Jessica Silverman Gallery South
Jessica Silverman Gallery SOUTH is pleased to present “All at Once,” a show of new solo and collaborative works by Alexandra Noel and Naoki Sutter-Shudo, an artist-couple based in Los Angeles. In the tradition of artists who explore aspects of their intimacy through their works (Jeff Koons & La Cicciolina, Gilbert & George, Elmgreen & Dragset), Noel and Sutter-Shudo have an ongoing collaboration in which they explore, in all seriousness and with deep irony, the relationship between creativity and procreation and the potentials of diverse family legacies.
“All at Once” comprises a potent installation of paintings and sculptures in a room the size of a large nursery. Since 2014, Noel and Sutter-Shudo have collaborated on baby paintings in which she paints a miniature of the child’s face while he paints the golden chains that suggest visual puns about precious accessories and voluntary shackles. Noel uses online face-mashing software to morph her likeness with that of her husband in search of the face of the child that could be theirs. Other than ubiquitous images of the baby Jesus or winged cherubs, infants are relatively rare in the history of canonical art. Even feminist artists in the 1970s, such as Judy Chicago and Mary Kelly, focused on the mother and on metonyms, rather than depicting the babies themselves.
Other works in the show explore the artists’ conjoined fantasies of their life post-partum. The collaboratively painted Table for Three has an abstract geometry that addresses the awkwardness of accommodating a third being. Noel’s painting titled Demons Abreast is about jealousy, displaced in this instance onto the family dog, while Sutter-Shudo’s sculpture Fly Swatter & Duster Set perverts housekeeping utensils, suggesting that sexual energies are diverted into obsessions with hygiene and orderliness.
“All at Once” is a meditation on collaboration as an artistic practice and a domestic form. It explores an elaborate analogy between offspring and artworks in which the artists’ different styles become metaphors for their individual DNA. The show acts as an ode to Noel and Sutter-Shudo’s complicated attraction to creation, entangled in everyday practicalities and fantastical desires.
Alexandra Noel (b. 1989, Columbus, Ohio) has a BA in Visual Arts from the University of San Diego, and a MFA from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Her work has been exhibited internationally at galleries in Paris, Madrid, Naples, Turin, New York and Los Angeles. Noel recently had a solo exhibition “From rafters” at Bodega in New York City, and will be included in an upcoming group exhibition at Andrew Rafacz Gallery in Chicago. She is represented by NEOCHROME in Turin, Italy and Bodega in New York City.
Naoki Sutter-Shudo (b. 1990, Paris, France) has a BFA from and studied towards his MFA at Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris. He is the co-founder of Holoholo, an independent publishing house based in Paris, and the co-founder of Bel Ami, a nomadic project space founded in LA. He has an upcoming solo show at the Los Angeles Contemporary Archive in September and was recently included in the group exhibition “Nothing Recedes like Failure” at Mortadelle in Arles, France.