Rat Hole Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Gardar Eide Einarsson on view from September 8 until November 26, 2017. The exhibition, which marks Einarsson’s third exhibition at Rat Hole Gallery, will present a suite of ten new paintings and is the only artist’s only show to date focused exclusively on painting works.
Gardar Eide Einarsson (Norwegian, b.1976, lives and works in Tokyo) works across a multitude of genres, including painting, installation, sculpture, ready-made objects and flags, film and photography, to examine ideas of authority and rebellion within social, political, and economic structures, as well as notions of fear and paranoia embedded in such relationships of power. Using methods of appropriation, assemblage, and abstraction of images and information from a variety of sources- from cultural ephemera to political iconography to utopian ideologies and criminal subcultures- Einarsson voids them of their context and meaning, while simultaneously transforming them into coded layers of expression and often times signifiers of dissent.
For this exhibition, the imagery of each of the paintings is derived from graphic designs of book and DVD covers, logos, and political buttons. These include the cover of a documentary film based on a Japanese doomsday cult, a study from 1937 analyzing politics in Chicago during the Great Depression, a 1969 exhibition catalog of a group show by 14 minimalist sculptors, and an anthology of writings on accelerationism. Shared among the works is a disconnect between the title of the painting pregnant with meaning and a seemingly empty and flat surface that is somewhat reminiscent, yet not entirely, of post-war painting. The works possess a formal vocabulary of minimalism and geometrical abstraction through the use of a monochromatic palette or rigorous black-and-white execution, as is often found with Einarsson’s paintings. Furthermore, in erecting a rigid framework for the way in which the painting is derived from the source imagery, such as by reducing color or the amount of information visible on the surface, Einarsson creates a “painterly” space to exist there within, thus elevating accidents and coincidence to a level where they are subject to painterly-aesthetic judgment. The content and the painterliness are each reduced towards a vanishing point, remaining always at an arms length, where they continue to exist even as they recede further away from view.
The main function of the paintings, however, lies not necessarily within the four edges of the stretched canvas, but in the source material that is only hinted at in the titles. The juxtaposition and amalgamation of these sources result in something resembling a paranoid narrative created by the artist. As visual objects, the paintings themselves fail to function as carriers of meaning. Alternatively, they serve as a portal to a discourse that exists elsewhere- an uncertain present- that is not to be read entirely from looking at the surface of the painting, a flatness that exists both physically and from the repeated acts of stripping, layering, and leveling of social, political, and cultural constructs and hierarchies.
Einarsson’s work has been widely exhibited in solo and group exhibitions worldwide, including solo museum exhibitions at ARos Aarhus Kunstmuseum; Astrup-Fearnley Museum in Oslo; Bergen Kunsthall; Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm; Centre d'Art Contemporain in Geneva; the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis; The Fridericianum in Kassel; Kunstverein Frankfurt; The Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth; and the Rekjavik Art Museum. The artist has also participated in the Whitney Biennial, the Istanbul Biennial and the Sydney Biennial, among others.
Einarsson's work is included in the permanent collection of, among others:
A monograph of the artist’s Tarp painting series will be published by Rat Hole Gallery to accompany the exhibition.