November 2 to December 22, 2012
Opening on November 1, 2012, 6 - 8 pm
The artist will be present for the opening.
Galerie Peter Kilchmann is pleased to present for the third time a solo exhibition of the Los Angeles-based artist Raffi Kalenderian.
The exhibition shows a selection of new paintings and large-scale works on paper and several smaller drawings (between 61 x 45.5 cm and 228.5 x 178 cm). Kalenderian utilizes the varying qualities of the different media and shows classic oil paintings next to works with mixed media. In Shanti (Blue Flannel) (2012) the artist employed color pencil, watercolor, gouache and pastel to create a colorful, multilayered portrait before a deep blue backdrop (see invitation card).
Raffi Kalenderian portrays close friends and relatives, usually in their own home or in the artist’s studio. Even more than in earlier paintings the rough surface and the abstract moments become central. The strong color layers add a new dimension to the image. In comparison to earlier works, the new paintings contain surreal and abstract elements, behind which the human figure almost seems to disappear. Simultaneously these elements create an interplay between real space and abstraction. The abstraction can be read as a means of representation of internal processes and complex socio-psychological states.
At first glance the images show common, personal rooms. Color and linear painting determine the images in which people are not posing but rather relaxing in their own space. The living room, the studio become small, enclosed worlds. Spatial openings against outside walls turn out to be impenetrable to the viewer or are directed to the painter. A transparent shade disturbs reality, the human body gets doubled, stays in a state of limbo between two attitudes, moves between multiple time points. Who are these isolated persons and their Doppelgänger? Kalenderian’s work shows itself to the viewer and invites speculation.
While the disturbing surreal elements are traces of inner, psychological dynamics, the physical space has left its marks in the abstract world: In Jimmy in the Studio (2012, Oil on canvas) the posture of Jimmy refers to the feel of a space that has been replaced by abstraction, and thus destroys the idea of a clear delineation. Rather, psychology and physics are presented as inter-related forces. Eventually, the various degrees of fusion of reality and abstraction speak against the metaphor of osmosis; In Jenny (green pants) (2012, Oil on canvas) a chair barely shines through and the two pairs of turned-over legs disappear in the surreal, while Fabian (2012, Oil on canvas) shows an interior view of a living room, in which only the shadow of the man and the movement of the seemingly floating wood floor indicate movements of the internal state.
Born in 1981 in Los Angeles, California, Raffi Kalenderian completed his studies in painting at the University of California with Laura Owens. This year his works were shown at Susanne Vielmetter in Culver City, US, under the title of "Currents, and Undercurrents Manoeuvres". In 2010 he participated in a group exhibition at the University Art Museum, Long Beach, CA, US. The same year the catalog "Memoranda" was published on the occasion of the exhibition at Galerie Peter Kilchmann.