6.21.2024 – 7.27.2024

David Shull

David Shull’s serial practice focuses on the deconstruction of sentimentalities as a means to a deeper understanding of the human experience. Mining the familiar, whether materially in the form of common art materials and found objects, or, intellectually, such as puns, figures of speech, common visual tropes, artistic references as well as the unconscious and subconscious, Shull’s open-ended approach has the effect of unearthing new, incalculable results from the near margins. Treading a fine line between humor and deep emotion, Shull focuses a tenuous fragility into concrete forceful statements towards etherial conclusions around production, narrative and cultural critique.

For his second exhibition at NOON Projects, FLHAT EARTH FALLING WATER, David Shull combines charcoal drawings on sandpaper and a sculpture made of stained plywood, ceramics, and found objects in a surrealistic tongue-in-cheek narrative confronting the gregarious optimism of the American west, a contemporary erosion of truth, and a conflation of the concepts of perspective and identity. What began as an intuitive and playful visual exploration of the euphemism, “to wear many hats,” coalesces into a sort-of magical realism that spins loose yarn outlining the fears, triumphs, and failures inherent to early capitalism’s self-made, boot-strap, shoot-first-ask-questions-later Frontier mentality.

What this body of work confronts is not what happens when a person reflects or wears a given identity, but rather, what happens when an identity starts wearing you? In other words, what happens when an identity prescribes the taking for granted of the ego and such contrarian thinking that all logic and understood forces of nature are thrown out the window, usurping self reflection and empathy.

In 1865, John B. Stetson, a famous hat manufacturer from Philadelphia, introduced the “Boss of the Plains” hat delivering a classic icon to the identity of Americans migrating from the cities of the North-East to the rugged frontiers West. FLHAT EARTH FALLING WATER is framed by ten drawings that muse a simplified cowboy hat as a flat earth stage where natural beauty, humorous dramas and tragedies play out an optimistic and, at times, perilous narrative. Shull’s flattening of the cowboy hat transforms it from fashionable object to conceptual text that challenges the clichéd representations of heroic individualism we are used to.

While influenced, somewhat, by MC Escher’s impossible compositions conflating 2-D and 3-D space and including more than 2 points of gravity as seen in “Waterfall,” 1961, and “Relativity” 1953, Shull’s sleight of hand operates more emotionally. But it’s possible that Escher may have been hiding a deeper cultural criticism within his perspectively confounding works— as he once said jokingly, “The ego is always at the center of the universe.”

While Shull was not aware of this statement by Escher before creating the works for his show, it cuts straight to the heart of what he is confronting with regards to perception and identity. Amidst a vast universe, some still seem to think that the moon is following them like a spotlight on a stage. While Galileo points at the stars, our inability to transcend the ego stares at his finger.

Finally, in perhaps his most revealing work, Shull presents Falling Water Threshold, 2024—A simple wooden sculpture of a street gutter reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright’s prairie-style of architecture, whose horizontal eaves and open floor plans captured the ethos of native rolling midwestern landscapes. Replacing what would be an iron grate is a geometrically carved ceramic in the style of Wright’s late career concrete blocks used to construct homes such as the Hollyhock house in Los Angeles. Wright said in the Realm of Ideas, “what about the concrete block? It was the cheapest (and ugliest) thing in the building world. It lived mostly in the architectural gutter as an imitation of rock-faced stone. Why not see what could be done with that gutter rat?” In Shull’s sculpture, we are the gutter. A portrait of humanity (and the artist!) as a threshold where information and influence rain down, filter by, and exit through a barrier between life above ground and the sewers below.


June 21, 2024

On View Through July 27, 2024

6.21.2024 – 7.27.2024

Group Show
Becoming a Swan (Going Through the Veil)

Darren Cortez
John Erwin Dillard
Kristan Kennedy
Michael Lombardo

NOON Projects is honored to present Becoming a Swan (Going Through the Veil) featuring Darren Cortez, John Erwin Dillard, Kristan Kennedy and Michael Lombardo. Becoming a Swan is the inaugural show in NOON Project’s new exhibition space at 508 Chung King Court.

Becoming a Swan is an intuitive, energetic combination of works that creates a constellation not categorized by pedagogical classification. It is an act of creating an acronym for forgetting; that feelsakin to the act of dumping out one's bag. The organization of a life through a messy emptying.

Eroded masses of post industrial waste placed atop a painting complicit in philosophical fracas. Oil and Oklahoma dirt on the wall. A praying mantis, a conch shell, and rectangles serve as conduits for contemplation. Each is a device for transformation, forgetting, and letting go that the artists use when Going Through the Veil. The assemblage of these works allows a space for free association to form; to let the light in. An opening into the embodiment of the transcendental.

Group Exhibition

June 21, 2024

On View Through July 27, 2024


Page Person

September 14 – October 19, 2024

Group Show

John Birtle
David Gilby
Jim Isermann
Daniel Mendoza
October 26 – December 7, 2024

Jay Stern

December 14 – January 25, 2026