Phil Wagner – “OBSOLESCENCE”

Reception: November 1st, 2019, 6 – 9 pm
No Gallery – 1115 S La Brea Ave LA CA 90036

What is that? A holy site or a trash-pit nightmare? And where is that noise coming from? Inside my head or vibrating from the walls? Phil Wagner’s latest installation at NO attracts with dazzling, disorienting form and ensnares with its physical sensations—while invoking some of art’s biggest ideas. With Marcel Duchamp hovering as a reference point, a found object, and a dose of humour, Wagner’s works tack between the earthly and the transcendent, the heavy and the light. Large-scale canvases and totemic forms in close proximity carry forward the legacies of Suprematism and Minimalism. They also carve paths through the double binds of these historical ideals: How does a material thing provide spirituality for a secular world? How is art revolutionary when all the revolutions have failed? Altogether, the ambitious installation generates formal and philosophical propositions that transcend the associative content of its component parts. These notions, Wagner suggests, are essential but may appear today as obsolete as the broken radios and printers pressed into the service of his artworks and that threaten to bury us alive.

Phil Wagner (b. 1974) received a BFA from Illinois State University and an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Notable solo exhibitions: Untitled Gallery ( New York, NY), Nicodim Gallery ( Los Angeles, CA ), The Arts Club ( London, UK ), Rental Gallery ( New York, NY ). Notable Group exhibitions: Black Standard w/ Devina Semo, Phil Wagner, Capital Gallery ( San Francisco, CA), Farewell Rodney, curated by Rashid Johnson, Sommer Gallery, ( Tel Aviv, Israel ), American Exuberance, Rubell Family Collection/Contemporary Arts Foundation, ( Miami, FL ), Jessica Dickinson, Oscar Murillo, Cammie Staros, Phil Wagner, Mihai Nicodim Gallery, ( Los Angeles, CA ). Wagner’s work is included in the collections of Susan and Michael Hort (New York, NY) and the Rubell Family (Miami, FL), among others. Wagner lives and works in Los Angeles.