Enigma

MRG Fine Art | Exhibition Curated by Joshua Hashemzadeh

 Joshua Hashemzadeh.  Collection of Untitled Documents, 2016, dimensions variable (framed) , Archival Prints on Paper.  Image courtesy of artist.

Joshua Hashemzadeh. Collection of Untitled Documents, 2016, dimensions variable (framed) , Archival Prints on Paper.  Image courtesy of artist.

Enigma is a group exhibition featuring drawings, painting, and photography by artists Jacqueline Glosman, Joshua Hashemzadeh, Ileana Tejada, and Chris Rivas. The show will open September 3, 2016, and remain on view through September 11. An opening reception will be held Saturday, September 3, 2016, from 7-10pm.  

 

The various works on display aim to address identity as a difficult to understand phenomena which, often is riddled with contradiction and ambiguity. The show, Enigma, brings these culturally diverse artists together to explore the canon of hybridity as a postmodern principal alluded to in contemporary literature such as “The Postmodern Animal” by Steven Baker.

 

Neither the aesthetics of modernism nor the philosophical values of humanism, it is believed, can cope with hybrid forms which unsettle boundaries…In the values of modernism and modernity, it is now felt, there was a widespread urge to homogenize and systematize, to render the world intelligible by eliminating or suppressing inconsistencies, impurities, and dissimilarities.” – Steven Baker

 

The artists in this exhibition look to contrast modernist and traditional aesthetics to depict the body as the fore-mentioned “hybrid form” which pushes away from previously conceived homologous “boundaries.” Thus, implying we are not necessarily defined by one classification or another, as clear titles would easily suggest. Instead, identity traverses the spectrum of gender, race, and culture forming endless affirmations, making us who we are.  

 

By focusing on historical motifs such as textiles and drapery the figures become enthralled in various situations of concealment and reveal. This play on the seen and unseen portrays figures in a state of uncertainty and forces audiences to imagine cloaked or ambiguous forms through their own conceptions of the self.

 

The collection of artists in this exhibition help illuminate the paradoxes of normative categorizations by establishing personified reflections of their own hybridity. Whether it’s a depicted balance between feminine and masculine, or representations of the figure in empty psychological voids, the various works depict the body in moments of conflict as they try to cope with their own intersectionality. This deconstruction of cultural specificity through woven materials reveals that the idea of identity is a misapprehension fabricated by the intricate weavings of social messages, media, and manipulated desires. 

 

 Chris Rivas. Thomas, 2016, 30"x 40", Oil on Canvas.   Image   courtesy   of artist

Chris Rivas.Thomas, 2016, 30"x 40", Oil on Canvas. Image courtesy of artist

 Ileana Tejada (b. 1987, Bedford, CA) Is a Mexican-American artist and former NCAA Division II Track and Field athlete. Tejada’s work progressively deals with female masculinity and the opposition to “marianismo”-the exaggerated sense of traditional femininity. Tejada received her BFA from California State Polytechnic University- Pomona, as well as a BS (Kinesiology, Pedagogy). In 2015 she graduated with a Masters of Fine Art in Painting from San Francisco Art Institute. Tejada is the recipient of the Murphy Cadogan Graduate Fellowship, the Outstanding Graduate Student Award in Painting, and SFAI’s Amir Esfahani Graduate Studio Fellowship. Her work has been exhibited at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, Gallery CB1 in Los Angeles, and published in New American Paintings, No.123, MFA Annual, 2016. She is currently working and living in San Francisco, CA.

 

Chris Rivas (b. 1993, Los Angeles, CA) Is currently pursuing an MFA from Montclair State University after receiving his BFA in 2015 from the San Francisco Art Institute. As a biracial individual his work fixates on the visual depictions of culture and often manipulates historical traditions such as lighting, portraiture, and drapery. Rivas’s is the recipient of the Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award in Painting and has exhibited at NoHo Art Night, NoHo Hair Salon, Los Angeles; Be Bold, MRG Fine Art Gallery, Los Angeles; and Identity, MRG Fine Art, Los Angeles; Formal Attire Only, MRG Fine Art, Los Angeles; Tight Squeeze, Armory Center for the Arts, Los Angeles.

 

Joshua Hashemzadeh (b. 1993, Los Angeles, CA) has a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. His work, often varying in mediums, is built around an investigation of postmodern conditions referring in detail to: millennial identity, social institution, and globalized commerce. Recent works have been featured in several exhibitions in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas with highlights being: Critique of Reason, MRG Fine Art, Los Angeles; BFA Undergraduate Show, Diego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco; 32 Shades of Plastic, MRG Fine Art, Los Angeles; Tethered, Like Minded Salon, San Francisco; Poverty & Wealth Want & Waste…, Santa Monica. 

 

Jacqueline Glosman (b. 1991, Los Angeles, CA) has a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. With a key focus on the semiotics and cultural perceptions of femininity her works utilize recurring motifs such as the flower to generate dialogues around the female experience. Her canon of work aims to reveal themes of feminism, trauma, memory and mortality. Previous highlighted exhibitions include Live Girls: explorations of contemporary romance and feminism, Limited Ink Studios, Los Angeles; BFA Undergraduate Show, Diego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco.

  Ileana Tejada.    Princess Ileana vs. Lester the Molester , diptych, 30 x 22 inches each, Graphite on paper. Image Courtesy of the artist

 Ileana Tejada. Princess Ileana vs. Lester the Molester, diptych, 30 x 22 inches each, Graphite on paper. Image Courtesy of the artist

Critique of Reason

MRG Fine Art, Los Angeles

A Critique of Reason is Joshua Hashemzadeh’s third solo exhibition with MRG Fine Art. Recently obtaining a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, he presents us with a critical reflection of his experiences while in a pedagogical institution. The show takes its title from the famed literary work, “The Critique of Pure Reason” by Immanuel Kant, which evaluates the foundations and classifications of human knowledge. A premise Josh uses as the preliminary frame-work for his recent exposé, resulting in an examination of the financial burdens of higher-education, growing intellectual disparities, and the disingenuousness of industrialized accreditations.

The featured works are presented in the spirit of academic experimentation and have been accumulated throughout, as well as immediately after, Joshua Hashemzadeh’s time as an undergraduate student. Toying with materials such as physical currency, lithography, receipts, and his diploma he touches on a divide between students and their alma matter, insisting viewers re-examine the impact of institutional influence as well as the social and economic privileges associated with college-education in the United States.   

“I’m fascinated by the ways we construct value in invaluable objects. Whether its printed word, currency, or art. The receipt paintings are a result of recorded purchases that collectively account for my time in university, and ultimately the cost of my degree… Its all just proof of sale. In the end, this paper is the only tangible trace of my time there. So if merit is, in large, defined by the validation of institutions and others then its my obligation, as an artist, to provide such documentation as art itself.”

Whether looking at haptic collage or ready-made objects the works constantly insinuate a contrast between physical presence and ideological fabrications of prestige. Josh divides the gallery space between moments of austerity and aesthetic play, causing the room to become an expression of institutional duality. Thus fluctuating between traditional displays of prominence and informal depictions of artistic inquiry. This expression of autobiographical interpretation forms a contemporary critique of the “educational complex.” An entity alluded to via central installation structured to the dimensions of the late Mike Kelley’s piece, by the same name.

Joshua Hashemzadeh (b. 1993, Los Angeles, CA) has a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. His work, often varying in mediums, is built around an investigation of postmodern conditions referring in detail to: millennial identity, social institution, and commerce. Recent works have been featured in several exhibitions in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas with recent highlights being: Formal Attire Only, MRG Fine Art, Los Angeles; 32 Shades of Plastic, MRG Fine Art, Los Angeles; Tethered, Like Minded Salon, San Francisco.