Yautepec is pleased to present shotgun and targets, the first individual exhibition in Latin America for the New York based artist Robert Lazzarini (b. Denville, New Jersey, 1965), on view from Sep 8 - Oct 22, 2011.
Having exhibited since 1995, Lazzarini gained wider visibility at the Whitney Museum of American Art's 2001 exhibition Bitstreams, which featured his installation skulls — a series of seemingly impossibly distorted sculptures of human skulls, each hung at eye level in a diffusely-lit room.
Beginning with a familiar object — a gun, brass knuckles, a pack of cigarettes — Lazzarini's process involves subjecting the object to a series of compound planar or compound sine wave distortions via mathematical algorithms. Resulting instances of this process of manipulation are then recreated utilizing the original materials of the chosen object, thereby eliminating material translation.
The experience of the work is a distinctly psychedelic but intensely unsettling one, precisely because his sculptures break completely with the psychotropic-inspired forms that have dominated the visual lexicon and generally accepted definition of psychedelia since the 1960s. This dislocation in Lazzarini's art is enhanced by the seeming expansion and contraction of the object — geometries edging beyond the bounding box of the normative, which act as a foil to the static nature of sculpture.
Lazzarini's is an android vertigo manifest: clean, precise, and exceedingly difficult for the human brain to reconcile. Unlike the distorted reflections of a funhouse mirror — which amuse us exactly because we see its mechanisms plainly at work — Lazzarini's sculptures provoke visceral, discomforting reactions because they appear to be assembly-level malfunctions within the understood visual logic of reality.
Not unsurprisingly — given this inherent sense of losing control over something so fundamental as one's perception of physical space — fear and violence have been recurring themes in Lazzarini's work. The exhibition shotgun and targets is no exception. Anchored by the imposing presence of a dramatically skewed Mossberg 500 pump-action, sawed-off shotgun with pistol grip, the exhibition is furthermore comprised of a series of distorted shooting targets commonly used in law-enforcement training. In these target works, both the "friendly" and "hostile" figures featured have been shot repeatedly with guns of various calibers, implying an indiscriminate violence in which polarized axes of good/bad or innocent/guilty have been rendered irrelevant. Mounted on various substrates, the backgrounds reference American products - Budweiser, Corn Flakes, etc - conflating two of the country's most enduring stereotypes: violence and consumption.
Robert Lazzarini lives and works in New York. His work is included in important collections such as the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and the Jumex Collection, Mexico City.