RITES Tirtzah Bassel and Dumitru Gorzo, April 24 – May 31, 2015
Slag Gallery, 56 Bogart, Brooklyn, NY

Slag Gallery is pleased to present RITES, an exhibition featuring the latest works of Brooklyn-based artists Tirtzah Bassel and Dumitru Gorzo.

Propelled by an interest in French anthropologist Marc Augé’s concept of non-space, Tirtzah Bassel has previously formed a locus of inquiry around the often-disregarded settings of airports, furniture stores, and supermarket lines. In RITES,Bassel continues her nearly life-size representations of these forgotten moments, and renders common retail spaces in rich texture and bold color, capturing figures in public moments of private tactile inspection. We have become used to allowing our most intimate possessions and needs to be on public display in the name of commerce, and while spaces like Victoria’s Secret or large department stores are for all of us a shared place and a common narrative, we tend to travel through them unobserved. Elevating these spaces to a higher form, Bassel manages to capture specific moments that resonate with an odd universality.

Hailing from Romania, Dumitru Gorzo plays with the modes in which we look at both artwork and everyday moments in his transformations of otherwise common scenes into darkly colorful, layered works. His pieces in RITES function as a critique of the perceived divide of figurative and abstract painting. Interested in a semiotics of form, he argues, “There is no figurative painting, any image is nothing but a symbol or representation of something else.” Here Gorzo has treated the canvas as though it were various drafts of a layered text, as each image has been composed on top of a series of paintings below the final surface, lending a readable sense of time, texture, and memory to the work. In doing so, he captures the act of painting as simultaneously a destructive and creative action. His figures often engage with the viewer, maintaining eye contact as stilled drips and geometric shapes indicate movement and a false stoppage of time.