press release

Opening reception: January 23rd 6-9 pm

Altman Siegel Gallery is pleased to present its first exhibition, A Wild Night and a New Road, which will run from January 23rd to February 21st, 2009. The show's artists include Wade Guyton, Christopher Wool, Josh Smith, Matt Keegan, Kelley Walker, Shannon Ebner and Christopher Williams.

While each of the show's artists has made strikingly distinct aesthetic and conceptual contributions, considering them as a group reveals points of thematic resonance. Among the most prominent of these is their use of image-reproduction technology to undermine the once sacrosanct status of the artist's gesture. Wool, for example, recycles his painted images by photographing them and subsequently transferring them to silkscreen. Smith denigrates his own handmade marks by working quickly and embedding them in a collage of newspapers, takeout menus, and other manufactured copy. Guyton's hand is not in many of his works. Rather, he feeds pieces of canvas through an Epson printer, generating unique drips, streaks, and mis-registrations, which become mechanical painterly marks.

A second prominent theme is a deliberate use of materials whose qualities - size, consistency, connotations - radically alter the meanings evoked by the work. Williams' use of photography to portray dissected cameras evokes a cannibalistic feel which resonates with his referencing of Soviet-era theft of German technology. Keegan, using drywall as the medium into which he carves text, offers a similarly destabilizing reframe in which a material that is typically relegated to unseen inner workings suddenly becomes a point-of-focus. Walker's use of chocolate becomes the defining feature of his cast of a disco ball, invalidating any associations evoked by the original object. Finally, Ebner's precisely arranged text photographs belie the hulking, elemental qualities of the cinderblock sculptures which are the source of each miniature letter.

While A Wild Night and a New Road includes both established and upcoming artists, many of these artists have not yet shown in San Francisco. Altman Siegel is pleased to bring this work to San Francisco for its inaugural exhibition.

A Wild Night and a New Road
Inaugural Exhibition

mit Shannon Ebner, Wade Guyton, Matt Keegan, Josh Smith, Kelley Walker, Christopher Williams, Christopher Wool