James Cherry

NOON Projects is pleased to present “Fraternal,” a solo exhibition by James Cherry opening January 13, 2023. As a twin, Cherry explores the intimate relationships men hold with other men; critiquing masculinity while staying close to it. “Fraternal,” Cherry’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles, presents a brand new body of work including a collection of lamps, works on paper and the debut of large scale drawings on panel.

“To be a twin is to be privy to something both intimate and mysterious. Twinnedness–the state of being one of two–carries a private charge, only dimly sensed by those on the outside. Such bonds are the subject of James Cherry’s “Fraternal,” referring both to the term for sets of nonidentical twins and to the likeness and kinship felt among gay men. “Twins find other twins,” explains Cherry, and here a grouping of the artist’s handmade lamps sheds light on six new large drawings to share the rhythms of private joy with those beyond its immediate sphere.

Cherry’s lamps are buoyant, bulbous yet seemingly delicate as sea foam, and are similarly composed of suspended organic pulp—here a blend of studio floor sweepings mixed with sawdust, paper and coconut husks. Their shades are made from salvaged fabric mesh stretched over forms and painted with coats of resin. Lamps appeal to Cherry for their ability to inform the reading of their surroundings. Subtly altering the tones and contours of their environment, they retain a measure of control over the spaces they inhabit (and thus control over how the object itself is viewed). “Lamps,” the artist explains, “are for other people,” and in anticipation their fragile bulbs are protected by resin shades. Privacy drives these works, as evidenced by the artist’s choice of materials, found or formulated to his specifications and wherever possible absent of art-historical associations, a way of erasing the artist’s referential trail. Cherry wields control preemptively, as a means of promising safety in a world that might threaten it.

Meanwhile, his drawings begin as memories pulled from sketchbooks; Cherry developed their graphic format of densely interlaced and overlaid text as a child to keep others from reading. The artist pairs citations from his journals with personal reference photographs, but the resulting works suggest as much somatic as visual memories. A hand cradles a pair of eggs that appear to gently vibrate, the result of deft stippling superimposed over the image as it’s translated to paper. The

effervescence of waves breaking over skin, the crush of bed sheets. Sun streaming over his twin’s face in bands, as though filtered through a shade. Light pulses between them as steadily as blood.”

— Cat Kron

January 13 – February 11, 2023
Opening Reception: January 13, 6–9 pm