Miguel Abreu Gallery is pleased to announce the opening, on Friday, September 8th, of Big View, Kate Mosher Hall’s first one-person exhibition at the gallery. The show will be held at our 88 Eldridge Street location.
The work of Kate Mosher Hall inhabits the charged space of reciprocal looking, activating a locus of estrangement present in any shared visual encounter and amplifying it. Through an interplay of two primary modes of image production—silkscreen printing and painting—she manages to suspend the medium specificities of either address as a way of playfully exploiting the uncertainties inherent to any act of looking. These images share an elusive, ‘hidden-in-plain-sight’ effect, but one that operates through an unavoidable visual regress: flashes of discernment quickly withdraw into instances of misrecognition. At the same time, visual identifications are retained as hovering or buried afterimages. The experience is akin to both seeing and not seeing at once, stimulating an awareness of looking siloed by the limits of perspectival bias, the strange over-exposure of seeing oneself seeing. The pictures aspire to the status of an image capable of possessing our visual agency not unlike a reflexive hypnosis.
Thirteen new paintings comprise Big View, which is organized around an oblique set of relations. No single conceptual orientation or thematic narrative groups these works; rather, subtle series of procedures are interwoven so as to draw visual cues between works, sensitizing us to material strains of process evidence at the center of which is a heightened event of looking that animates the images. Mosher Hall’s methods are negatively accumulative, proceeding from various archival image banks through a careful craft of degradation and obfuscation, defamiliarizing a given image in the direction of short-circuiting the primacy of perceptual command. Staging an image at the remote end of our visual field through means of compositional displacement, she constructs vantages that seem to glimpse, as if at the threshold of a lucid dream, a familiar real from an undefinable outside. What her work gathers as a result is a kind of anti-or counter-archive that preserves only the optical realities or spectral residues left over by the hysterical circulation of contemporary cultural media, the pyscho-sensory effects underpinning current visual cultures deranged from the objects and environments that enact them.
An eponymous painting, Big View, distills much of the formal mechanics at play throughout the show: foremost to the viewer is an exaggerated grid of apertures, calling up a dilated half tone pattern from one of her silkscreens as much as a warped lattice of film sprockets. From a distance, the submerged image coheres: a partial view from outer space of a planet’s surface. Change your position, and the image disperses into innumerable smaller planets each with a distinct typography, or a sample collection of magnified bacterial cultures, or merely a test sheet of abstract sprays and registrations. Macro and microcosmic at once, the work enfolds the proliferation of knowable parts within an unstable whole by way of embedded, roving perspectives. At its crux, the oscillation between a shared world and an infinite partitioning of separate worlds is a matter of altered positionality. Material interventions at the level of image production, Mosher Hall’s paintings seem to insist, are surrogate procedures for shifting our senses, stimuli for the reconfiguration of our sensual realities capable of transforming the apparently ‘natural’ confines of individual perception.
Kate Mosher Hall (b. 1986, Los Angeles) lives and works in Los Angeles. She received her MFA from UCLA (2020), and her BFA from the California Institute of the Arts (2013). Recent solo exhibitions include The Reminder, curated by Kristy Trinier, Audain Gallery, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada (2023); Offset, Tanya Leighton, Berlin (2021); Without a body, without Bill, Hannah Hoffman Gallery (2021); LOQK, Artist Curated Projects (2019); and Wind Breaker, Phil Gallery (2019), all in Los Angeles. Notable group exhibitions include Kate Mosher Hall, Fionna Connor, and Bedros Yeretzian, Coastal Signs, Auckland, New Zealand (2023); Something or Other, Galerie Maria Bernheim, Zurich (2023); The Painter’s New Tools, curated by Dean Kissick and Eleanor Cayre, Nahmad Contemporary, New York (2022); and K as in Knight, Helena Anrather, New York (2021). Her work is in the permanent collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.