Exhibitions

Past
Kris Kuksi
SCOPE Basel 2010
June 15 to June 20, 2010

Kris Kuksi
Napoleonic Exile
Mixed media assemblage
2010
24 x 24 x 10 inches
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Joshua Liner Gallery will make its debut presentation at SCOPE Basel 10, to be held June 15–19 in the city’s historic Kaserne, located just blocks from Art Basel 41 running concurrently. The gallery will be among 85 international exhibitors showcased during the 4th annual SCOPE Basel event. To mark this special occasion, Joshua Liner will present gallery artist Kris Kuksi in a solo exhibit of mixed-media sculptures.

About the Artist

The Kansas-based Kris Kuksi is something of a contradiction: his thoroughly contemporary practice displays a deep nostalgia for “old world” aesthetics. Throughout his mixed-media assemblages, gods and monsters mingle with historical figures, toy soldiers, nudes, and animals amid miniature landscapes of scaffolding, train tracks, refineries, and plumbing, all resembling decorative bric-a-brac in tiny form.

For the Joshua Liner Gallery presentation at SCOPE Basel, Kuksi will unveil seven new mixed-media works, including the assemblage entitled Napoleonic Exile. This 24-x-24-x-10-inch sculptural work is crowned by a three-dimensional rendering of the emperor taken from the painting Napoleon Crossing the Alps (1800), the Jacques-Louis David portrait of Napoleon famously astride a horse. Sprouting nuts and bolts and all manner of pipes and circuitry, this large central figure dominates a multi- tiered scene of ruinous ecstasy in chains, with cyborgian combinations of human, animal, and machine parts. It’s a mechanistic conception of imperialism translated down to the cellular.

Resonant with the times, Kuksi is a scavenger of pop-cultural castoffs. His intricate assemblages combine mass-produced “junk”—toy soldiers, plastic skulls, knick- knack figurines, and mechanical bits—into rococo tableaux with the air of neoclassicism. But unlike the idealistic fantasies depicted in art of the Belle Époque, Kuksi exposes the dark, crass, even mercenary underbelly of civilization. Reflecting the artist’s ambivalence about contemporary culture, ornate beauty and horrific excess are kept in an uneasy truce. As the artist notes, “I get inspired by the industrial world, the rigidity of machinery…My art speaks of potentiality and motion attempting to reach on forever and yet pessimistically delayed…I treat morbidity with a sympathetic touch.”

Born in 1973 in Springfield, Missouri, Kris Kuksi earned his BFA and MFA in Painting at Fort Hays State University and lives and works in Hays, Kansas. Solo exhibitions of his work include Beast Anthology and Imminent Utopia, Joshua Liner Gallery, New York (2009, 2008); Oblivion (with Richard Kirk), Strychnin Gallery, Berlin (2007); The Strange and The Fantastic, Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, Kansas City, MO (2004); and The Within, Fraser Gallery, Washington, DC (2003). Selected group exhibitions include Paradise Lost, Williamsburg Art and Historical Center, Brooklyn (2008); and Flights of Imagination, Museum HR Giger, Gruyères, Switzerland (2006).

About SCOPE Basel 10

Now in its fourth year, SCOPE Basel 10 will take place in Basel’s historic Kaserne, the art show’s new high-profile venue for the next three years. Known today as a popular venue for contemporary music, theater, and dance, the Kaserne is located just blocks from Art Basel 41, which will be running concurrently with SCOPE. Conveniently located in the heart of the city, SCOPE Basel’s new home provides 16,500 square feet for galleries, presenting solo and thematic group shows alongside museum-quality programming, collector tours, screenings, and special events. The unique SCOPE experience expands this year in partnership with Kaserne’s cultural organizations, featuring film, music, theater, and performance. The fair opens to Press and VIPs on Tuesday, June 15. For more information about SCOPE Basel 10, see http://www.scope-art.com.

About the Gallery

Founded in 2008 in New York’s Chelsea Arts District, Joshua Liner Gallery presents an exciting roster of established and emerging artists from North America, Asia, and Europe. With a fresh focus on painting, these eclectic voices are informed by the urban street, Asian pop culture, American comics, and digital design, among other influences. Their work ranges from figurative realism, to surrealist fantasy, to geometric abstraction. The artists of Joshua Liner Gallery are at the cutting edge of contemporary art practices, incorporating new media technology, mixed-media sculpture, and collective models of production. Above all they reflect the cultural crosscurrents, dynamic energy, and decentralized nature of artmaking today. With two discrete exhibition areas under one roof, the gallery presents artists in paired solo shows and full-gallery exhibitions, with additional group shows in winter and summer. Along with its annual program of exhibitions, Joshua Liner Gallery also participates in SCOPE Miami and other contemporary art fairs.

Artist
Kris Kuksi