Adams and Ollman is pleased to present the sixth iteration of Conny Purtill’s The Ground. Purtill makes group exhibitions that somehow never seem to lose the aroma of a solo presentation. Along with Purtill, the exhibition will include work by Edgar Arceneaux, Taylor Davis, Luc Fuller, Jay Heikes, Nick Herman, Adam Horovitz, Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Pierre Leguillon, Ari Marcopoulos, Dianna Molzan, Todd Norsten, Jenelle Porter, Alex Slade, Oliver Strand, Ricky Swallow, Lesley Vance, Emmett Wilkins, and Keith Wilkins. There will be painting, drawing, sculpture, collage, sound, photographs, and a levitation.
Everything that the artist makes is called "The Ground", which could reference several things—gravity, flight, surface, support. His incredibly personal project, first exhibited at Midway Contemporary Art in 2009, is informed and fed by his practice as a book designer and one that nurtures relationships with fellow artists and friends. The artist’s reverence for community and connection leads him to engage different modes of collaboration and exchange to charge friendships, challenge the speed of production, and reassess value in art. He complicates the idea of authorship, ownership, value and progression, and even the basic tenet of art as something that must be seen or have an audience.
Central to his work is an ongoing system of exchange in which Purtill gifts “grounds” to fellow artists. He prepares these grounds, all uniform in size, with alternating layers of white and toned gesso. After eleven layers have been applied, Purtill uses the surface to create his own paintings, each of which are sanded down after completion. When the canvas is exhausted, the artist neutralizes it with graphite creating a rich and varied monochromatic gray surface. They are beautiful objects that become the substrate on which others create a new work. Eight of these works will be included in the exhibition by Edgar Arceneaux, Taylor Davis, Jay Heikes, Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Pierre Leguillon, Dianna Molzan, Todd Norsten, and Lesley Vance.
Also on view will be a table constructed by Keith and Emmett Wilkins, from an Enzo Mari design, which will display photographs, drawings and objects by Alex Slade and Luc Fuller, as well as Purtill’s moveable collages and drawn-in books.
The Ground continues in the second gallery with a small group exhibition organized by Purtill that explores the concept of time. Sculptures and objects by Taylor Davis, Ricky Swallow, Jay Heikes, Nick Herman, Pierre Leguillon, Luc Fuller, as well as a photography by Ari Marcopoulos and a poem by Oliver Strand, contemplate the origins of the universe to the rhythm of the sun to the mundane rituals of everyday life.
Conny Purtill (b. 1969, Arizona) is an artist and book designer who lives and works in Los Angeles, California. Purtill has exhibited most recently at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome; CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco; Florence Loewy, Paris; Ecole D’art et de Design, Geneva; Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis; Vox Populi and Temple Gallery at Tyler School of Art, Temple University, both in Philadelphia. Select performances have been presented at Renwick Gallery, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; and WIELS, Brussels.