Punch, curated by artist Nina Chanel Abney, will be the summer exhibition at Jeffrey Deitch Los Angeles. Punch expands the acclaimed exhibition presented at Deitch’s New York gallery last fall, with an increased focus on Los Angeles artists.
Punch features thirty-three artists who examine contemporary culture and society through the lens of figuration. The exhibition focuses on artists in Abney’s circle whose work embraces the hybridity of the contemporary art discourse, exploring connections and disconnections between culture and subculture, figuration and abstraction and the physical and the digital.
Many of these artists grew up in the digital age, seeing firsthand how multiple streams of information from different media can penetrate consciousness. These image streams create a common language for artists to examine and digest how developments in society and culture have altered our perception of contemporary life.
The visual energy in these works is palpable—the rhythm and bold forms create a dynamic dialogue between art and popular culture. The works in the exhibition reference art historical precedents such as Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art as well as street art. The integration of design, graffiti, cartoons and satire expands the language of representation when presented with visual punch.
Using painting, sculpture, and performance as acts of defiance, these artists explore how they can create a hybrid practice without adhering to historical labels while portraying a society immersed in new media and pop culture. Punch presents diverse approaches to contemporary figuration that defy traditional expectations.
Nina Chanel Abney was born in Chicago and currently lives and works in New York. Combining representation and abstraction, Abney’s paintings capture the frenetic pace of contemporary culture. Broaching subjects as diverse as race, celebrity, religion, politics, sex, and art history, her work eschews linear storytelling in lieu of disjointed narratives. Abney’s distinctively bold style harnesses the flux and simultaneity that has come to define life in the 21st century.
The artists participating in Punch are:
Nina Chanel Abney
Trevor Andrew aka GucciGhost
Jonathan Lyndon Chase
Monica Kim Garza