Los Angeles – Guan Xiao: ”From Leaves to Shields” at David Kordansky Through June 16th, 2023

May 22nd, 2023

Guan Xiao, FEET, V7V bow (2023)
Guan Xiao, FEET, V7V bow (2023), all images via David Kordansky

This month in Los Angeles, artist Guan Xiao presents a body of works at the David Kordansky space that trace the lineages and connections between disparate imagery and iconography sourced from the digital realm. Emphasizing hybrid narratives, expressive approaches and an expanded sense of possibility for art-making in the contemporary era, the show is a striking look at the possibilities for making as we move deeper into the 21st Century.

Guan Xiao, From Leaves to Shields (Installation View)
Guan Xiao, From Leaves to Shields (Installation View)

Guan Xiao creates a new installation, paintings, and floor-based sculptures that explore design, technology, and our fractured relationship with the natural environment. Episodic poetry and visual references throughout the exhibition hone in on a more mnemonic approach to these themes. The works on view incorporate familiar motifs such as an apple emoji, plant life, and the color green—commonly associated with nature and environmentalism—and mimic figurative forms in their presentation. The works on view imbue the flattening effect of the smartphone screen and generate cohesive textures from contrasting, and even conflicting, worlds to fuse old and modern, digital and analog, and natural and artificial modes. By juxtaposing discordant images and materials, the artist reconsiders the technological thrust of the present moment and the capacity for physical objects to store memory.

Guan Xiao, From Leaves to Shields (Installation View)
Guan Xiao, From Leaves to Shields (Installation View)

Notions of the organic, the natural, and the sculptural are freely welcome to mingle here, exploring an expanded sensation of both art-making, and of general processes of the increasing pervasiveness of technology into the everyday. Images and forms are constantly scanned and processed, uploaded to databases and used to generate increasingly elusive images the drift ever closer to their referents. The artist here takes this notion and pushes it ever-further, arriving at objects and images that mix these notions. Tight, geometric forms are posed against heaping, twirling or gleaming counterpoints, creating dense interlaid relationships that underscore the near-constant presence of the image as both synthesized and tied inherently to daily life.

The artist’s work is on view through June 16th.

– D. Creahan

Read more:
Guan Xiao at David Kordansky [Exhibition Site]