Evan Trine – SUNDAY-S – 2020
This exhibition was initiated because of another project that I created, which focused on the experience and reality of photographs in an almost completely digital moment. With everyone locked down from Covid-19 precautions, the whole world, and certainly the entire art community, went virtual.
Virtual exhibitions, virtual fairs, virtual viewing rooms – is this the new normal? What value will physical spaces have moving forward? What is real anymore? What isn’t real? And who gets to decide? It was these questions that prompted me to create Seven Exhibitions project.
I rendered my work into seven institutions – The Whitney Museum (NY), The Long Museum (Shanghai), Van Doren Waxter (NY), Peres Projects (Berlin), Vigo Gallery (London), The Hammer Museum (LA), and Sunday-S Gallery.
Fully owning the absurdity of such a project, I shared each set of installation photos, all rendered with immense precision, along with a handful of fake reviews from ArtNet, New York Times, ArtForum, Artsy, New York Magazine, and Los Angeles Times.
The entire project fits well into the foundational ideas of abstraction – taking an image, or an idea, and presenting it in a way that entices the viewer to respond. It isn’t necessary to showcase truth, or reality, or fact – it simply creates an experience.
Evan Trine – May 2020
My work is primarily focused on the perception of images – mostly photographs. The two bodies of work in this show, Color Grids and Headlines, are both created by manipulating visual source material to create an abstraction.
The Color Grids are an ongoing body of work that I began in 2014. For these, I take source images (old family photographs, portraits of friends, stock photos, collections of objects) and digitally condense them on the computer to their most simplified, essential version – the pixel. I then enlarge and arrange these individual pixels into grids to showcase the entirety of the collected photographic material. The result is a series of formal images that are direct translations of the source data, with all the information presented in a new, abstracted form. These works reference a history of gridded art created in the last half century (Gerhard Richter, Agnes Martin, Ad Reinhardt), while maintaining a vaguely mathematical experience. There’s an understanding that these colors aren’t random, or fabrications of my mind, but they stem from a more concrete source. They still subtly reference their sources without really divulging anything of them.
The Headlines follow a very similar conceptual process, though the source material is not photographs, but text. In a world where access to the news is increasingly necessary, there is a social efficiency that has developed where understanding the entirety of information is no longer a primary concern. This, of course, causes many problems. And to translate that efficiency and simultaneous lack of knowledge, I created these works. I take the most prominent trending news headlines of the day and collapse all the text on top of itself – this shows the viewer every word, every letter in the given headline, but in a way that is no longer understandable. While these works visually translate to digital versions of a Franz Kline or Robert Motherwell painting, the hints of specific source material still emanate from the works.
All works are unique archival pigment prints on Hahnemuhle Baryta Rag paper, which is a dense, handmade paper that has tremendous tooth and a spectacular texture. The ink soaks into the paper, rather than lying on the surface, which gives the color a rich depth. They are mounted onto aluminum and framed in maple.
Both bodies of work follow the conceptual foundation of all my work for the past decade, which challenges the legibility of imagery.