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New Work

DCKT Contemporary, New York, NY

September 2006

DCKT Contemporary is pleased to announce an exhibition by the collaborative artists castaneda/reiman.  Their latest body of work focuses on the natural scenic environments existing on the fringes of the urban landscape, their various interpretations and how these areas are reflected within domestic spaces.

Several large wall pieces loosely depict postcard versions of coastal California.  At first glance, these appear to be large multilayered canvas paintings of beautiful scenes rich with glazes and grounded in painting tradition.  In fact, they are standard 4x8 foot plywood and sheetrock layered in drywall mud.  This mud is pigmented with commercial tints and applied with a trowel more in the tradition of house building than conventional landscape painting.

Dozens of carefully cast, concrete replicas of river rock and quarry stones ranging in scale from overlooked pebbles to average landscaping rock are carefully placed in piles around the gallery.  Some rocks blend with the architecture of the space while others supply substructure for the weighty landscape pieces.  It soon becomes clear that there is a uniformity of color and a repeat of the forms not present in nature, an evident indication that they are not rocks but replicas.  Their function is multi-faceted: they represent the geological foundation of an exterior landscape, their concrete material represents the foundation of a house, while at the same time they are hand-crafted art objects.

A palette, built at 80% actual size in solid walnut, goes from a functional to a contradictory object.  This normally overlooked construction is now elevated as it becomes an absurd stage for more hand-cast rocks.  The same absurdity that exists in the palette and rocks is seen in a hand-painted watercolor replica of a commercial wallpaper border. This manufactured, idyllic, natural landscape horizon repeats itself for 15 yards, existing in its ‘standard’ commercial form just as the drywall sheets do.