Proper Nouns, curated by Wyatt Kahn

Lucas Blalock, Leonhard Hurzlmeier, Jamie Isenstein, Zachary Leener and Paul McCarthy

January 11 - February 22, 2015

Press Release

Rachel Uffner Gallery is pleased to present Proper Nouns, a group exhibition
curated by the artist Wyatt Kahn. Through the work of five artists, the show
explores the tension between figuration and abstraction, delicately balanced
through the use of different mediums and often humorous expression of personal
sensibilities. The exhibition revolves around a set of nouns that constitute the
central imagery of each artist’s work. Hot dogs, lamps, knobs, cranks, women,
and the painter’s persona all inhabit the gallery, and through decontextualization
and embodiment, emerge as figurative terms hovering on abstraction, not unlike
proper nouns.

Lucas Blalock's photographs investigate stand-ins, or surrogates, with hot dogs
acting as lines, brushstrokes, body parts, and still life objects. The corporeal quality
of food develops an uncanny relationship to the flatness of the printed object,
facilitating a comic scenario that the images exploit through humor and abjection.

Leonhard Hurzlmeier’s most recent series of paintings depicts women engaged in
various activities of daily life. Imagining these quotidian moments, which range from
flossing, to practicing yoga, to putting on a pair of boots, Hurzlmeier’s paintings seek
to draw insight from the everyday. His figures always hinge on abstraction, while his
use of color, composition, and deadpan humor balance the discomfort that comes
from the voyeurism inherent in his gaze.

Jamie Isenstein's work merges performance and sculpture, bridging figure
and material through slapstick humor. The new works exhibited in Proper Nouns
shift away from the artist's use of her own body as an object, yet maintain a
familiar relationship between the subject and matter. Isenstein makes use of light
and the surrounding environment to activate the everyday objects in her forms.

Zachary Leener’s ceramic sculptures, drawn from observation, duplicate, castrate,
and merge phalluses, limbs, and orifices with knobs and handles to create abstract
table-top works. His enigmatic and often inscrutable objects bring to mind the
comics of artists like R. Crumb, with an attention to detail for color and surface that
balances the gentle humor of his abstraction.

Paul McCarthy's seminal video, Painter (1995), is a clownish parody of the Abstract
Expressionist artist Willem de Kooning, using eschatological and visceral
performance to demount the myth of a heroic male artist by satirizing the painter's
grandstanding studio persona and his notorious interactions with collectors and

Wyatt Kahn lives and works in New York. His paintings, prints, drawings, and
collages have been exhibited at LAXART, Los Angeles; Galerie Eva
Presenhuber, Zurich; T293, Rome, among others. His work is included in
the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Centre
Pompidou, Paris; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the
Dallas Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the CCS
Bard Hessel Museum; and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. In 2015, Kahn will
present solo exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis; a joint
exhibition at Tanya Leighton, Berlin and Adrian Rosenfeld, Los Angeles;
and a solo project at the Performa Biennial.

Please call (212) 274-0064 or email for more




Proper Nouns listed as one of Scott Indrisek's "5 Must See Gallery Shows" on ARTINFO
February 6, 2015

"Proper Nouns," mentioned in Roberta Smith's "15 Group Shows Not to Miss," in The New York Times
January 29, 2015

Proper Nouns featured on Interview Magazine online, Wyatt Kahn's Proper Propsal, by Rachel Small
January 14, 2015

Proper Nouns listed in New York Magazine as a show to see
January 11, 2015