It is with great enthusiasm that Marc Jancou Contemporary announces our upcoming exhibition of new work by Los Angeles-based artist Ginny Bishton. This will be the artist’s first New York show in over five years and her first with the gallery. Opening on October 29th, from 6-8 pm, it will be on view through December 23rd.
The exhibition will present Bishton’s new acrylic ink paintings on gessoed panel, which mark a departure from her characteristic works on paper. Also on view will be a new photographic work composed of twenty-two individual images.
Bishton’s abstract ink paintings are characterized by the labor-intensive process by which they are created. Fascinated by the mechanics and discoveries of sustained effort and repelled by our society's careless consumption, Bishton consciously slows down her own production, rendering visible the time and effort required to achieve her works’ exquisite surfaces. Composed of thousands of meticulous marks woven and layered upon one another, such pieces can take as long as a month to complete. While her meditative crosshatching brings to mind the fastidious Minimalist grids of Agnes Martin, Bishton’s abstractions yield a more expansive range of forms, from geometric assemblages to loose clusters resembling sun-dappled foliage.
Like the wall drawings of Sol Lewitt, one of Bishton’s most significant influences, these abstract compositions are the product of both deliberation and chance. She begins each work by sketching the composition on tracing paper then transferring the drawing to the primed panels. Using a predetermined selection of colors, she then applies her seemingly infinite strokes in patterns that develop organically, working on the panel from all angles as it lies flat on her studio table. It is not until the work is nearly complete—in her words, “looks as though it’s capable of lumbering off on its own”—before she holds the piece upright and determines its orientation.
The composition of Bishton’s new photographic work is similarly determined by both pre-established parameters and elements of chance— in this case, chance represented by the unpredictable behaviors of the natural world. The vegetables seen in these images are Dragon Tongue beans, which the artist has grown for years in the garden outside of her studio. Each photograph documents the yield of one day in this summer’s bean harvest. Both the delicate marks on the beans and the shapes of the vegetables themselves bring to mind the marks and forms in the artist’s ink paintings.
Born in Burbank, California, Ginny Bishton earned her MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her work is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Her work was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Pomona College Museum of Art in Claremont, California last year, and is currently on view in “Selections from the Hammer Contemporary Collection” at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles.