No Plateaus
2680 S. La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034
Saturday, May 20 at 5:00 PM 10:00 PM
Ends Jun 17, 2023
Reisig and Taylor Contemporary is primed to present “No Plateaus,” a dual exhibition built with works by Los Angeles-based artists Daniela Soberman and Keywan Tafteh. The exhibition positions Tafteh’s surface-shifting paintings alongside variously scaled sculptural works by Soberman. Between the artists, de/constructivist edges, expressive hollows, and gestural events permeate the builderly methods and interstitial materials (plywood, polystyrene, plaster) deployed across the bodies of work. Each artist refuses complacency in their expressive practices. Working with experimental structures of figuration and formation, each piece disorients and reconfigures horizons of space and time relative to the bodies rubbing-up against their wandering limits. Through simultaneous channels of looking and passing-through, the artists lovingly and painfully navigate and reconstruct their worlds through a repeated dreamlike displacement of the body and the gaze, performatively acting-out the distorted corporealities displayed by their work. Between these worlds, a primal community forms as the friction between bodies: in the distant nearness of someone, something, or somewhere else. Ultimately or initially, the exhibition builds a place for others to find (or lose) their way. Both Soberman and Tafteh are first-generation immigrants to the United States. Pulling from her blended childhood memories of working-class urban life in Los Angeles and Serbia, Soberman’s lost urban dreamscapes populate a void with brutalist imprints that recall confection and construction. Similarly split, Tafteh rides the dividing lines of his cultural identity as a queer Russian/Iranian/American, tracing these divisions in the fractured planes and broken borders of his paintings. Together, the voids and separations embedded in their artwork holds open space for anyone to enter, for anyone to cross. In Tafteh’s “Contortionist,” a folding and distorting of both the figural and material body are acted out on the level of the gaze (as a body part), and on the level of the surface (as part of a body): cut, skewed, and stapled-together. These transgressive bodily events usurp the normative boundaries of the surface or body of the artwork and diffuse the squared-straight of the ninety-degree gaze through the irregular, unpredictable, and queer limits of a masculine mode of embodiment that has broken free from a pre-determined frame. Sustaining this mode of disorientation along and off the wall, Soberman’s wall-mounted work “The Smell of Wet Concrete,” disrupts the usual dimensions of the gallery-space. Bandaged but sturdy, holding opposed forces, the scratched plaster and rubbly rims remember a topographic view of a decaying metropolis as much as the oozing, cloud-like figure of the foamly floating structure finds the emergence of some celestial city. Throughout the exhibition, any point of view is immediately disoriented and called into question: Am I above or below? Am I within or without? Am I falling down or rising up? Following these questions of displacement, “No Plateaus” negates or rejects any static, fixed, or unbroken origin or perspective. Each figure or form shifts in relation to the material body of the work, and every aspect of the space shifts in relation to an observer’s bodily movement. Individually and collectively, the works perform the contradictions of a body: cut-off but intimately connected, contained but completely overrun, isolated but never alone. This paradoxical cycle of alienation and intimation is marked by repeated events of breaking and mending recorded on the bodies of the works. …. (You enter.) Climbing a common ground too steep to climb, with edges protruding like palisades to stave-off intruders, the observer enters a razed space rising from blue cliffs building the walls they fall from. Peaks plunge into valleys, corners crawl into crevices, each line leaves its linearity behind, lined only with the absence of its lining: there is nothing inside. But you may come in. You may enter but you cannot go inside. Too steep to climb, too high to see-over, but nevertheless a common ground. Open, shared, vulnerable; jagged but providing shelter, a momentary home. Rising and falling, opening and closing, the space never settles, never lies flat…always breaks the plane… there are no plateaus. …. Daniela Soberman is a first-generation Serbian American self-taught artist living and working in Los Angeles. With her current body of work only recently emerging, Soberman has been the subject of solo exhibitions at both museums and galleries throughout Southern California since 2021, including: Gallery SADE (2022/3), J. Paul Getty Museum/Long Beach Museum of Art (2022), and the Torrance Art Museum (2022). Her work has also been featured in various two-person and group exhibitions. Keywan Tafteh is a Russian/Iranian/American artist based in Los Angeles. Having completed his studio arts education at UC San Diego in 2021, his interdisciplinary work has been shown through public commissions, solo shows, and group shows in Southern California. He has also participated in international artist residencies in Berlin and France. His recent solo exhibitions include "Glass Eye (Nazar)” at Adams Hill Park, Funded by the Glendale Arts & Culture Commission (2022), and “Walled Windows” at Community Contemporary in Los Angeles (2022). …. Image (Detail) Courtesy of the Artist: Daniela Soberman “The Smell Of Wet Concrete” 2023
  • Curate LA Partner