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CULTURE
Alpha Wave
Ethereal neon and abstract forms in new work by Evan Gruzis
by James Thorne
on 08 March 2012
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Opening tomorrow at Duve Berlin, an exhibition of new work by Evan Gruzis explores the interstices of waking and dreaming life. "Alpha Wave" derives its aesthetic from the afterimage effect—the "burning" of an image on ones vision after the original image has disappeared. Gruzis—a young artist whose resume already boasts work in the Whitney Museum Collection and a solo show at Deitch—presents a series of hauntingly minimal works on paper and through video. AlphaWave1.jpg

While his past work bears the mark of nostalgia for Hollywood of the 1980s—a byproduct of his time spent in LA—this collection marks significant growth. Gruzis ditches pop elements in favor of a more streamlined look, going beyond gloss and neon to convey the "alpha wave" narrative throughout the work. While he made a name for himself based on his masterful employment of india ink, the artist has turned mainly to watercolor in this collection. Gruzis uses a "wet on wet" technique, applying watercolors to soaked "arches aquarelle" paper. Stretching the paint, he slowly builds layers to create his gradients, sometimes using up to thirty washes. The technical effect looks to be the product of a neon light show or early digital design. In addition to watercolor, Gruzis employs graphite and acrylic into most of the works that are included in Alpha Wave.

One of the standout works, "Movie", is a purple canvas of watercolor, gouache, india ink and spray paint. Highlighted with pinpoints of star-like specks, the somber, glowing piece conveys a unique effect that serves as testament to Gruzis' curious experimentation.

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The exhibition also includes "TV", an abstract video work of projected LED lights. Interpretive and hypnotic, the installation carries Gruzis' dream-like sensibility. Gruzis first made his way onto our radar last year in his collaboration with Rafael de Cardenas called Exotic Beta, though this exhibition certainly sets him apart in his own right.

"Alpha Wave" will be on view at Duve Berlin through 20 April 2012.

Duve Berlin
9 March - 20 April 2012
Invalidenstr. 90
Berlin, DE 10115

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