“Disobedience is not careless” at the James Gallery

February 06, 2020

About the exhibition

Join us for the exhibition reception of “Disobedience is Not Careless” by Jen Mazza in the James Gallery on Thursday, September 20, 2018, from 6-8pm with a special poetry reading by Jess Laser.

What does painting specifically “do?” Painting has been a mode of public expression throughout many systems of culture and politics, and as Theodor Adorno noted, painting contains sedimented time. It is a slow medium, unfolding as it works on and with the viewer. The material of paint is itself a language, that because of its specific materiality, proportion, and location, creates friction. In the contemporary moment when all images seem recognizable, painting stands aside from the digital realm. Painting is a site where viewers may experiment with piecing together constellations of meaning from fragments. In today’s visual culture, such a practice of precise looking and questioning is “disobedient,” in the words of Robert Duncan’s poem The Law. Examining a painting offers a valuable slice of time to wrestle with what we assume we know about visual language and to question what we take for granted in making meaning. 

The exhibition and related programs “Disobedience is Not Careless” is a project with painterJen Mazza that explores language and quotation through painting, philosophy and poetry, curated by Katherine Carl. The exhibition and series of programs is open from September 12 to December 15, 2018.

The Center for the Humanities, CUNY Graduate Center

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Groups shows February and March

February 20, 2017

Shows opening at Tibor de Nagy, February 26th and at the Knockdown Center March 4th

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Stone

January 28, 2017

click on image to play video

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The Hunt

December 29, 2016

“Painting,” After Courbet, digital collage

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All in green

December 25, 2016

All in green went… mixed media/ digital collage, 2016

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Ryman at Dia Chelsea

July 18, 2016

'Arrow,' 1976, by Robert Ryman

The use of white focuses the viewer on the tactile — on the paint itself. It is tempting to see the subject of these paintings as the very process of painting itself.
But this simplistic reading overlooks a great deal. There always seems to be a point at which the meaning of a work of art is insoluble in language.”

from Ill said Ill seen: a meditation on Robert Ryman and Samuel Beckett – now online at The Finch – read more here

above: ‘Arrow,’ 1976, by Robert Ryman

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La Storia

May 12, 2016

bouquet-installation-2

LA STORIA, exhibition view

 

Thrilled to show with Michelle and Laurie in Jersey City – La Storia – listed as one of AFC’s must see events

Elsa Morante’s seminal novel of Italian women and children’s experience and struggles during the Second World War, La Storia, provides both the theme and the title of the exhibition.   Like Morante, each of the artists in the exhibition is concerned with the “dailyness” of living and the ways in which seeming banal experiences come together over time to create meaning and even define a life. In all of the works selected, the artists’ reveal their interested in the ways pattern and repetition accumulate to create broader, more profound meaning.  Each too is concerned with the variety of women’s experience, choosing subjects or materials that are frequently casually and patronizingly defined as women’s interest. continue…

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A Dialog…

May 06, 2016

Mazza_CHJen Mazza: (A Dialogue of Three Disciplines)
hi Richard,

I was just finishing Joselit’s piece and found it funny/interesting that many of the things he talks about are things I have picked out from other readings. Like this quote by Hito Steyerl, which refers to her medium and documentary film, but resonates with my concerns about painting:

But let me make one thing very clear: to engage in the language of things in the realm of the documentary form is not equivalent to using realist forms in representing them. It is not about representation at all, but about actualising whatever the things have to say in the present.  read more…
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In “The Finch”

March 24, 2016

Mazza_OpenLetter_040x

I like a painting that does something, like a machine does something: you turn it on and it functions —

The click of the shutter, the click of the cliché, but lets come back to that later…

I have noticed that not infrequently, when I find myself in front of a painting I have been introduced to through an invitation or an article online; that the painting in question does not give back anything more in person than the digital image I’d previously seen. It yields nothing new, no new read, no additional meaning. On occasion it may yield something less than its copy: almost seeming to function purely as a painted iteration of the digital image. The digital privileges the retinal.  read the rest of the article here —

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Painting = Machine

November 04, 2015

Blow-Up_(no._1)_2013_oil_on_canvas_36_x_47_inches

I think all of the ways of being affected by an artwork are valid and interesting, but my question centered around what it was I wanted my own work to do. I feel it likely that I stick to painting because I enjoy the physicality of it, the goo aspect. The way the goo makes the image come over on you, not just retinally, but with the complicity of the eye it works directly on the body to engage many more senses than the one. I decided that in fact, it did not matter to me so much what a painting looked like, but what it did.  read more…

 

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