, conjures visual surprise and a sense of discovery that parallels the intuitive approach by which Guidi conceived and executed the project. Surprise filters down to even the unseen details that provide its invisible structure: the diameter of the circular room, for instance, happens to be twenty-two feet.
As its title suggests, 11:11 is about time as well as space, and about the synchronistic mirroring that happens when multiple frames of reference are brought into harmony. Connections between microcosm and macrocosm occur throughout the individual works, the structure as a whole, and the preexisting environment of the Grand Palais. Seen from above, the mandala-like form of the booth (a circle within a square) reverberates with details throughout the surrounding architecture, perhaps most notably with the dome at the center of the building’s glass roof, which curves upward toward the sky beyond.
Jennifer Guidi (b. 1972, Redondo Beach, California; lives and works in Los Angeles) has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Museo Villa Croce, Genoa, Italy (2017) and LAXART, Los Angeles (2014). Recent group exhibitions include One Day at a Time: Manny Farber and Termite Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2018); Unpacking: The Marciano Collection, Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles (2017); No Man’s Land: Women Artists from the Rubell Family Collection, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C. (2016) and the Rubell Family Collection, Miami (2015); and The Afghan Carpet Project, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2015). Her work is in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.