Nandi Loaf: Lot 99
5523 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90038
Saturday, May 6 at 7:00 PM 9:00 PM
Ends Jun 10, 2023
Sebastian Gladstone is thrilled to present "Lot 99," the first Los Angeles solo exhibition of the New York-based artist Nandi Loaf. "Lot 99" will open on Saturday May 6th with an opening reception from 7-9PM and run through Saturday June 10th, 2023. "In the 1991 film, The Double Life of Veronique two nascent lovers sit on a bed. The woman asks “What else do you want to know about me?" and the man responds: ‘tout’, everything. Wordlessly the woman gets up, moves across the room to get her bag and dumps its contents onto the unmade bed in front of the man. More than an answer, the gesture is a provocation. Her items are strewn across the unmade bed: chapstick, a pair of sunglasses, sheet music, cigarettes. Is this everything? This moment, an attempt at explaining oneself through her material possessions, comes to mind when considering Nandi Loaf’s new body of work, Lot 99, which she has referred to as her most vulnerable. The exhibition is a monumental installation, a grid of photos printed on aluminum. The photographs taken by the artist, some in black and white others in abrasive neon primary colors, are of various quotidian objects: books, paints tubes, cds, empty plates, cocktails. The images, though most of their subject matter banal, acquire a seductive sheen in their printed form. Slightly reflective, the work replicates the quality of a screen; it seduces and yet it does not perform. We want them to be something; we want to connect them to one another; we want a taxonomy of the artist’s things; we want to know more. If this is the artist's most sensitive work, what have we learned about her? What has she provided? We know just about as much as before — that Nandi Loaf is an artist: she paints, she reads, she takes photographs, she eats. Still the images have no discreet meaning. Their simultaneous directness and obliqueness, their solitude in the gallery, leave us wondering if that’s all there is. Across her practice, Nandi Loaf elicits a curious anxiety in the viewer’s search for meaning through contexts of saturation. She draws us in with an overload of images, or information only to cut everything down to a point of nothing-ness. Though the work evokes a feeling of internet fatigue, gallery fatigue, art fatigue, Nandi Loaf manages to resist cynicism. Demonstrating and disrupting the artist identity, she orchestrates this collapse between artist and object, work and product, capital and art. Despite its seeming anodyne, the scene in Double Life is climactic. The protagonist, the woman of the couple, is being torn between two realities, feeling as though she’s living two lives. This is the first time she’s confronted with a photograph of her double who appears in the gridded contact sheet of photos she had taken, which lay among the stuff from her bag. Before she sees it, the man spots the photo of the double and remarks on how nice she looks in her coat. He hands her the photo and her face falls: “That’s not me.” If you were to ask Nandi about this work she might say the same thing; that no, it’s not her." -Gracie Hadland Image: Nandi Loaf, C, 2023, Archival ink on aluminum, 24"H x 24"W
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