2021/01/16 SHAPES @ NINO MIER

January 22–February 27, 2021

Nino Mier Gallery is pleased to announce its first solo exhibition with Brooklyn based artist, Zak Kitnick. The exhibition, titled SHAPES, will be on view in Los Angeles from January 22nd to February 27th, 2021.

Through the appropriation of familiar patterns and forms, Kitnick navigates the intersection of art, decor, and utility as he examines the mutable boundaries between abstraction and function.

Using commercially available cookie cutter sets traditionally used to create consumable objects, Kitnick maps out a cyclical lifespan in six stages, each delineated by a cast bronze work. Made by pressing the baking tools into wax slabs and adhering the wax shapes perpendicularly to their source before casting in bronze, the abstracted shapes hang outward from the wall with identical counterparts of negative space. While the six works as a whole portray chronological chapters of a lifetime, shapes outlining the lifespans of butterflies serve as vertex points marking both the beginning and the end of the series. The shapes, often ambiguous on their own, come to rely on their surrounding forms to achieve legibility and to establish their part in the overarching cycle. A circle becomes a ball when placed alongside the shapes of a bat and glove in the penultimate stage of the sequence. The allusion to baseball, a game driven by the goal of returning home, serves an additional metaphor for the completion of a cycle and overlaps with the goal of backgammon.

Expanding on gameplay circumscribed to shapes and cyclical motivations, Kitnick assembles geometric patterns sourced from backgammon boards across six transformable aluminum works. Evoking qualities of mechanical reproduction, each piece is nearly identical in appearance with patterns achieved through interchangeable shapes cut from varying metals. The works individually possess a multipurpose functionality underscored by the inclusion of folding legs that allow each piece to hang on the wall or stand freely like a table. Calling into question the differing statuses of artworks and utilitarian objects, the fluctuating nature of these works is furthered as the appropriated patterns establish an easy flexibility between decorative motif and gameboard. Inviting viewers to engage in play, the works lend themselves to the circular pursuits of players and, with each move, acquire a patina reflecting their own lifespan.

In addition to these bronze and aluminum works, Kitnick has created an edition of 12 unique works on paper that contain all the works in the show at 1-to-1 scale.