Last Evenings On Earth





Katie Herzog | Aitor Lajarin | Max Maslansky | Aaron Morse | Walter Sutin


The Cardielles

At a moment when the territory of contemporary painting seems heavily colonized by proposals focused on its phenomenological and material qualities, LAST EVENINGS ON EARTH is an exhibition of drawings and paintings presenting a remarkable embrace of narrative. In these works the plot is a result and also a leitmotif of the making process and its material origins. The plot, as described through figuration, is key for both artist and viewer. It is a tool – an engine that gives shape to the pictorial happening, driving both the artists’ and viewers’ interest.

Through these works we can appreciate in the artists a will to suggest situations or knit stories that will only reach the desired degree of complexity when brought to life as an aftermath of the many digressions of the making process and its material manifestations. In this sense, plot and story are as much script as they are process.

Sociologist William Little when writing about the Chilean writer Roberto Bolaño’s work says, “Plot in novels typically wraps things back up into a nice coherent order. 

Everybody knows that this is not realistic in the sense of being true to experience. In experience [as in Bolaño’s work], nothing wraps up, nothing is coherent.

Things continue on in their delirium and unreasonableness, sometimes coming into focus nicely cut up with a beginning, middle and end, but only until another focus emerges and the other is lost”. As a wink to Bolaño, the show is named after the English title of one of his short stories, a title which also became the name of a collection of his short stories – Last Evenings On Earth. The collection of writings embodies the irregularity and openness of experience with a very present visceral realism, a trait that can be traced into the works on display in this exhibition.

We can see this show as a collection of scenarios, cuts or fragments. But these fragments are not dysfunctional pieces torn from a larger story. They are incandescent points of intensity that condense and amplify life. They put in suspense the flow of difficult-to-grasp events that comprise the everyday reality in which we live. They allow the mundane to be extraordinary, uncanny or hallucinatory while at the same time grounding these concepts and presenting them here as structural parts of our everyday experience. These paintings and drawings confront us with a bastard reality, a splintered labyrinth full of dark holes, dirty corners, slippery surfaces and doors that open to other doors in which fact and desire often become the same thing.

Mixing paroxysm, humor and political analysis these works invite us to dive deep into and gobble up the gooey, messy material that is life.

The Cardielles play Southern California garage, surf-punk at its lo-fi finest.