October 26 - December 1, 2013
In her first New York solo show, Laska's scuffed and mistreated paintings are evidence of a loving gratitude to Arte Povera and Art Brut; but the anarchic compositions are teeming with energy. Punkish filching, toward creations of dry brushy blocks of magenta, purple and yellow, with passages and coated colors that equal depth, space, and joy in excess. Variant in scale and shape, these intimate paintings manipulate their edges with a reckless abandon that breaks the rigid geometry of a stretched frame.
Fetishistic, scrappy and brimming with chaotic intensity, often liberated off of and out from the picture plane, Sadie Laska's emotionally charged inner landscapes contain multitudes, including, but not limited to, recycled bits of paint, stains, staples, umbrella parts, cardboard, lightbulb screw caps, and earphones. Embracing the uncertain, images are inverted and corrupted, conveying the timbre of Robert Rauschenberg's combines through a disheveled and wholly contemporary layering. With an honest and insouciant debt to truly underground cultures that are foreign to "fine" art, cheap trash is glued to and hanging off the works, at odds with and in revolt against the current status quo.
This is an art of straightforward accretion and an expressive gestural language, canceling and in turn brashly reconstructing interpretive possibilities. Cluttered, grubby, and untidy remnants proliferate, with a nod to Abstract Expressionism at its most vulgar. Events and actions are created with a vigorous velocity of line and grimy abstraction, forging unstable compositions full of aggressive and fast-and-furious stabs of color. Reversing orientation and loving the destruction of the painting's previous states, Laska's captivating degenerative forms are manifested in gnarly canvases that unashamedly record their own making.