Laurent Dupont, Lisa Jo
A COVER UP
curated by Tenzing Barshee
September 2, 2020 - October 17, 2020
The two-person exhibition A cover up presents two new series of works by Laurent Dupont and Lisa Jo. For their individual projects, both artists made copies, apparently of different things. To repeat means to question. Every copy distorts and every painting covers something else. Something is always added, covered up.
In her paintings on canvas, Lisa Jo replicates digital drawings with oil paint. Like a model painter, she works from a predetermined image. Her abstractions are taken directly from the iPad to a larger format. By copying the digital shapes and colors, the artist distorts and translates her images along the way. The oil paints fail to achieve digital quality. The composition is arranged on a singular plane, layers are illusions. The borderlines between her shapes often eschew hard edges. The artist creates indisputable boundaries. The contours are a little murky.
Laurent Dupont repainted the visible parts of cardboard boxes, most of which he found on the streets of his hometown Brussels. Unlike a trompe-l'œil effect, these works aren’t visual illusions. Instead, they reiterate the existing forms and colors on the boxes’ surfaces. The composition or design is predetermined, it is repetition. Similar to painting by numbers, his arduous process is a futile attempt to mimic a digital procedure. The artist sees these works as restorations: to remake what has started to fade, to hold on to what has already left the building; perhaps, it is an illusion in the end.
By painfully slowing down, Dupont and Jo recap the punchline of painting in the digital age. In the face of accelerated modes of reproduction and distribution, it is painting’s anachronistic feature, which makes it the butt of its own joke: labor and materiality. In a Freudian twist, both artists iterate the Modernist dogma of art as fetish and, consequently celebrate its masochism.
Paradoxically, both cases insist on the redundancy of language—it is merely a construction. And, as the comparison of Laurent Dupont and Lisa Jo’s art shows, the stuff that was made, can always be undone or made again.