carlier | gebauer presents the second solo exhibition of Filipino artist Maria Taniguchi with the gallery. The artist’s paintings, sculptures, and videos draw attention to the acts of composing, constructing, and framing. The exhibition includes new paintings and a video work entitled Mies 421 (2010).
Initiated in 2008, Maria Taniguchi’s “brick paintings” form the core of her multi-faceted practice. Painted at on the floor of her studio, these paintings accumulate brick by brick. Taniguchi begins by tracing the outlines of individual bricks on the canvas and then fills them in with paint one-by-one, resulting in different densities of pigment. The irregularities in the surfaces of these paintings call to mind the time and labor invested in their creation and their architectural scale enacts a confrontation between the human form, and psyche, with the systems and structures they create—as well as those they might find themselves entangled within. Such an operation exists within a legacy of time-marking practices like On Kawara’s or the dogged persistence of Tehching Hsieh’s One Year Performance from 1980-1981, in which he punched a time clock every hour on the hour.
Extending over the course of years, Taniguchi’s paintings propose a limitless grid, a surface that could extend infinitely but instead circulates as an accumulation of fragments that belong to a single larger entity. Her exhibition with carlier | gebauer departs from the architectonic installations that the artist is known for in that all of the paintings are hung directly on the wall rather than leaning against them, as in earlier iterations of the brick paintings. The smaller-scale of several of the newer works allow a more intimate and direct experience of the individual bricks, yet their juxtaposition with the larger scale paintings creates a scenario that is “neither wholly image nor object.”
For Taniguchi, the brick paintings function “like a nervous system within a larger practice […] Alongside the brick paintings, all the other works are reflections, or refractions.” The artist claims that her painting practice regulates her production and thinking as an organic whole: “they form the walls of a mental house, something that serves as architecture to contain or to hold, and in that sense, to articulate.” There is a similar push and pull between systemic construction and reflective intuition that flows through Taniguchi’s video work. Shot in and around the reconstruction of Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion, the video Mies 421 (2010) depicts a repeating loop of images: sumptuous marble and travertine surfaces, light and shadow sluicing through the courtyard, and visitors taking a moment to relax. Punctuated by the abrupt click of a metronome, the pace of this elliptical anti-narrative sequence speeds up with each successive loop.all images © the gallery and the artist(s)