David Shull
Family Feud/Being Wrong

NOON Projects is pleased to present Family Feud/Being Wrong, an installation of mixed media works by David Shull. For his first solo exhibition in Los Angeles, Shull brings to fruition a body of work that has coalesced over the past decade. Underpinning the installation is a cosmology of forms that utilize the sum of their parts to relay narratives about psychology, justice, the manifestations of societal fears, and, generally, the residue of the human experience through the intuitive appropriation of formal art historical tropes.

Loosely inspired by quilt making, Shull’s paintings have been sewn together with various textiles to take the form of flags or banners. Without the armature of the stretcher bar, these flags become even more sculptural, hanging freely from the wall on brackets and rods or from steel structures in the middle of the gallery. For many of the works a “digital zero” or “X” motif is used as the scaffolding to explore gestural abstraction and minimalism as if the paintings are saying “No” or “Wrong.” In another work, Imagine Solitary Confinement Abolished, jumbled panels with brushy gestures of black ink on a white ground is conflated with painted text. A nod to John Lennon’s, Imagine, the work both challenges the viewer to literally imagine something completely unrelated to standing in a gallery and guides the viewer towards a through line narrative that pervades the exhibition. It is clear that the artist is nudging the opacity of minimalism and abstraction in an effort to explore how Painting communicates meaning.

In the video work and namesake of the exhibition, Family Feud, the gameshow is edited down to the moments when contestants get the wrong answer and, like in many of the paintings, an “X” or multiple “X’s” appear on the screen along with an abrupt and jarring buzz. When out of context, the wrong answers become social commentary that highlight a perpetual disappointment or thwarted aspiration.

On the whole, the installation forms an automatic visual poetry that circles around the idea of “othering” or being wrong. While enigmatic, there is a familiarity in Shull’s work that usurps inaccessible concepts in high art, making them legible as he confronts real undercurrents of societal dynamics.

On View through June 17, 2023

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