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Jacob Kassay HIJK

Jacob Kassay HIJK
Installation views

Xavier Hufkens is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by American artist Jacob Kassay at 107 rue St-Georges.

Kassay explores the ways in which objects can oscillate between dimensional states by using fragments of both surfaces and spatial volumes as templates. Kassay re-drafts sections of stairwells back into models, creating a life-sized typology of severed spaces. Marking the sequence of the alphabet in which the artist's initials appear, the exhibition's title - HIJK - is also the result of a cut; not into built surroundings but the variable space of language.

Two architectonic sculptures create an axis through the exhibition. Identical in scale and colour, they are modeled on two different domestic interiors and bookend the gallery’s stairwell. Devoid of stairs, and presenting no above or below, the works take the form of gutted corridors, dislocated from their function as a transition between floors. Instead of appearing as passages connected to one another, the slight differences between their dimensions and details mark the works out as elements within a typology: they are specific, yet interchangeable parts. While they adopt certain tropes of Minimalism – the reductive geometry, the monochrome white surface, the scaling to the human body – the works equally evoke the planar designs of digital renderings, seemingly outputted without haptic qualities. Connected only to absent places, these sculptures are suspended in an architectural uncanny between model and fragment, lived space and prototype.

While the sculptures reframe the gallery's internal circulation, Kassay presents a series of wall paintings which present a single, unvarying color at a distance. Upon approach, their uniformity dissolves into an amalgam of extremely fine, multi-coloured particles of atomized paint. In this gradient shift from total opacity into pixellated surface, Kassay foregrounds the mechanics of resolution and embodied perception, where an image's coherence is relative to one's position.

Without the boundary of a stretcher or taped edge, the paint diffuses into space, turning the wall into something that is watched rather than seen. Like his earlier silvered canvases, the atomized paintings stage an active encounter with their audience, requiring the viewer to move towards and retreat from their surfaces in order to gauge the perceptual shifts that occur in relation to proximity. Thickening our experience of space, the exhibition becomes an apparatus with which we apprehend the work and plot a point of calibration for our somatic senses.

Jacob Kassay was born in Lewiston, New York, in 1984. He received his BFA from the State University of New York at Buffalo and lives and works in Los Angeles. Solo exhibitions include Untitled (disambiguation), The Kitchen, New York (2013); Jacob Kassay, Protocinema, Istanbul, Turkey (2013); No Goal, The Power Station, Dallas (2012) and the ICA, London (2011). The presentation of his work at the Collezione Maramotti in Italy in 2010 received great attention. He first exhibited at Xavier Hufkens in a group show in 2011.

Jacob Kassay in conversation with Alec Bacon (The Brooklyn Rail)

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Installation views