November 6 - December 12, 2015

Exhibition Text

COOPER COLE is pleased to present ROTATOR, a solo exhibition by Shawn Kuruneru, the artists first in Canada.

The works in this exhibition explore ink as subject and material, historical and cultural, ubiquitous and autobiographical.

Kuruneru’s paintings are made up of improvised marks, a method similar to surrealist automatism. In the largest painting, Reverse Black Shapes, the entire canvas is covered with random ink forms then flipped around and re-¬≠stretched exposing the back. Ink seeps through the canvas creating a grey spectrum exploring concepts of depth and movement. Two perspectives can now be seen in the painting; the back of the canvas with impressions of shapes made on the front. These multiple viewpoints take their cue from 10th century Chinese Landscape painter Guo Xi, who formulated the idea of Floating Perspectives; different angles of a mountain are painted in one picture giving it three-dimensional form. Kuruneru reinterprets this idea by showing the front and back of his ink painting at the same time.

Mediating between geometric abstract compositions and the earliest printing technique, Kuruneru’s Woodblock paintings consist of wood, ink, acrylic and canvas. While making stretcher bars for the larger paintings, offcuts of wood are saved to use as printing blocks. Ink is applied to the wood then pressed against the canvas, leaving its shape and colour. The formal decisions reference the compositions of Kazimir Malevich and the colour combinations of Josef Albers. The woodblock sits on the top of the canvas, like a head on a body, to simultaneously show the start and finish of the print.

Graphic Situations is a comic collage publication on newsprint started by the artist in 2013. The images are appropriated from Kuruneru’s favourite comics to create a nonlinear autobiographical story; similar to compiling underlined sentences from a book. This ongoing graphic composition represents Kuruneru’s continued interest in ink, print, drawing and surface.

Shawn Kuruneru (b. 1984, Toronto, Canada) received his BFA from Concordia University in Montreal in 2006. He has had solo exhibitions at Brand New Gallery, Milan, Italy; ribordy contemporary in Geneva, Switzerland; Blackston Gallery in New York, David Petersen Gallery in Minneapolis, and Night Gallery in Los Angeles, USA. Kuruneru currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

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