Scene + Scensoria

Two Coats of Paint | August 2021

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Phong Bui is like a battery, and his exacting curation is currently viewable on the Bowery at Geary Contemporary’s “Mutual Convergence,” a dual show of artists Yasi Alipour and Cy Morgan. In The Exform Nicolas Bourriaud suggests that a de􀀁ning characteristic of contemporary art is its reliance on networks, the constellation being the central allegory of visual representation, and this show is an exemplar:

“To be sure, it would be excessive to pretend that a specific form dominates contemporary art, given its formal and conceptual profusion. All the same, the presence of the network-structure and its derivatives pervades artistic production too much to amount to a mere ‘tendency’. The horizon of the present, both conceptually and visually, seems to be dominated by pulverization, scattering and links. Clusters, clouds, tree structures, constellations, webs, archipelagos … All these forms evoke pixels–as if to signal the decomposable structure of the universe and the precarious nature of our political systems.”

This show seems to confirm the idea. Both artists’ practices are connotative and hint at an adherence to natural forms, sacred geometries and environmental systems, but are indirect and veiled through process (in the case of Alipour) and scavenging (Morgan). There is the Epicurean swerve, the clinamen, at work here through materialist chance. I was impressed with how surprisingly sculptural Alipour’s drawings are; and Morgan’s anti-monumental assemblages felt rhythmic, like suggestions towards a contingent whole. Each artists’ smaller works presuppose their larger ones, acting like annotations within the constellated installations or islands in the visual archipelago.