Vertical Hold

Oppenheimer’s Eye by Iva Gueorguieva

Electric Works presents
Iva Gueorguieva and Julie Weitz
Vertical Hold
September 9 – October 15, 2011
Artist Reception: Friday, September 9, 6-8 PM

This two-person exhibition is the culmination of an unfolding visual dialogue between artists Iva Gueorguieva and Julie Weitz, as each considers the relationship between time, body and painting. In this exchange of influence, Gueorguieva takes on Weitz’s reoccurring theme of the mask and existentially rich nature of the reflection, and Weitz adapts Gueorguieva’s implied figuration and propensity for vertical structure. The two artists encounter each other in their insistence on the body as both subject and field, and their consideration of time in the experience of looking.

Vertical Hold is the control used to adjust a rolling image on the screen of an analog television set. In the energetic abstract paintings of Gueorguieva and optically fractured drawings and video of Julie Weitz, vertical hold denotes the mechanism for stretching, doubling, exploding and interrupting the vertical frame of the body.

Iva Gueorguieva’s series of paintings “Six Days in July: Why All Wars Start in Summer” is a visual response to developing news reports, from the hunger strike in a California prison to the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza. These works came about out of a daily practice of drawing while listening to Democracy Now with Amy Goodman, and like the unfolding news reports, the paintings move more and more towards the absurd. The last work, “Requiem for a Missing Drone,” is a self-portrait of the artist as an overweight girl sitting on a drone. It’s a satirical sigh in the face of injustice, a need to respond, even if the result exists only in the realm of cartoonish heroics. The larger works Blood Shot and Oppenheimer’s Eye isolate the human eye out of the fractured and reflected body, and explore the reflections and phantasms on its surface as both witness and mirror.

Julie Weitz’s drawings appear as face masks, body armor, and dissected portraits of the self. Weitz combines geometric abstraction, drawn with graphite on black gouache, with digital prints of fragmented body parts. In her new video, Mirror Me, a man and his reflection inhale and exhale gradually, racing to an eventual climactic speed. Weitz frames the shot at the man’s torso and symmetrically aligns his reflection to create a doubled image, indicative of her drawings. The original audio composition by Paul Reller reinforces the sensation of the body caught between time and space. Phenomenological experience embodied or virtualized, and the relationship between material and digital processes, are the driving forces behind Weitz’s work.

Though vertical hold, as a function, attempts to synchronize a rolling image, in Gueorguieva and Weitz’s vision control is ultimately impossible. They share a conviction that painting is a site of collision, the tenuous edge where external and internal meet.

Iva Gueorguieva [Bulgaria, 1974] lives and works in Los Angeles. She received an MFA from the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. Her paintings and drawings have been exhibited widely in the U.S. and Europe. Recent solo shows include Ameringer/Mcenery/Yohe, New York, NY; Bravin Lee Programs, New York, NY; LUX Art Institute, Encinitas, CA; Angles gallery, Los Angeles; Stichting Outline, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Pomona Museum of Art, Claremont, CA.

Julie Weitz was born in Chicago, IL and currently lives in Cleveland, OH. She has exhibited at Schroeder Romero, New York, NY, Thomas Robertello Gallery, Chicago, IL, Patricia Sweetow Gallery, San Francisco, CA, and Marine Contemporary, Santa Monica, CA. Weitz is a 2010 recipient of the West Prize.

Mirror Me by Julie Weitz