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EXHIBITIONS

Kevin Zucker “No Hotel” at Eleven Rivington, New York

Kevin Zucker’s atmospheric paintings depict views from the balconies of resort hotels in the rain. The images are made from a combination of new and preexisting digital models and photographs, which are reconfigured into fictional vacation destinations that exist only within the imaginative space of the computer. These composites are then systematically reduced into lines of pixels until the same meteorological effect that obscures the view of the landscape simultaneously produces it: beaches, pools, hotels and trees are all built from slanted streaks of rain.

In the process of making a painting from this digital information, the image is complicated further as material, scale, and surface incident come into play. Each painting uses only four colors calibrated to create an unstable optical experience, while the repetition of the procedure and the wry flirtation with bathos reinforce an inescapable uniformity from painting to painting, vacation to vacation. The interplay between the analytical view (a banal image is abstracted down to its structural components) and the romantic one (the melancholy beauty of a rained-out resort) is as central here as it has been to each of Zucker’s previous bodies of work.

Also on view are grouped text drawings that describe photographs collected online. Using a ballpoint pen plotter, these fragments are written onto pages taken from Martin Kippenberger’s No Drawing No Cry, a posthumously published artist’s book of blank sheets of hotel stationery. While the language used to render the descriptions is precise and clinical, the images being inventoried are evocative, even sentimental. The result is a series of unsent letters describing unseen snapshots from trips not taken, inscribed on souvenirs from someone else’s travels. As narrative combinations emerge and fragment at the limits of escapism it becomes clear that, as with the paintings, this cobbled-together travelogue is a sedentary fantasy.

at Eleven Rivington, New York

until 22 December 2012

Rain (Bayview Landing Resort & Hotel), 2012

Rain (Paradise Cove Towers), 2012

Rain (Regency Majestic Cove), 2012

Rain (Surfside Colony Lodges), 2012

Courtesy of the artist and Eleven Rivington, New York

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