August 6-August 27, 2022
August 6-August 27, 2022
Infinite Scroll tracks the responses of five artists over the course of four decades to the ubiquity of the image in the fast-paced visual culture that, while fostering community and identity, acts as a pernicious conduit for misinformation, stereotyping, and anxiety. Bringing together work by Yvette Mayorga, David Salle, Devin Troy Strother, Julia Wachtel, and Allison Zuckerman, the grouping demonstrates how contemporary artists reroute traditional image circulation. Borrowing, appropriation, and sampling allow each to chaff at the commodification powered by a culture fed on visual snippets and soundbite information.
Here, the cooptation of the language and style of new media is a central strategy. Each artist performs what has been theorized as an “subversive affirmation” —an emphatic adoption of the appearance of prevailing ideologies (i.e., the square of the Instagram post, the composite of the newspaper page) that demystifies and debunks them. Over identifying with the appearance of informational outlets, in essence, enables a revision of these systems from the inside out.
Borrowing the fragmented style of collage, works by David Salle, Julia Wachtel, and Allison Zuckerman wrestle with the unruly stream of images that, for the generation of the 1980s followed from the advertising boom, while today owe more so to scrolling social media feeds. The earliest work in the exhibition, Wachtel’s Landscape No. 4 (inside and outside) (1990) combines images appropriated from disparate cultural zones—newsworthy political imagery and cartoon caricatures. Spliced into seven vertical compartments, the work rhapsodizes on how the news cycle (which presents multiple stories in quick succession) segments and splinters cohesive narratives.
Since the 1980s, David Salle has pioneered the provocative juxtaposition of found imagery. Salle helped formulate a conceptual premise for painting: gather up images around you, suture them together in productive tension. Black Eyed Susan With Envy (2002), for instance, organizes evocative sexual imagery into discrete compartments: once again rehearsing the visual logic of image circulation via television screens or magazine pages. The imagery itself—flowers, vessels, women in various stages of undress, and a baseball (the oddity in this composite)—convenes prominent motifs of female sexuality constructed by the media. Notions of nature, purity, and fertility swirl in a seductive display, but one which sends these very ideals into question.
Allison Zuckerman, for her part, extends this investigation in the contemporary moment. Utilizing traditional and digital painting, her compositions heighten the logic of the splintered totality by puncturing portraits of classical women with digital squares, musical notes, found images, and cartoons. If in the 1960s, Andy Warhol and fellow Pop art acolytes documented the growing power of the image over the word in television, even in newspapers, Zuckerman represents a generation contending with yet more totalizing image economies—what has been identified in the endless search options lurking on the internet and, more recently, in the inundation of images
on social media. Zuckerman’s paintings chart the results of rapacious image circulation on women—her ebulliently compelling protagonists are glamorized and dematerialized as they become vehicles for image circulation in their own right.
Alternatively, a visceral response to the excess of imagery results in dense accretions of paint as in the work of Yvette Mayorga and Devin Troy Strother. Mayorga advances this by using pink acrylic piping as a saccharine rejoinder to expectations for Latinx femininity, adornment, and self-presentation. In works such as BYE (After Rococo Portrait) (2021), the cake-like surfaces suspend a female figure, possibly the artist, amid gilded universes outfitted with accoutrements for grooming and dress. Miming Rococo painting (and its putative frivolity) through the aesthetics of baking and frosting, Mayorga redresses gendered labor and consumerist assumptions in her fairytale-like compositions.
Similarly, Strother mines the language of art history in paintings that meditate explicitly on the latent charges of canonical works of art. Abstraction, as the sanctuary of the artist occupying a hegemonic social positionality, is the subject of the artist’s “revisionist art history” in Devin Troy Strother x Rob Pruitt x Cory Arcangel x Walead Beshty x A Sad Face x 10 Michael Jordans (2014)—the title a list of the numerous citations nestled in the disarmingly aesthetic composition. The artist’s technique rhymes with sampling in music, a process that exhumes and recycles archival material in order to construct altogether new imaginaries.
Confronting images with particularly entrenched matrices of signification—from the racialized and gendered to classed and regionalized—the artists in Infinite Scroll motion towards the hazards of assigning stable cultural identity through symbols alone. Instead, they articulate the complexity, fugitivity, and subversion of the icon. For many, the availability of information marked the democratization of culture and the dawn of modernism. In 2022, such promises of progress and possibility feel increasingly misguided, if not patently naïve. Artists, it seems, are among the first to operate within the marrow of recently popularized informational platforms to examine their systemic failings and underbellies. Most pressingly, these works trouble the desire for cultural assimilation with and acceptance by dominant media platforms old and new, instead proposing that these aspirations always exist in the realm of fiction or fantasy.
Yvette Mayorga is a multidisciplinary artist based in Chicago, Illinois. Her work interrogates the broad effects of militarization within and beyond the US/Mexico border and intervenes in the colonial legacies of art history. She fuses confectionary labor with found images to explore the meaning of belonging. She holds an MFA in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at the Vincent Price Art Museum, DePaul Art Museum, El Museo del Barrio, the Center for Craft, the Museo Universitario del Chopo, LACMA’s Pacific Standard Time:LA/LA, NXTHVN, Art Design Chicago, the Chicago
Artists Coalition, GEARY Contemporary, EXPO, Felix and Untitled Art Fair. In 2020 her project, Meet me at the Green Clock, was commissioned by Johalla Projects as part of the exhibition Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again, at the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work was included in the critically acclaimed exhibition ESTAMOS BIEN: LA TRIENAL 20/21, El Museo del Barrio’s inaugural survey of contemporary Latinx art. Mayorga is currently working on a new large-scale commission for the City of Chicago’s O’hare International Airport’s Terminal 5 Expansion public art project opening in 2022. In the fall of 2022 Yvette Mayorga’s first solo museum exhibition What a Time to be will debut at Crystal Bridges The Momentary in Bentonville, AK.
Her practice has been featured in publications such as Artforum, Artnet, Art in America, Art News, Galerie Magazine, Hyperallergic, NewCity, Teen Vogue, The Guardian, The New York Review of Books and The New York Times. Mayorga was featured in Galerie Magazine as a 2021 Artist to Watch.
Her works are part of the permanent collections of the DePaul Art Museum, El Museo del Barrio, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and the New Mexico State University Art Museum. She has participated in the Fountainhead Residency and BOLT Residency, and is a recipient of the MAKER Grant.
Born in 1952 in Oklahoma, David Salle grew up in Wichita, Kansas. In 1970, he was part of the foundational class at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, where he studied with John Baldessari. After earning a BFA in 1973 and an MFA in 1975, both from CalArts, Salle moved to New York, where he has lived since.
Salle’s paintings have been shown in museums and galleries worldwide for over 35 years. Solo exhibitions of his work have been held at the Whitney Museum, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; MoMA Vienna; Menil Collection, Houston; Haus der Kunst, Munich; Tel Aviv Museum of Art; Castello di Rivoli, Turin; the Kestner Geselshaft, Hannover; the Guggenheim Bilbao. He was the subject of solo exhibitions at the Dallas Contemporary in 2015 and the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo in Málaga, Spain in 2016. He has participated in major international expositions including Documenta 7 (1982), Venice Biennale (1982 and 1993), Whitney Biennial (1983, 1985, and 1991), Paris Biennale (1985), and Carnegie International (1985).
Salle is also widely recognized as one of the most trenchant and original critical voices of the past decade. He is a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. A collection of his essays, How To See was published in 2016 by W.W. Norton.
Devin Troy Strother
Los Angeles-based artist Devin Troy Strother (b. 1986 in West Covina, CA) finds inspiration in elements as disparate as stand-up comedy, music lyrics, and contemporary politics in a variety of media from painting and collage to video.
Strother received his BFA from Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA in 2009. He completed a residency at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Mainein 2010. Strother’s work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions in the US and abroad including at Broadway, New York, NY; V1 Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark; Marlborough Contemporary, New York, NY; Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY; and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, CA. His works are in the permanent collections of The Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Santa Barbara Museum of Art; and the Studio Museum in Harlem as well as in prominent private collections worldwide.
Julia Wachtel was born in New York City, New York, in 1956. She earned a B.A. from Middlebury College, Middlebury, in 1977. She studied at the School of Visual Arts, New York, in 1978, and completed an Independent Study Program at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, in 1979.
Julia Wachtel has exhibited internationally since the 1980s. Her work, dominated by images from popular culture, explores the impact of this on the human psyche, often juxtaposing them so they are simultaneously familiar and disorienting. Recently Wachtel has had solo exhibitions at The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland; The Kunsthall Bergen, Bergen; and Elizabeth Dee Gallery, New York. She has been in numerous group exhibitions, including the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Saatchi Gallery, London; Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York; Maruani Mercier Gallery, Brussels; Redling Fine Art, Los Angeles; and Foxy Production, New York. Last year she was in the exhibition, Fast Forward: Painting from the 80s at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and this past year was included in the exhibition Too Much Is Not Enough: Art and Commodity in the 80s, at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC. Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland.
Allison Zuckerman is an American contemporary artist. Her work takes art historical paintings and internet culture as a point of departure, utilizing both paint and digitally manipulated images to create acerbic, hybrid portraits, brimming with cultural and societal critique. These colorful pop collages are created from fragments of Zuckerman’s past work, imagery of iconic paintings, and overlaid entirely with paint. Zuckerman’s knowledge of art history and popular culture is deployed with sly ambiguity, alternating between reverence and shrewd criticism.
Shortly after receiving her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Zuckerman attracted the interest of the influential art patrons Don and Mera Rubell, who offered her a residency at their Miami museum. Zuckerman has presented work in galleries across the globe and has exhibited her work in solo museum shows at The Akron Art Museum, The Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, The University of Florida in Gainesville, and the Rubell Museum. Some of her notable collaborations include Veuve Clicquot, TODs, Charli XCX, Elle USA, and Vogue Italia.