Nikita Kadan’s “Victory over the Sun”
              Xenia Benivolski
              The 1913 opera Victory over the Sun describes an attempt to capture the sun in order to overthrow linear time and reason. The work ushered in artistic traditions that came to shape Soviet Futurism: it’s where Malevich’s black square, for instance, made its first appearance (on a set curtain). Nikita Kadan’s exhibition, which takes its title from the opera, is anchored by a wall-hanging neon sculpture entitled Private Sun (2022) which refers to a classic of Soviet-era design: a window grate, ubiquitous in large apartment buildings, with bars like the rising sun. Where the avant-garde original advocated for the destruction of the present to clear a path for the new, the Ukrainian artist’s use of the architectural feature suggests a darker notion: of being held captive in someone else’s idea of the future. Hanging in the main space of the gallery is a series of charcoal drawings. In one, titled A Sun-headed character in a garbage bag (2022), Kadan renders a black trash bag akin to those rumored to have been used to transport the bodies of soldiers killed during Russia’s invasion. Over the trash bag presides an unsmiling black sun. In another, similar drawing (The Sun I, 2022), a black …
              Sayre Gomez’s “I’m Different” and JPW3’s "32 Leaves, I Don’t The Face of Smoke"
              Jonathan Griffin
              Someone has cut a large hole in the chain-link fence that separates Los Angeles’s François Ghebaly Gallery and Night Gallery. Perhaps eight feet in diameter, it is large enough to drive a car through and at the opening of concurrent recent exhibitions by Sayre Gomez (at Ghebaly) and JPW3 (at Night), the circumference of the hole was dressed with burning incense sticks, like a low-fi ceremonial portal from one dimension to another. The hole is #4 (2014), an intervention by John Connor, the fictional artist invented by Gomez and JPW3 (a.k.a. Patrick Walsh) to whom they attribute their collaborative projects. The pair also run a project space in the studio building that they used to share, named Patrick Gomez 4 Sheriff. While it is obvious that both artists enjoy making mischief around issues of individual authorship (John Connor, of course, is played by different actors throughout the Terminator franchise), their solo exhibitions are distinct entities, and any resemblance between the two is, as they say in the movies, purely coincidental. Which is remarkable because the parallels between the exhibitions are numerous. Both artists could be described primarily as painters, although they both situate their paintings here in a broader material context, which …

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