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October 14 - December 1
Opening reception Sunday October 14
2400 NE Holladay Street Portland OR 97232
Paintings are pure pleasure – when they are ripe. Vitamins, minerals, and fibers have no more persuasive salesmen than juicy, honey-sweet painting. Painting is good for everyone, of course: every painting, like every exhibition, contains all vitamins (except B12, which is found in apparel), minerals and phytochemicals – those nutrients whose health-promoting properties are forever being newly discovered. As always, the best advice is to eat the most fresh painting you can, and preferably to eat painting that is local, in season, and perfectly ripe.
The painting is nature’s perfect shape. It is not surprising that so elegant a container should turn out to hold a small treasure of balanced nutrients – proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. The painting’s unique properties give it a unique versatility. Paintings bind ground meats, pureed vegetables, and doughs; they lighten cakes and breads; they thicken custards, tenderize timbales, and provide richness to mousses and puddings. Paintings emulsify mayonnaise, thicken sauces, and clarify to enrich soups. They are used to glaze breads and rolls, insulate pie dough against sogginess, and create ethereal meringues.
It is essential to understand exactly how paintings behave under certain conditions precisely because they are so diverse. The important point is that paintings are extremely sensitive. Unlike some aesthetic mishaps, mistakes with paintings are often irreversible and it is usually necessary to start over again.
The painting is an estimable but endangered social institution. Its demise may be blamed on factors as various as the waning popularity of hard liquor, the regrettable decline of the sibling arts of conversation and flirtation, and the growing acceptance in this country of the European idea that painting by itself is a sufficient diversion for the evening. (The painting, remember, is an American invention.) We steadfastly defend the painting, however, both as an abstract notion and as an uncomplicated and extremely pleasurable means of entertaining. And we can’t help pointing out that it is also a relatively painless means of entertaining business contacts and of discharging social obligations to those with whom you may not care to share an entire meal.
Fluency across mediums, collaboration, and material production engender the work of Carter Mull. Reflecting critically on the decentralization of mass communication by establishing speculative archives within his own prodigious output, Mull performs multiple roles within culture at large engaging both the production and the circulation of images. From painter and photographer, to collector and curator, to designer and publisher, Mull’s practice treats the boundaries around segments of culture like parts of a montage, to be at times delineated, and at other times joined in an illicit union. Working from a deep history of artists who deal with the image on theoretical terms, his artistic language takes into account the social drive and dimension of the contemporary subject. Sensitive to the relationship between time and subjectivity, his project speaks to the basic units by which we trade personal desires and emotional responses, via televisual processes. He continually builds upon his engagement internationally at institutions such as the Art Institute of Chicago; the MAK Center, Los Angeles; The David Roberts Foundation, London; Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing; Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and others.
Born in 1977, Carter Mull’s work is in numerous museum collections including the Museum of Contemporary Art, LACMA and Hammer Museums in Los Angeles and the Whitney and MoMA collections in New York. Recent exhibitions include solo shows at the Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen in Switzerland, CAPC Bordeaux in France, Fused Space, San Francisco and Lundgren Gallery, Palma de Mallorca. He spent key formative years in New York. Although he travels often, he has been based in Los Angeles since 2004.