To Whom It May Concern

4/4/2015 - 5/2/2015

Press Release

Bass and Reiner gallery is proud to present To Whom It May Concern,curated by Cléa Massiani,and featuring works by Alyssa BlockJon GourleyLe Kolaj, and Mario M. SantamaríaThe exhibition addresses the absurdities of miscommunication, false connectivity, and delusions surrounding the dissemination of information in modern society. To Whom It May Concern discloses the greeting of the self to an infinite number of unknown recipients. Translated through collage, sculpture, works on paper, and installation, the exhibition conveys the enigmatic and eclectic relationship such a statement may imply. Words and images usually present a unified fiction, but any confrontation of multiple narratives inherently leads to misunderstandings, negations, or simply voids any dialogue. This exhibition aims to address the status of intimacy versus desire and catharsis versus expectations through explorations of the relationship between artistic production and an audience. 

Alyssa Block is an artist living in San Francisco, California, who works primarily in painting, ceramics, and site­specific installation to create abstracted representations of familiar objects and environments. She received her MFA in Painting from San Francisco Art Institute in 2013 and has exhibited her work in the United States and Israel. Her paintings and objects combine the visual language of the objective world with an abstracted material exploration and usually serve some pragmatic purpose in the home. Block’s introspective images and forms are inspired directly by her life and memories of childhood in Southern California and attempt to integrate art into the context of everyday life. Block teaches Beginning Ceramics as part of San Francisco Art Institute’s Continuing Education program and currently maintains a studio near San Francisco’s Chinatown. 

Jon Gourleys work primarily investigates failed communication, its poetics, and the ensuing tragicomedies. He received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and his BA from the University of Iowa. He has exhibited at the Des Moines Art Center, Southern Exposure, Headlands Center for the Arts, and Queen’s Nails Projects. Originally, from Des Moines, IA, he currently lives and works in San Francisco, CA. 

Le Kolaj is a self­taught artist who works with paper, that he cuts, folds, or glues on a variety of media. Born in 1986, he has lived most of his artistic life in Argentina and is now based in Paris. Influenced by American color photography from the 60's, Basquiat’s paintings, as well as the work of Romare Bearden; food, pain, sex and politics are amongst the themes that his work revisits over and over. Le Kolaj often views his works as the pages of a visual diary, making accessible the challenges of expressing his inner self. Le Kolaj’s work has been exhibited at Le Petit Bain, Pari (2014), as well as on (2014). 

Mario M. Santamarías artistic practice is is based around studying the phenomenon of the contemporary observer, paying attention to two processes: representational practices and machines vision or mediation. Using different tactics such as appropriation, remake or assembly, his work involves different fields like conflict, memory, and surveillance. He graduated in Fine Arts and holds a Masters in Visual Arts and Multimedia from the Polytechnic University of Valencia. He has been a resident artist at Kunststiftung Baden­Württemberg, Stuttgart, Germany (2015); Hangar, Barcelona, Spain (2014); Flax Art Studios, Belfast, Northern Ireland (2014); Sarai, New Delhi, India (2012); and Exchange Collective Arts Centre, Dublin, Ireland (2012). He has exhibited at Das Weisse Haus in Vienna, Austria; PS2 in Belfast, Northern Ireland; and at the Antoni Tàpies Foundation in Barcelona, Spain.