Mark Price: Hyper 20XX a Kesting/Ray

Mark Price: Hyper 20XX @ Kesting/Ray

February 09–March 04, 2012

30 Grand Street, Ground Floor











Through Simultaneity, 2011, collaged screenprints on paper, 17 x 26”


Mark Price’s collages on paper shred text and reassemble it, causing the words to appear SSSTTTTTRRRRREEEEETTTTCCCHHEEEDDD.

Only occasional words get through: “Madness.” “Infinite.” “Civilization.” In Through Simultaneity a bubblegum-colored palette is broken up with yellow and black stripes, the kind used to block off hazardous construction sites. Price’s collages mirror the frenzy of a traffic jam or the din of stressed professionals talking on Smartphones. Dark letters like those of newspaper headlines peak out from between the layers, adding a sense of paranoia to the mix.

The black and white collage, Another Unique Situation, adds organic shapes into the mostly geometric designs. Black shards that resemble birds or leaves tumble across the white background. But when you look closely at their shape, they’re not exactly leaves or birds, but wispy abstractions drawn by the artist.

Corrupted Population is the most attention-grabbing piece in the show. Consisting of a wide sheet of paper in landscape mode, another of the stuttering phrases appears across the center of the picture: Corrupted Population. It’s a bit like the letters were painted on the squeeze box of an accordion, the crinkled surface making the words difficult to read. The background of the collage consists of colored bars of peach, pink, and white, which reveals how the artist created the choppy words: three prints of the same word were made, sliced up, and then assembled next to each other. As a result, there are too many parts of each letter for the words to line up.

This seems to be the idea here: too much of something. Price’s artwork captures the feeling of information overload that can appear in urban areas—the sound of thousands of heads talking at once, the appearance of endless numbers zipping by on LED screens.

With Price’s decision to go analog and use screenprinting as opposed to digital, as well as his use of timeless symbols like hazard lines, LED lights, and Barbara Krueger-like lettering, the artwork looks puzzlingly out of step with the times. If Piet Mondrian’s ‘Broadway Boogie Woogie’ captured the energy of the jazz music of the time, Price’s mangled collages recall the musical mash-ups of the early aughts and the experimental glitch music of the 90’s. It’s as if Price’s work slides back and forth between the past 3 decades, but is uncertain what to say about this decade.

– Dan Tarnowski

Corrupted Population, 2011, collaged screenprints on paper, 8.5 x 25”


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