Loading Events
Smart Objects
  • This event has passed.

Justin Chance at Smart Objects

RSVP

Feb 20 - Apr 10

(All times are in PDT)

At Smart Objects in Echo Park, Justin Chance’s “Low-Life” pulls fiber processes to their breaking point. His wet and needle felted quilts are sheathed in a layer of thin silk that he treats irreverently—rips and tears on their surfaces function as subtle painterly details. In “Dying” — perhaps a pun on mortality as much as the natural dying processes that the artist uses to color his wool — representational imagery bounces in and out of focus. Apples in various stages of decay form a loose row across the top of the quilt while an abstract and nebulous form (Spider? Tree?) engulfs the composition. The silken outer layer acts as a gauzy blur, making specific readability of forms even more futile.

Butterflies feature across the exhibition — needle felted into place on a quilt, or tufted on sculptural work that embeds a rug into a box fan with hastily-applied duct tape. This bounce between precision (felt and hand-dying processes ultimately require a lot of time) and ad-hoc composition can be seen in a series of collages and sculptures that punctuate Chance’s quilted works (such as “Wormwood,” a wormwood-dyed piece of silk that’s casually draped over a desk fan). Sprinkled within these poetic works are specific images — as in “Race,” a collage on paper in which water-logged images of cars are paper-mâchéd into place using water from the artist’s own flooded studio — which adds curious legibility to the exhibition, contrasting other moments of deliberate obscurity.

(To receive the full weekly coverage from Lindsay Preston Zappas, subscribe to our Art Insider Newsletter at kcrw.com/newsletters.)

Photo: Justin Chance, “SS,” 2020-2021. Wet and needle felted wool, silk, cotton, dye; quilted, 74 x 46 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and Smart Objects.