Jacob Kassay: IJK
303 Gallery, 507 W 24th Street, New York, NY 10011
1 November - 20 December 2013
From the Press Release
Kassay’s paintings re-evaluate the trajectory of a painting’s production and upend its state as a finished form. Using the residual textiles from paintings long lost, sold or otherwise disappeared, Kassay has produced supports that follow the unique profiles and contours of each remnant for an ongoing series of irregularly shaped paintings. As an inversion of this procedure, Kassay has reproduced the stretchers initially built to conform to these discards as templates for entirely new paintings, further extending the ways in which by-products of process can become blueprints.
For this exhibition, Kassay applies an atomised acrylic paint in place of the raw canvas of the original remnants. The paintings’ surfaces simultaneously condense as solid textures and diffuse into a depth less field of pixels. Oscillating between these dimensional states, the opacity of the paintings remains partial and variable.
As the stretchers exchange their original remnants for painted surfaces, the “untitled” of these previous works are replaced by arbitrary fragments from passing conversations or aphoristic phrases. Rather than determining content, these titles foreground their function as surrogates and parallel the discards themselves as language dissociated from its object.
The paintings find their analog in a series of glass sculptures inspired by the facade of Yale’s Beinecke Library. Wrapped in semi-translucent marble, the building necessarily reveals its framework and stanchions. Kassay’s glass sculptures - solid wedges designed to be inserted into library books - act as lenses which simultaneously allow light to pass into their contents, while obfuscating the legibility of the text they contain. The books become containers, orphaned from one communicative register then adopted into another, giving temporary residence to the glass wedges as the books are replaced throughout the exhibition according to their due dates.