“Everything divine runs with light feet “
Meliksetian | Briggs presents Size, Shape, Distraction, an exhibition of new paintings by Meg Cranston. The fourth solo show of the artist’s work in the gallery, the exhibition continues Cranston’s ongoing interest in themes of personal identity, the subjective and their relationship to the broader culture by way of color theory, design, shared cultural references and formal experimentation. Cranston’s paintings are characterized by their playfulness and wit, an entrance into her explorations of the nature of image making and the role the artist plays in our society.
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I’ve always been interested in the basic elements of painting, artworks, and things generally.
I did an exhibition called Hue Saturation Value about the three components of color. I used a simple color program (three primaries), but the potential iterations of hue, saturation, and value were endless. I could have made a thousand plus paintings with that idea.
I love generative plans. Limitless ideas.
I titled the show Size Shape Distraction.
Late last year, I started two small paintings that I thought were the same size but realized were slightly different. The slight difference created a destabilizing effect when shown next to each other. Not so much to be annoying, rather enough to be lively or open-ended.
If every painting is the same size in an exhibition, the effect is order, like soldiers in an army. But, on the other hand, if there are many sizes, each work becomes isolated, its own thing.
I wondered what was between those two. Paintings that were somewhat similar in size and shape but not easily put in the same box. So, I chose two dimensions, 60 x 45 and 60 x 50.
I have used the size 60 x 45 for many years, so I know how it behaves. 60 x 50 is a new size for me, so I don’t know how it will behave in an exhibition, especially next to 60 x 45.
Given those parameters, size, and shape, I had felt I had maximum freedom in terms of the color and object matter of the paintings. I wondered how much variety I could put into the color and object matter and still hold the basic concept: every painting has a size and shape and something on the surface that makes one conscious of the size and shape or makes you forget it.
I call that thing on the surface the distraction, not in the negative sense, though. A painting is a kind of interruption in ordinary life, and the variety of its possible distractions or interruptions is endless.
~ Meg Cranston, 2022
Meg Cranston (b. 1960, Baldwin, NY) received her MFA from California Institute of the Arts and her BA from Kenyon College. She has received awards such as the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, J. Paul Getty Community Foundation Artist Grant, Architectural Foundation of American Art in Public Places Award, and a COLA Artist Grant and is currently the Chair of Fine Arts at Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles.
Cranston has been exhibiting internationally since 1988. Early exhibitions include curator Paul Schimmel’s seminal 1992 exhibition Helter Skelter at the MOCA / Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (catalog) and the 1993 Biennale di Venezia / Venice Biennale (cat.). Solo exhibitions include the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Gund Gallery, Kenyon College, Ohio. Kunstverien Heilbronn, Germany, Witte de With, Rotterdam, Neuer Aachener Kunst¬verein, Aachen, Artspace, Auckland (catalog) and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.
Recent group exhibitions include, among others, Class Reunion, MUMOK / Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna, This Brush for Hire, ICA / Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, an exhibition which she also co-curated with John Baldessari, Post-Studio, Museo Jumex / Jumex Collection, Mexico City, Welcome to the Dollhouse, MOCA / Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Los Angeles – A Fiction at the Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo and the MAC / Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon, France (cat.), L’ image volée curated by Thomas Demand at the Fondazione Prada, Milan (cat.), and L.A. Exuberance, Los Angeles County Museum of Art / LACMA.
Cranston’s work is included in major collections worldwide including the MOCA / Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the MoMA / Museum of Modern Art, New York, LACMA / Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.
Courtesy of the artist and Meliksetian | Briggs, Los Angeles