Andrew Kuo & Scott Reeder
It Gets Beta
Feb 21 — Mar 28
Marlborough Chelsea is excited to present It Gets Beta a two-person exhibition by Andrew Kuo and Scott Reeder, simultaneously occupying the 25th Street and Broome Street galleries. In Chelsea, the show includes new paintings by Kuo and new paintings and neon works by Reeder. On the Lower East side, the artists have created collaborative mini nightclub called Thinkers, which is entered through a tiny door at the back of the gallery, and will feature weekly music and performance programming.
The pairing of these two artists, instigated by Green Gallery co-owner Jake Palmert, acknowledges that while the artists have, on the surface, a divergent aesthetic they share a deeper kinship in their use of language, humor, color and a shared attraction to (and ironic suspicion of) abstraction. While Kuo’s brightly patterned chart paintings evoke the pleasures of geometric abstraction, they negate the purity of hard-edge painting by acting as functioning metrics of his tragicomic mental states. Similarly (though inversely) Reeder’s pasta and roller paintings elevate the flatfooted “art” idea to a level of uncomfortable, humorous grandeur—at once reductive and overblown.
The use of text by both artists also runs parallel. The involved prose of Kuo’s charts is painstakingly composed and edited before being systemetized into an optical infographic. The degree of personal disclosure can be unnervingly specific or more relatably generalized as with a song’s lyrics. In these paintings, the text effectively writes the code that constructs the complex architecture of the painting. Reeder wields language more bluntly in the form of lists or short, poetic pairings of words. The letters themselves, their sound and their shape, are the subject of the painting and telegraph Reeder’s potent deadpan humor. In the case of both artists, however, the form and meaning of language are inextricable.
As artists with active public presences online, in video, and music performance, Reeder and Kuo are two artists who understand very well the mechanics and message of each medium and seek to streamline our experience within them while complicating our assumptions. With this crucial and shared skill, the artists are able to remind us of what is sad about funny, what is transcendent about the humdrum, and what is smart about dumb.
Andrew Kuo (b. 1977, Queens, NY) lives and works in New York, NY. Recent solo exhibitions include My Bad (2014) at Half Gallery, New York, NY; You Say Tomato (2013) at Marlborough Chelsea, New York, NY; Andrew Kuo (2012) at Galeria Marabini, Bologna. Select group exhibitions include DAZED & CONFUSED (2014) at Eric Firestone Gallery, New York, NY; Not For All My Little Words at Marc Straus, New York, NY; Pizza Time (2013) at Marlborough Broome Street, New York, NY; EAGLES (2012) at Galeri?a Marlborough, Madrid.
Scott Reeder (b. 1970, Ann Arbor, MI) lives and works between Chicago, IL and Detroit, MI. Recent solo exhibitions include Scott Reeder, 356 Mission, Los Angeles, CA (2014); Paintings of Things, Kavi Gupta Gallery, Berlin, Germany (2013); People Call Me Scott, Lisa Cooley, New York, NY (2013); and Scott Reeder, Kavi Gupta Gallery, Chicago, IL (2012). Recent group exhibitions include The Art of the Joke, V1 Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark (2012); Abstract America, Saatchi Gallery, London (2011); Holes, Daniel Reich Gallery, New York, NY (2010).