Ratio 3 is pleased to announce J KM H, a two-artist exhibition featuring artworks by San Francisco-based artist Jordan Kantor and Los Angeles-based artist Mathew Hale. Bringing together new works conceived for this collaborative installation, as well as earlier bodies of work by each artist, J KM H builds on fifteen years of dialogue between Hale and Kantor to highlight convergent ideas from two multidisciplinary practices.
Through art historical references, Kantor and Hale have built a framework for their ongoing discourse. Throughout the exhibition, both artists suggest relationships of influence, admiration, and discord between canonized figures ranging from Manet to Malevich. Hale and Kantor find continuity through art historical movements, autobiography, and each other’s production.
Composed of four colored rectangular regions, Mathew Hale’s large suspended centerpiece, Noose (2017), functions as a formal and conceptual starting point for the exhibition. The artist’s characteristic emphasis on process and associative montage appear throughout the exhibition in collages, intricate objects, and 3D-printed replicas. Hale’s most recent multimedia constructions pay tribute to the routine and incidental; sales tags are presented as paintings, and the rose branches upon which they hang suggest a memorial.
In the main gallery, Kantor has contributed four distinct bodies of work from throughout his career. From an early suite of representational abstractions titled Untitled (floater) (1998) to his most recent dye sublimation prints Untitled (collage wall, invert) (2017), Kantor disassembles and reconstitutes the elements of image-making; paintings become photographs, photographs become monochromes, and Kantor’s practice itself becomes the subject and the vehicle of a sustained exploration of painting’s role in visual culture.
In the second gallery, Kantor and Hale have each installed a single artwork. Thirty-seven images installed in an oblique progression comprise Hale’s Visit to Grenfell (2017), which documents the artist’s voyage by train to the site of a calamitous structure fire in West London. As the snapshots approach the destination, the images dissolve into abstraction. On the opposing wall, Kantor’s video projection ET/DE (2011) builds on the compelling history of Edgar Degas’s Portrait of Monsieur and Madame Edouard Manet, a painting that was gifted to, and later cropped by, Manet. In this installation, Kantor further alters the painting's composition by projecting a full-scale facsimile, bracketed by the negative space of a photocopier. Each frame of the video depicts a subsequent photocopy, and a further facsimile; as the video advances, the altered composition degrades to invisibility.
J KM H highlights various points of resonance between two artists’ practices, offering insight into the parallel thinking, collaboration, and emergent meaning that motivates and enriches contemporary artistic production. This is Hale and Kantor’s first collaborative exhibition.