DAVID HENDREN In the shade

THE COMPANY is pleased to announce In The Shade, a solo exhibition by Los Angeles based artist David Hendren. In The Shade will be on view from March 3 – April 7, 2012. An opening reception will take place at the gallery, located at 955 Chung King Road on Saturday, March 3 from 6-8 pm.

The formal configuration of Hendren’s Shade paintings stems from an interest in early European abstraction, including Constructivism, the Blaue Reiter, and de Stijl, as well as the American minimalists Agnes Martin, Frank Stella and Donald Judd. Adopting the notions of painting-as-subject and a one-to-one relationship between the viewer and the material, Hendren uses this lineage to establish a familiar initial read for the work. The inclusion of figuration within these rich fields of abstraction provides an antidote to a completely reasoned composition and the potential for the uncanny within abstraction.

All of the paintings in the Shade series start off as intricate string grids stretched over un-primed burlap. These grids form a series of horizontal lines approximately the width of the spray diameter from a spray can. The painting surface is then bifrucated with a single piece of string. Using this grid as a guide, Hendren applies several coats of paint, alternating between light and dark colors. The colors blend to produce a muted tone, as if the color were in shade. The resulting linear bars act as a simple field, one that addresses the horizontal field of seeing, as well as establishes a familiar, minimalist backdrop. It is against this familiar field that the rest of the painting begins to resist, therein laying the foundation for the uncanny.

Hendren then makes a series of large figural cutouts on contact paper and adheres them to a tight vinyl screen. These cutouts are made through the act of tracing actual bodies, his own or friends, in a number of poses. These tracings are meshed together to form near symmetrical shapes. Much like a silk-screen in reverse, these cutouts are then taped to the painting surface, masking the amorphous shape from a layer of spray paint. The result is a negative ghost-like image floating on top of the grid underneath.

The final move is removing the string web, leaving a faint trace of the original structure on the surface.

David Hendren, b. 1978, Little Rock, Arkansas. Hendren’s work has been exhibited in Los Angeles at Kim Light/Light Box and EGHQ, and has been included in shows in Miami, Chicago and Detroit. He has shown internationally at Duve Berlin and in Lisbon as part of Portugal Arte 10. He has received numerous grants including the Pollock-Krasner Grant, the Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship, and the Ruth and Harold Chenven Grant. In 2009, he had a solo booth with Kim Light/Light Box at the NADA art fair in Miami. Having studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (BFA) and Cranbrook Academy of Art (MFA), Hendren now lives and works in Los Angeles. This is his first solo show with The Company.