Utopia Hasn't Failed Me Yet: Gary Pastrana 6th Solo Exhibition
About the Event
The initial plan seemed modest enough: echoing aspects of On Kawara’s date paintings, Pastrana set out to develop his own simplified yet consistent studio practice, manageable to a degree that it can result in a new work every day and overall projected to be sustainable in the long term (or for as long as he physically can). This now on-going collage project, set afoot in late 2017 and is on pace to breach the 200-piece mark in the coming month, will be on display for the show Utopia Hasn’t Failed Me Yet, Pastrana’s 6th solo exhibition with SILVERLENS, opening this July 2018.
Since this project began, each new day for Pastrana has come infused with a recurrent task, an unrelenting problem that continuously needs to be solved, re-solved and so forth, with each fresh stab at a resolution distilled within the limits of the same 10x8-inch picture plane, one of the few constant elements in this exercise. Likewise, there’s a noticeable shift each time a set or a series reaches a certain number, which now stands at 40 and has so far been marked by a change in medium; starting out with magazine pages, then experimenting with cutout ink spills and markings, before reverting back to magazines and then later moving on to aerosol paint sprays on paper. In the latest series, from which the show’s title is lifted, the medium shifts again to printed screenshots of various traces of videotape degeneration taken from a documentary about a failed attempt to establish a progressive commune in the arid farmlands of Oregon.
While this current point in the project could later on be seen as part of its early, developmental period —especially considering its life-long envisioned scope— this undertaking has thus far already amounted to an expansive body of work, unwavering in its exploration of abstracted forms, compositional strategies, materiality, and is indeed primed to be put on view, if only for a fleeting glimpse of its still burgeoning generative potential.