In search of Vedaland. Liam Everett, Matt Keegan and Will Rogan. September 8 – October 1, 2016
Altman Siegel is pleased to present In search of Vedaland, a three-person exhibition featuring work by Liam Everett, Matt Keegan and Will Rogan. In search of Vedaland borrows its title from magician Doug Henning’s proposed transcendental meditation theme park. The park, which was never realized, was intended as a destination to expand and awaken human consciousness. Henning’s desire to offer new modalities of life is reflected in the artists’ work presented here where objects unfold new ideas through numerous iterations and repeated processes. Reordering and displacing existing cultural fragments, the three artists work in series so as to allow for given concepts to be fully unpacked and aesthetically illustrated. In search of Vedaland exhibits a selection of pieces from distinct bodies of work by each artist; Rogan’s found and altered magazine pages, new small-scale paintings by Everett and a selection of Keegan’s Alphabet Soup monoprints. Exhibited together, so as to emphasize their serial nature, the works offer insight not only into the artists’ unique approaches, but the potential of artworks to be concurrently autonomous and fractions of a greater idea.
Will Rogan exhibits a selection of transformed magazine pages from his ongoing series Silencer (MUM) and Vedaland Plans. Rogan sources pages from his collection of Magic Unity Might, a magician trade magazine published from the 1950s through the late 1970s. Meticulously masking the magazine pages to protect elements within the composition, Rogan uses an eraser to disappear the magicians within the frame. Rogan’s repetitive action, resulting in an array of altered editorials, offers a contemplative approach to disrupting and reordering established imagery. Rogan cites Henning’s Vedaland as a starting point to this body of work, drawing parallels between the meditative process of erasure and lost ideologies from the parks inability to materialize.
Liam Everett’s vibrant abstractions envelop viewers through their rigorous surfaces, complex layering and confounding structure. The majority of Everett’s paintings are listed as Untitled, but he parenthetically references geographical locations, questioning the relationship of the work to both its spatial and temporal context. This aspect of Everett’s practice points to his philosophical and performative concerns in which he is constantly investigating the nature of practice. By calling to mind places and communities that in some instances no longer exist, Everett furthers his desire to build paintings that evade any present, singular reference. For Everett, the negation of material is just as important as its addition–a subtractive and repetitive process shared by Rogan and Keegan.
Matt Keegan’s Alphabet Soup series is comprised of monoprints the artist creates by pouring the popular soup over a scanner bed. Creating a digital image that is machined (CNC) into plywood, Keegan then rolls the panel with lithography inks to create the unique artworks. Intersecting the common soup with technology and chance, the artist playfully transforms the food letters, through scale shifts and layering. The series exemplifies Keegan’s iterative process of duplicating actions to varying end results, here drawing on everyday technology to abstract and confuse our accepted order of language. Alphabet Soup unfolds our relationship to letters and words, offering sites to contemplate new ways of considering these structures of communication.
Will Rogan (b. 1975) lives and works in Sausalito, California. Solo exhibitions include the Berkeley Art Museum; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Objectif Exhibitions, Antwerp and Misako and Rosen, Tokyo. Group exhibitions include the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco; the Shanghai Biennial; the Oakland Art Museum and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco.
Liam Everett (b.1973) lives and works in Sebastopol, California. He is currently included in the Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens’ Biennale of Painting in Deurle, Belgium on view through September 25. Recent solo exhibitions include Office Baroque, Brussels; Eleni Koroneou Gallery, Athens; On Stellar Rays, New York; Paul Kasmin, New York and White Columns, New York. Everett’s editioned artist’s book Inutile was recently published by RITE Editions and is now part of the permanent collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Inutile is available for sale at the gallery.
Matt Keegan (b.1976) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Recent exhibitions include Grazer Kunstverein, Graz, Austria (with Kay Rosen) traveling to the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (opens October 7th); the Contemporary Art & Design Biennial, Piacenza, Italy (closes October 9th); “Reconstructions: Recent Photographs and Video from the Met Collection,” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and “Storylines: Contemporary Art at the Guggenheim,” The Guggenheim, New York. A new monograph, OR, was recently published by Inventory Press in conjunction with Keegan’s 2015 solo show at Rogaland Kunstcenter, Stavanger, Norway, and is available for sale at the gallery.
In Search of Vedaland is Altman Siegel’s last exhibition at 49 Geary Street before the gallery moves to its new location at 1150 25th Street, San Francisco, CA 94107, which opens November 4, 2016.
Image: Matt Keegan, Alphabet Soup (Blocked #6), 2016, Monoprint, 66 x 44 in; 167.6 x 111.8 cm