Magazine article Artforum International

Simon Evans

Magazine article Artforum International

Simon Evans

Article excerpt

JAMES COHAN GALLERY

THE AIM OF DRINKING IS PHILIP GUSTON, reads a tiny handwritten line in Simon Evans's The Hell of Addiction, 2013, BUT THE RESULT IS DENNIS QUAID. This strange, regret-filled assertion is but one among hundreds in a work that is at once a drawing, a collage, and a map, crowded with text imparting self-help advice (THE CENTER OF ADDICTION IS SELF-DECEPTION), messages of despair (OBSESSIVE NEUROTIC ACTIVITY KEEPS TRAUMA AT BAY. THIS IS NOT TRUE), and what occasionally feels like absolute truth (I FUCKING LOVE DRUGS, GIVE ME DRUGS). These wry statements flood the imaginary neighborhood that Evans calls the "jazz district," in a crowded, palimpsest-like diagram heavily worked and reworked using tape and correction fluid, where the streets are inhabited by ghostly outlines of buildings, furniture, and people. Though the work flirts with incoherence, its anti-logic begins to double back on itself in a way that suggests a kind of sense.

Words and more words and occasionally the absence of words are the hinges of Evans's psychogeography, which the Brooklyn-based British artist produces in collaboration with his wife, Sarah Lannan. This exhibition was paced by four large works (made variously in 2013 and 2014) created from paper and found objects patched together in grids that are frequently and rather cheerfully violated by all manner of the crushed, dirty, randomly folded, and torn. One of the four is dominated by white paper and items such as a set list, a passive-aggressive note, play money, receipts, and paper plates, with a none-too-clean piece of gauze pasted over a section of it. Another, mostly blank, contains gridded, ruled, and ledger paper, as well as the patterned insides of envelopes; still another is the yellow of legal paper and Post-it notes; and the last one, whatever it is made up of, is almost entirely obscured by different black materials--something waxy, something plasticky, something shiny--so that very little can be read. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.