14/02 - 29/06/2014
The Langen Foundation is presenting the first institutional solo exhibition of J. Parker Valentine (b. 1980) to be held in Europe. Based in Brooklyn, New York, the artist employs a variety of mediums, including film, photography, painting, sculpture, and text. Valentine’s process-oriented work is centered on drawing, which frequently assumes a sculptural or installative character when executed on various materials. J. Parker Valentine is developing a site-specific exhibition for the Japan Room, which will comprise drawings, photographs, sculptures, and a video. An artist’s book published by Sternberg Press will be released in April 2014 to accompany the Langen Foundation exhibition.
J. Parker Valentine’s artwork frequently arises as a specific reaction to location and space. In this case, the Japan Room becomes the scene of discourse on her narrative works. Indeed, the artist arranges certain pictorial situations directly on site in the exhibition space, thus situatively incorporating drawings into her spatial compositions, while other pieces have been distinctly conceptualised with the Japanese Collection of Viktor and Marianne Langen in mind. A previous series of sculptures, which take their shape from lasso ropes, are recreated for the Langen Foundation show in the form of free-standing folding screens that evoke a poetic landscape within the room. At the same time, thanks to their permeability of space and light, these works almost appear to be windows that foster views into the exhibition space and engender visual axes there.
The association of space, object, and beholder is thematised in her photographic works in a similar way. The photographs presented here show organic silhouettes, the pictorial space of which is expanded with colored inks. The immaterial and concrete layering of material, pictorial planes, and space is an approach repeatedly taken by J. Parker Valentine in designing her artwork. Here the artist also employs a shifting of the picture boundaries. Similar to a lenticular image, the motifs of her pictorial works permit ever-changing associations since the view of a potential figure becomes ramified: forms emerge from light-induced shadows in an almost animist way and simultaneously disappear through superimposition or are obscured in darkness.
Pivotal here is J. Parker Valentine’s video of a train, which the artist presents in allusion to the elongated architecture of the Japan Room. The filmic images show a train from both exterior and interior perspectives, but also a view of the passing landscape as seen from within the railway car. Similar to the photographs, the pictorial plane of the video is interspersed with a physical spatial plane: the filmic image, for its part, appears as a projection within a room where the walls are covered with papered surfaces and are almost imperceptibly blanketed with sketched forms. Negative spaces in the filmic image are filled with ink or pencil, expanded, covered, and accented. As graphic gestures and markings they almost magically chart themselves on a map and display immaterial topography where things and consciousness coincide.
J. Parker Valentine was born in Austin, Texas in 1980. After earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) with honours from the School of Art and Art History at the University of Texas at Austin, she completed her Master of Fine Arts at the San Francisco Art Institute, New Genres Department. She was artist in residence at Artpace, San Antonio in 2013. Valentine has shown at the Front Room at the Contemporary Arts Museum in St. Louis, Missouri, and at The Contemporary, Austin, Texas. She has recently taken part in projects at MAN Museum, Nuoro, Sardinia, and Museo Marino Marini in Florence, Italy, and in a commission-based project through the New Museum, New York City. She lives and works in New York City.
Installation view, Langen Foundation, 2014