Horizontal Loader

November 30 - January 13, 2024

Kari Cholnoky

Press Release

Nicelle Beauchene Gallery is pleased to present Horizontal Loader, Kari Cholnoky’s first major solo exhibition with the gallery. The artist’s largest exhibition to date, Horizontal Loader comprises wall and floor-based works that track the artist’s rigorous deconstruction of the formal logics of painting as a medium.

Through their material composition and conceptual concern, Kari Cholnoky’s paintings puzzle out the inherent paradoxes and entropy of the present. They are at once compact and sinewy, caustic and sincere, synthetic and natural, defensive and vulnerable. Eschewing the traditional supports of stretcher and canvas, Cholnoky paints with space and time, each painting an assemblage of materials, color, and collaged images built up slowly in a mutative process that involves the likes of paper pulp, wire, epoxy putty, faux fur, fleece, acrylic and puff paint.

As such, the flesh of the artist’s paintings swells up in an exaggerated and elongated relief, spilling beyond any formal frame. Mutations occur in real-time on the wall, the total load of life rendering future fossils. Within the topographic range of Cholnoky’s surfaces, images printed on fleece appear as dregs of the digital: anthropomorphic silicone masturbators, machines named after women (i.e. Harmony the AI sex doll and Ditch Witch), canaries in coal mines, parasites, covid particle diagrams and abject memes, to name a few. In some works, these altered images are stretched through an extreme anamorphosis, their subject becoming legible only from a harsh angle. The culture to which these deep-fried images refer is our aggressive, viscous, and prosthetic reality.

Amidst the world’s entropy of information and unbridled change, the artist finds beauty in structures that germinate transition, decay, growth, and adaptation. Recently, Cholnoky has introduced wire into the paintings as a material manifestation of line in space, searching spines that stretch, poke and curl out of the surfaces. In Porous Barrier (2023), the wire adds lithe movement to the painting’s encrusted body, while also pointing to its internal structure.

Horizontal Loader’s two free-standing works—Exploded View and Bifurcation Point (both 2023)—mark Cholnoky’s oftentimes forensic approach to making. Atop quadrupedal structures akin to gurneys and operating tables rest the artist’s past paintings, here sawed apart and dismembered, strapped at angles in the round for further investigation. The arrangement of these composite parts allows for unrestricted viewing of the former whole: back, front, and cross-section are equally privileged, while individual elements of the original “core” painting can be extruded and expanded upon by the artist. As an exploded-view diagram catalogs the inner minutiae of complex systems and machines, Cholnoky presents (and relishes in) the amalgamated hybridity that is painting, a process that is rendered equally fractured, resolute, and seemingly infinite.

Kari Cholnoky holds an MFA in Painting from Cranbrook Academy of Art and a BA from Dartmouth College, and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Recent solo exhibitions include Maw, Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, New York (2021); Impending Moreness, Julius Caesar Gallery, Chicago (2021); Motherboard, Real Pain Fine Arts, Los Angeles (2020); and True Level, Safe Gallery, Brooklyn (2017). Group exhibitions include CANADA, New York (2023); Rachel Uffner Gallery and Mrs. Gallery, New York (2021); Ceysson & Bénétière, New York (2020); and Anton Kern Gallery, New York (2019), among others. Cholnoky was recently a MacDowell Fellow in Painting (2023), and attended the Worth Advisory Artist Residency in Bovina, NY (2019) and the Fountainhead Residency, Miami, FL (2017). The artist’s work is held in the public collection of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam.