Two on Two: Johnny Abrahams and Matt Mignanelli
312 Bowery, New York, NY, 10012
March 1 – April 3, 2016
In The Hole’s main exhibition space, Johnny Abrahams and Matt Mignanelli tango to rhythms of line and geometric abstractions, creating optical illusions and a process that deceptively portrays itself as mechanical. Both artists speak to the digital age, evoking forms and methods that surface within automated platforms.
Johnny Abrahams cooks up a dizzying display of hand painted canvases that detect patterns and shapes of interference, ranging from the minimal to works abundant with information. The work is clean and dynamic and actively engages the viewer without feeling forceful or heavy handed. In Two on Two, Johnny investigates digital image-making platforms and composite processes, such as the variations of transparency that result from combining image with background. The work references what are characteristically bitwise formulas, such as vector graphs and 3D modeling, wherein contrary components are superimposed to create form or repetition. These paintings are skillfully delivered and demonstrate a cadence that is uniquely their own. Best song lyric to describe the work: “I’m so high it makes my brain whirl” by David Bowie.
Also hand painted, Matt Mignanelli’s paintings are suggestive of mechanical processes and could easily pass themselves off as prints or silkscreens. It’s the suspension of disbelief that make’s his work so effective, actively challenging the viewer’s vocabulary of art and replication. Matt’s work functions to record imperfection, the monochromatic squares demonstrating a glitch in the system as the disruption of their patterns form their own configuration. The paintings “record” the way a pinpoint impression toy would, transforming a set grid by dimensional manipulation. It’s also not dissimilar to the Super Mario background, where varying grids and architectural diagrams were used to create depth in the otherwise 2D scenery. Best song lyric to describe the work: “Flat top, stares straight ahead, stock parts, blockhead!” by Devo.