For his second solo exhibit Green River at Brand New Gallery, Raffi Kalenderian draws on an array of techniques that illuminates his process and expand on his Californian vision.
His attentiveness to image-making draws on qualities of both darkness and the vibrancy of flash photography. He once again portrays a milieu of Los Angeles creatives – fellow painters, poets, actors, artists – emerging from a hypnotic blackness, imbued with an awkward dignity. Even when he departs from portraiture it remains an anchor that grounds his corpus, as does his process, in the psychological. The subjects seem to be waiting for someone or something, with their gazes often lost in the void, absorbed in a narrative that seems to have no limits in either space or time.
In this body of work, space bends, brush marks dissolve images, and darkness is built-up in layers, creating moments where paintings mechanisms are the real subject. Kalenderian’s approach to landscape is activated by an abstraction and freedom that set them apart from the pastoral, existing instead as a reckoning with an environment impacted by crisis.
The shows title is borrowed from a song by seminal Californian rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival:
“You’re gonna find the world is smouldrin’. And if you get lost come on home to Green River.”
Raffi Kalenderian (b. 1981, Los Angeles, CA) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.
Raffi Kalenderian received a BFA from University of California Los Angeles and spent his residency in St. Barthélemy, French West Indies.
Recent solo exhibitions: For the Dead, Susanne Vielmetter Gallery (Los Angeles, CA, 2016); To Walk Trough The Night, Galerie Peter Kilchmann (Zurich, CH, 2015); RaffiKalenderian, Buchmann Galerie (Berlin, DE, 2014).
Recent Group exhibitions: Painters’ Painters, Saatchi Gallery (London, UK, 2016); A Verdant Summer, Taymour Grahne Gallery (New York, NY, 2016); Imagine, Brand New Gallery (Milan, IT, 2016); Blood Red Sun of Fantastic L.A., Praz-Delavallade @ Piasa (Paris, FR, 2015); Reliability of Recognotion, BolteLang (Zurich, CH, 2015); Another Cat Show, 356 Mission (Los Angeles, US, 2014); Goldmine, UAM, University Art Museum (Long Beach, US, 2011).
Brand New Gallery (press release)