Joe Sola: Pictures

September 9th - October 14th

TIF SIGFRIDS is thrilled to present pictures, a solo exhibition by Joe Sola. This is Sola’s second solo exhibition at the gallery. The exhibition will open with a reception on Saturday, September 9th, from 4-6 PM and remain on view through October 14th.

In a thirty-three second long promotional video ( Sola created for the exhibition, we are privy to an unlikely scene in which a bikini-clad ceramic artist sits behind a pottery wheel, turning a pot. Cut to a police officer standing nearby who appears to be writing the artist a ticket while discreetly making a highly detailed drawing of her dangling feather earring. The catchy baseline of Dolly Parton's song 9 to 5 is just beginning to reel us in, when the song abruptly stops and the tremble of a powerful earthquake takes over, instantly blanketing the scene in building detritus - plywood, insulation, and fragments of metal. Out of the rubble appears a pointed gun and a replica of an Oscar statue. The Oscar tips over, breaks and an animated dog emerges barking the title, dates and location for the exhibition.

Pictures, consisting of six new works, conjures Sola’s ongoing interest in the overlapping tropes of Hollywood filmmaking and performance based art practices alongside a deeply entrenched regard for the paradox of the absurd. The new body of work recalls Sola’s earliest videos, dating back over 15 years. In Gogogo ( (2001), for instance, appropriated scenes from Hollywood action films in which actors deliver the line "Go, go, go" are spliced together to form a minute long video in which any intended sense of urgency is lost. Looking back at these early works, you have the feeling that it was never about breaking structures down as much as it was getting lost inside of them.

In this new body of work, a strategy of entrenchment reveals a world akin to contemporary movie making practices in which the set design, photography, and actors have all become an animation of sorts and where, to put it simply, making something out of nothing is of paramount concern. Representations of the artist himself, created with the assistance of 3D scanning professionals who have meticulously stitched together thousands of points of view shots to recreate poses in which we see Sola slumped over a stool, putting the finishing touches on a combine sculpture, standing behind a piece of cardboard with a hole cut out of it, and in a few instances reaching his hand into the fictional scene to assert his presence. In one of the images, the artist is noticeably absent, and a road running through a desolate western landscape disappears below metallic cumulus clouds lacking characteristic fluff.

Over the last four years Sola has approached this Hollywood gallery space at TIF SIGFRIDS in a variety of ways, each time exploring the uncanny possibilities of engaging with and presenting artworks in a relatively conventional setting – a storefront in the epicenter of our times’ most expansive phantasmagoria. In Portraits: An Exhibition in Tif Sigfrids' Ear (2013), Sola inserted microscopic paintings fixed to miniature walls within the ear of the gallerist, leaving the gallery itself empty. With A Painted Horse by Joe Sola (2015), Sola inserted the domestic interiors of a fictitious art collector, as well as a painted miniature horse, into the gallery space, transforming the white walled room into a hay-scented estimation of luxury with horse trainers, reiki practitioners, dark wood and leather furnishings. In 2016, Sola returned to assemble a Merzbau inspired Mertzbau, involving hundreds of junk chairs Sola brought inside the gallery, grouped together to form interlocking tunnels and architectural masses through which to view several works by the late, venerable Danish artist Albert Mertz.

With pictures, Sola has committed the logical next step, inserting himself into the golden, digitized renderings of his own creation, generating artificial replicas of his studio actions, amidst the seemingly limitless western landscape. Filtered through a multitude of software programs and imaging tricks, Sola speaks out to us from the crisp and lush drama of his computer files, reveling in both the ecstatic and anguish filled moments that suggest a timeless pursuit.

Joe Sola (b. 1966 in Chicago) lives in Los Angeles.  He has participated in various international institutional group exhibitions at: Kunsthuas Graz, Austria (2014), Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg (2014), Vancouver Biennale (2009), Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City, Mexico (2002), Instituto Cubano Del Art e Industria Cinematographico as part of the Havana Biennial (2000) InSite 2000, Tijuana, Mexico. And nationally at many institutions including: Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2016, 2009), Dallas Medianale (2015), Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC (2013), Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA (2011), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, (2009), The Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA (2002). His performances have been shown at 356 Mission Road, Los Angeles, (2013), MOT International, London (2010), The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, (2007), The Atlanta College of Art, (2006) Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions,
(2005). His works are in the public collections of The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, and The Portland Museum of Art, Portland, OR amongst others.

To view video trailer for the exhibition, click here (