Josh Lilley is delighted to announce the opening of The Scandalized Mask - a group exhibition featuring Anthony Lepore, Brian Bress, Nick Devereux, and Peter Linde Busk.
The show brings together four artists whose practices, in varying degrees, provide a screen within their works; blocking intention, while deferring response in the viewer. Ideas of concealment are explored through masquerades, costumes or veils - in turn expressing feelings of uncertainty and the mystical. The exhibition’s title comes from a seminal James Ensor picture - the first of his masked paintings. It references a self-conscious retreat to safety, hinting at notions of creative inferiority or awkwardness within an artist’s practice. Through film, photography, drawing, and painting - suggestions of alienation, deformity and anxiety, are faced down amid a current of pathos, humour and the surreal; brought to light by the clear thematic of portraiture that weaves its way through all four artists’s work.
Waiting in the lobby of some ghetto/affordable oral surgeon located in a mini-mall in LA, Anthony Lepore became intrigued by the strange intimacy between the healer and the body. His installation for The Scandalized Mask consists of a reconstructed waiting room complete with generic furniture - chairs, a coffee table with appropriate magazines for the sexes, plant, clock, and hand sanitiser. The drug adds for diabetes and cholesterol-lowering concoctions found on the wall - are replaced by a series of photographs exploring the body, both human and animal. Taken in chiropractor’s offices, zoo operating rooms, and dentistry and nursing school classrooms, these photographs explore the vulnerability of flesh, ideas of surrogacy, and the non-sexual ways we allow ourselves to be entered.
Failure and uncertainty on the part of both viewer and artist is a core element of Brian Bress’s work. His sensitively constructed high resolution films - of which there will be two in this exhibition, highlight absurd yet troubled characters - caught in their own worlds of restricted movement or recreation. The confusion generated from their actions adds to the humour Bress wishes to convey, to the sense of instability and surprise. He then uses composition and framing to control visual information - relying on the means and methods of portrait painting, but within the flat field of the video monitor. Fantasy and deformity - imbued at all times with a tender intimacy between subject and viewer, are enhanced by elaborate masking and costume.
One of the most fascinating aspects of Nick Devereux’s work is the number of tyrannical perceptive games to which he subjects the minds of his viewers. They shatter our convictions, especially those that seem the most irrevocable. Is he working from a contemporary or an old fashioned point of view? We get the feeling that we are re-seeing an image again and while we attempt to recognise it, we understand that we are in fact discovering it.... for the very first time. Included in the exhibition will be two medium/large pastel interventions upon digital pigment prints - raising the ongoing question of perception in his work, rather than that of observation.
In his paintings, prints and ceramics, Peter Linde Busk employs a cast of characters to figure states of melancholia, dejection and failure. His celebration of the antagonist is inspired by card design, literature and popular culture, tending towards portrayals of those who sit on high: Kings and knights prevail, their stature betrayed by their audacious attire. Violently patterned, his images draw on the starkly direct marks of Art Brut. Busk’s drive to fill space to excess means that the figure is often decorated to the point of parody. They are flawed and exposed, saturated and ridden with angst. They appear almost at the moment before their fall. However this also comes across as being affirmative; bearing in mind that these are often self-portraits, perhaps this moment becomes a fable for catastrophe’s liberating potential.
Anthony Lepore - Born 1977 in Burbank, lives and works in Los Angeles
Lepore completed his MFA at Yale University School of Art in 2005. Previous solo exhibitions include New Wilderness, two-part exhibition, Francois Ghebaly Gallery and M+B Gallery, Los Angeles, 2012, and Restoration, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, 2008. Selected group exhibitions include Set Pieces, Cardi Black Box, Milan, Italy 2013, Unnatural Histories, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, 2011, and Art in America: 300 Years of Innovation, Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art, 2007.
Brian Bress - Born 1975 in Norfolk, VA, lives and works in Los Angeles
Bress completed his MFA at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2006. Previous solo exhibitions include Interventions, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, 2012, Under Performing, Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles, CA, 2012, and Status Report New Museum, New York, 2012. Selected group exhibitions include Photography is Magic!, Daegu Photo Biennial 2012, Daegu, South Korea, 2012, and Stagecraft, University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, FL 2011.
Nick Devereuex - Born 1978 in Panama City, lives in Paris and works in Montreuil
Previous solo exhibitions include As it is and not how it should be, Bugada & Cargnel, Paris, 2011, and Nick Devereuex, La Diagonale, Roma, 2009. Selected group exhibitions include 18th International Exhibition of Drawing, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rijeka, Croatia, 2013, Paris – le monde , Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, Germany, 2011. Devereuex will have a solo show in Venice at the Fondazione Querini Stampalia during Venice Biennale.
Peter Linde Busk- Born 1973 in Copenhagen, Denmark, lives and works in Berlin, Germany
Busk completed his MFA at the The Royal Academy of Arts London in 2009. Previous solo exhibitions include The Staging Area, Holstebro Kunstmuseum, Holstebro, Denmark, 2013, No Pasaran, MONITOR, Rome, 2012, and Bold as a lunatic troupe of demons in drunken parade, Gallery Christina Wilson, Copenhagen, 2012. Selected group exhibitions include Murder Ink, Der Grieche, Berlin 2012, Newspeak: British Art Now, Saatchi Gallery, London, 2010, and Daily Miracles, Josh Lilley Gallery, London, 2009.