Ryan Lauderdale and Jessica Sanders at Kansas

Ryan Lauderdale and Jessica Sanders, the two Brooklyn artists on view at Kansas (through August 2) in New York this summer, pair their recent works and reach the ends of the instant-gratification aesthetics spectrum. While Lauderdale’s tongue-in-cheek nouveau-riche design opposes Sanders’s muted monochromes and elemental mediums, both artists approach materiality with timeliness in mind. 

Lauderdale presents sculptures that are all high-contrast spiked angles and glaring lights. Created in the of-the-moment visual style reminiscent of mid 1980s interior décor, works such as Jog Lamp (unless otherwise noted, all works 2014) are pre-recession severe, recalling ostentatious trends of monochrome, metal, and sharply cut glass; diagonal details provide extra intensity. Hall Monitor and Black Lamp, both 2013, are two other sleek, glossy highlights, their polished bite slyly tempered by the conspicuous matte black power cords feeding the unsubtle fluorescent tubes illuminating them. By aggregating aspirational images from an endless Internet feed, Lauderdale’s reprise of “dead objects”—designs quickly deteriorating in relevance—stack amusing styles destined for the time capsule on top of each other, resulting in non-utilitarian objects that call to mind mall architecture or car detailing, consumer designs that rely on rapid disposal for growth.

Hung close enough to bathe in these sculptures’ artificial glow, Sanders presents two united groups of paintings whose material intelligence radiates. “Crumple” and “Saturation,” serial studies in materiality and tonal gradation, literally display wrinkles of time and stress. Stretching high-quality, lightweight gray linen normally reserved for suiting over wooden frames, Sanders covers each canvas in hot beeswax, then crumples the fabric haphazardly. Once cooled, the wax is roughly carved away, and the entire process is repeated. Works such as Crumple A38Crumple A39, and Crumple A40 show how the artist’s process can give depth to seemingly two-dimensional works. Her “Saturation” paintings resemble Helen Frankenthaler’s canvases—here, the wax settles over the sand-colored fabric smoothly, easy elegant pours spreading over each square. Warm, rounded, tactile, this body of work more clearly demonstrates the organic abstraction of her processes. 

 

Modern Painters

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