Amino Acids – ACME.

Amino Acids – ACME.

As its title implies, Amino Acids reaches towards a place elemental and foundational, and implicitly existential – the conditions and pre-conditions of life (or even before life), the processes that generate it; and the conditions of life’s mouldering remains – what might constitute the human stain and what follows it. John Knuth, whose work is well-known here, has frequently dealt with the random and chaotic brush of living, atmospheric and combustible elements. In the works exhibited here, he seems to be moving in a more deliberatively abstract direction, addressing aspects of formation and accumulation, concretizing of remains and gestures, and mapping their ‘geography.’ Marie Kirkegaard, a Danish gallerist who has shown Knuth in her Copenhagen gallery, situates Knuth here between two Danish artists, Anders Brinch and Silas Inoue (who is also represented by Kirkegaard). There is a tension, even combustion in the juxtapositions – particularly between Knuth and Inoue, who both use living elements/catalysts (flies and molds/fungi, respectively) and melted sugar in the construction and composition of their work. Only one of Knuth’s trademark Olitski-atmospheric acrylic/flyspeck paintings are shown here – the amber cosmos of Station 3 (2015). But Kirkegaard has positioned Inoue’s similarly amber-toned Hydra – a 3.5 foot, six-digited claw (in a waxen caramelized sugar compound not so different from the sugar Knuth himself has used) more or less equidistant from Anders Brinch’s (untitled) ‘cosmic frame’ and Knuth’s River Wall (2017) of 39 sandbags wrapped in the same mylar-like thermal blanket material that also appears in his paintings and arrayed into a kind of flying wedge that functions as both wall and a kind of vortex that pulls it all into sharp focus. In the meantime, if Knuth’s landscape-abstractions (one is titled San Gabriel Complex) and Inoue’s untitled mold paintings are both preoccupied with life’s precarious but persistent stain, Brinch immerses his work in its stark lyricism, subjecting a technique that partakes of Kandinsky and Miro with an almost child-like innocence (in the same way Knuth’s flyspeck paintings evoke the Olitski universe) to the same elements that inspire it. 

ACME.
2939 Denby Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90039
Show runs thru May 6, 2017