A SIMPLE MARK
Maddox Gallery Los Angeles is delighted to present A Simple Mark, a group exhibition featuring the graphic and vibrant works of artists with creative roots based in street art.
Bringing together works by RETNA, Lefty Out There and Banksy, the show presents an overview of the various approaches of mark-making and abstract gestures that shape diverse pictorial styles. Each artist has created form and meaning in their own signature vernacular by bridging high art with popular culture and utilizing universal imagery that can speak to anyone and everyone who encounters them.
This language of visual communication starts off with a simple mark of the hand, whether it be by a stroke of a brush or a spray of paint; the gesture is evidence that we are here, that we exist and that we have meaning. Humankind's insistence of this can be traced back to the earliest form of art making 73,000 years ago with an abstract drawing on a rock fragment found in the Blombos Caves of South Africa's southern coast.
The artists here seek to do the same thing. Every dynamic line, expressive curve and repeated pattern are means to establish their place in the world. By mining a vast archive of typography from such sources as hieroglyphs, calligraphy and graffiti, these artists construct new vocabularies to speak about their purpose through their works. Highlighting social injustice is the driving force behind Banksy’s bold graphic prints, while elements of the spiritual and meditative are felt through the repetitive motifs spread across Lefty and RETNA’S expansive canvases.
From painting walls of the urban landscape to painting canvases hanging inside a white cube, this group of artists are democratizing contemporary art and composing a common language that all can understand, demonstrating the power of a simple mark.