Marking a new wrinkle in an ever-evolving artistic oeuvre, artist Alex Da Corte touches down this month at Sadie Coles HQ for a show of works that continues his approach towards larger than life spaces and gestures, orchestrating a surreal series of physical pairings and semiotic exchanges within the framework of the gallery. Taking his expressive and intriguing body of works into a broader bend of language and understanding, the artist makes the most out of a relatively minimal setup.
Da Corte’s works mine a particular connecting point between satire and wide-eyed wonder, rendering brightly colored tropes and themes from cartoons, pop culture, history and broader visual culture spread through a range of wall-mounted works and meticulously paired readymades. The result are spaces that feel like massive riddles, deep interrogations of the way that the human mind appreciates space, and the ensuing relationships that either emerge or break down in the face of such willful subversions of the regular order of things.
In this show, Da Corte takes this concept deeper into the realm of the traditional painting, exhibiting a series of flat-panel renderings, each paired with a strange linguistic or numeric glyph. These fragments of speech and calculation seem to directly contradict the free-associative images that seem to have been paired with them. Instead, one must contend with how the image functions, how it relates to the graphic, or perhaps breaks down its meaning. Much akin to visual riddles posed in children’s picture books, the pieces seem to correlate language and image to further some sense of shared meaning. Yet here, only syllabic utterances are included, vocal inflections and numerical values that the viewer must apply to the image, or remove it from the shared sense of meaning. The nearby lightbox touting a screening of The Exorcist might be the most intriguing clue to Da Corte’s project here, a world of images and sounds unified only through a ghostly possession, bodies given over to meanings not originally intended, perhaps by proximity, or perhaps by nefarious design.
The show closes January 13th.
– D. Creahan
Alex Da Corte at Sadie Coles [Exhibition Site]