Artist: Nathan Hylden
Exhibition title: As It Is
Venue: Feuilleton, Los Angeles, US
Date: August 22 – September 5, 2020
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Feuilleton, Los Angeles
Feuilleton is pleased to present a solo exhibition of Los Angeles-based artist Nathan Hylden.
Of this new body of work, Hylden writes:
All of the works were made during Covid 19 stay at home orders. Images are taken from the newspaper that I receive daily. Collecting the images is therefore a quotidian practice. The choice of what to cut out is limited to images containing hands. This began before the virus, with an interest in isolating the gesture with a sense of drifting narrative when positioned next to gestural brush strokes, another product of “the hand.” But these images have become especially poignant and ominous since the spread of Covid 19. Our own hands and the hands of others have become both vehicles for and signifiers of an invisible threat. It is often the case that the figure is a political official and that these gestures may imply any number of dubious conversations of the moment. I also enjoy the subtle implication that there is something on their hands.
I crop the images to remove the heads or faces of the figures. For me this not only isolates the hands but takes away the specificity of the image, removing the most important aspects of its context. I welcome both the sense of mystery of the headless figure and the sense of comedy this creates. This has a similar precedent in John Baldessari’s works but I feel like he ultimately put it to use for compositional purposes, looking at the structure. I am more interested in the ambiguity my circumscription of the hand generates. I hope in some way that these images can become abstractions or maybe even non-representational. Loaded signifiers without end.
Nathan Hylden (b. 1978, Fergus Falls, Minnesota) lives and works in Los Angeles. He has had solo exhibitions at the Midway Contemporary, Minneapolis; Kunstverein, Hamburg; Art: Concept, Paris; and Misako & Rosen, Tokyo; König Galerie, Berlin. His work has been included in numerous group exhibitions at venues such as the Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Halle für Kunst & Medien, Graz; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York; La CENTRALE for Contemporary Art, Brussels; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Gagosian Gallery, New York; Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York; Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris; and Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles. His works are in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; and the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas.