303 Gallery is pleased to announce our first exhibition of new work by Tala Madani.
Madani's work posits a world where primal desires are unrestrained by convenient norms. Her works are subsumed by light that points both outward and inward, at human instinct and upended social ritual. Paintings can be grotesque, violent, tender, obscene, and hilarious.
For this exhibition, Madani presents new paintings and animation works. In two large corner paintings, men point handheld projectors at the wall, screens flashing in the distance. Behind the wall, short films combine live imagery with painted animations. In one of them, a group of men struggle to prevent themselves from being crushed by a giant pink penis that has fallen from the sky. In another, a man is trapped in a loop of stairs and escalators in a faceless atrium, eventually caught and dismembered by a crowd. This is one step removed, cinematic, there is an audience looking on; there's something natural in it all.
In a group of paintings, infants are portrayed innocently discovering their imagination. One child crawls toward a light source with his hand outstretched, projecting a mammoth shadow of himself. Another canvas shows a billboard of a child carving glowing lacunae into a body, multiplying the sun. These base instincts hold a puerile allure, where a lack of inhibition is infantile and callow, but also human and liberating. You find these humans crawling into glowing gas ovens to stick their heads inside, returning to a fetal posture of sincere and relatable ignorance. Exploring from beginning to end.
Born in Tehran in 1981, Madani received her MFA from the Yale University School of Art in 2006. Recent solo exhibitions include: La Panacée, Montpellier, 2017; First Light, MIT Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, 2016; Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Seville, 2014; Nottingham Contemporary, 2014; Rip Image, Moderna Museet Malmö & Stockholm, 2013; The Jinn, Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Amsterdam, 2011. Madani has also been included in: The 2017 Whitney Biennial, New York; Hope and Hazard: A Comedy of Eros (Curated by Eric Fischl), Hall Art Foundation, New York 2017; Los Angeles – A Fiction, Musée d’art Contemporain de Lyon, 2017; Zeitgeist, MAMCO, Geneva, 2017; Invisible Adversaries, The Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, 2016; The Great Acceleration: Art in the Anthropocene, Taipei Biennial (curated by Nicholas Bourriaud), 2014; Made in L.A. 2014, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Where are we Now?, 5th Marrakech Biennale, Marrakech, 2014; Speech Matters, La Biennale di Venezia, 2011; Greater New York, P.S. 1, New York, 2010; Younger than Jesus, New Museum, New York, 2009. Madani lives and works in Los Angeles.