PLAYERS ONE THROUGH ONE HUNDRED
OCTOBER 4 – NOVEMBER 22, 2022
PUBLIC OPENING: TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4TH, 12–5PM
For its fifth season, Mister Fahrenheit is very pleased to present Players One Through One Hundred, a solo exhibition of new work by Zak Kitnick.
Since the late 2000’s, Zak Kitnick has mapped the intersections of art, architecture, design, and mass production through a language of familiar forms and patterns. Drawing on found, often overlooked utilitarian objects – from baking instruments and Craftsman tools to kitchen appliance packaging and game boards – Kitnick abstracts forms by inverting the systems that organize them. Through techniques of seriality and repetition, the artist’s work explores images and objects as they relate to cycles, recalibrating relationships between art, decoration, and function, along with experiences of space and time.
In Players One Through One Hundred, Kitnick zeroes in on these exchanges with a series of cycles he establishes across Mister Fahrenheit’s indoor and outdoor spaces. In the downstairs area, one hundred postcard size works coil tightly around the gallery’s perimeter in a uniform, filmstrip-like sequence. Titled Players 1-100, this installation reflects the artist’s most recent meditation on the game of backgammon, a theme that entered Kitnick’s work roughly four years ago. Similar to his patterned paintings that double as playable backgammon boards, Players 1-100 chronicles cyclical structures and movement: in this case, from the perspective of Kitnick’s own serial pursuits playing backgammon online. Culled from the virtual game platform, Masters of Backgammon, each frame depicts the cropped profile photo of an opponent the artist had played in his first one hundred games, set against the backdrop of the interface’s home screen. When consumed image-by-image, these portraits register as markers of time, capturing punctuated segments of Kitnick’s days and weeks; as a whole, they collectively channel the continuous roll of a motion picture, expanding and contracting in ways that abstract individual frames, along with constructions of time and space.
This sense of mobility continues in four modular steel structures stationed in step formation alongside the gallery’s floating staircase. Echoing the table stands that typically accompany Kitnick’s patterned paintings, these new sculptures appear as empty, skeletal adaptations, stripped of corresponding boards, checkers, dice, and chairs. Rather, through their site-specific placement and sequencing, they seem to morph into extensions of the stairs themselves, moving fluidly between spheres of design, art, and architecture.
In a similar way, the artist revisits his backgammon-inspired paintings themselves. Conceived in their most intimate scale to date, a suite of new metal marqueteries hang in succession along the gallery’s upper level. These compositions, which Kitnick also presents without game accessories, exist purely as wall works, objects the artist envisions as “travel size” art intended to move with viewers from place to place. Marked by subtle fingerprints and shifting patinas, the works in this series act as hand-crafted, labor-intensive foils to the digitally produced, batch-printed portraits in Players 1-100. At the same time, however, they too work to capture the passage of time, a concept that Kitnick amplifies in Mister Fahrenheit’s outdoor area with Another Endless Strand of Pearls (Cellphone, Keys, Wallet, Watch). Titled in reference to Grandfather Twilight, the 1984 children’s book written by Barbara Helen Berger that details the daily phenomena of dusk and moonrise, this sculpture consists of four aluminum vessels arranged in quadrants along a metal table. Equivalent to one another in volume and weight, these “catch all” forms, each shaped to hold a specific personal belonging of the artist’s, also denote equal measures of time. Together, they chart a clockwork-like rotation that bridges notions of the daily and microcosmic with broader, macrocosmic sequencings of time.
Born in Los Angeles in 1984, Zak Kitnick currently lives and works in Brooklyn. Recent solo exhibitions include The Weather, Clearing, New York (2022); Shapes, Nino Mier, Los Angeles (2021); 12 Grapes, Clearing, Brussels (2019); Doubles, Clearing, New York (2018); and Craftsman by Sears at Kmart, Ribordy Contemporary, Geneva (2018). Kitnick has been included in significant group exhibitions at MoMA PS1, New York; Queens Museum of Art, New York; and The Power Station, Dallas. The artist’s work belongs to the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami; MAMCO Genève, Switzerland; Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland; and Collezione Giancarlo e Danna Olgiati, Lugano, among others.
Established in the West Village of New York in 2019, Mister Fahrenheit is an independent project space for contemporary artists and curators. The program is devoted to realizing cross-disciplinary projects and collaborations outside of traditional gallery and institutional contexts. For more information, please visit www.misterfahrenheitny.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.