Jordan Kantor - Art Statements, solo presentation
Art|40|Basel, Switzerland
June 10 - 14, 2009

Installation views:

Exhibition Press Release:

Jordan Kantor - Art Statements - Art|40|Basel - Switzerland

Ratio 3 presents a solo-project with Jordan Kantor at Art Statements, Art|40|Basel, June 10 - 14, 2009.

For Art Statements, Kantor debuts his first film and a suite of new paintings based on individual still frames taken from the film. The short, looped 16mm film shows the sun-isolated in the sky-rapidly moving across the frame with no clouds or landscape to orient the shot. Film is here reduced to its most basic, materialist function: recording the exposure of light through the apparatus of a lens.

The non-narrative imagery of the film gains new valence through the paintings that ring the walls of the booth. These vibrantly colored canvases retain both the 3:4 aspect ratio of the 16mm film as well as the exact size of the projected image, and isolate and depict the "lens flares" in the film-those fleeting reflection of glare inside the camera apparatus that result when its lens is pointed directly at a bright light source.

By focusing on the momentary distortions created by the camera's lens, Kantor's paintings make the deceptively simple film vastly more complex, enabling the viewer to return to the film and see it anew, looking for the often overlooked "invisible" moments of interference. Since lens flares are created by the camera and exist within it rather than in nature, they stand as a visual marker or vestige of the intervention of the recording apparatus, and therefore provide fertile fodder for larger theoretical speculations into the relationship between painting and film.

Kantor's installation engages with questions regarding the hand-made and the mechanical that have predominated the discourse around painting since the beginnings of modernism, but offers a new wrinkle. By focusing on the lens flare-which is often used in contemporary visual culture to stand for the analogue (and hence "authenticity")-the installation proposes a new role for the anachronistic image-making technology of painting in our digital age. Questioning the traditional assumption of film's indexical neutrality as well as of painting's inherent subjectivity, Kantor's installation creates a new primary experience by self-reflexively considering questions of representation and perception more generally.

Jordan Kantor was born in 1972. He graduated from Stanford University in 1995 with a B.A. in Painting and History. He received his PhD in History of Art and Architecture from Harvard University in 2003. His most recent solo exhibitions were at Ratio 3, San Francisco (2008) and Artists Space, New York (2006). His work was included in the SECA Art Award Exhibition, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2009), Untitled (History Painting), University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, MI (2009), I am Never at Home, Johnen Galerie, Berlin, Germany (2008), the California Biennial, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA (2008), and Very Abstract and Hyper Figurative, Thomas Dane Gallery, London, England (2007).
Kantor currently lives and works in San Francisco where he is an Associate Professor of Painting at the California College for the Arts. Art Statements is the artist's first solo presentation in Europe, as well as his debut in Switzerland.