Phil Chang : Matte Black Marks, Matte Black Pictures

M+is pleased to present Phil Chang: Matte Black Marks, Matte Black Pictures, the artist's second solo exhibition with the gallery. The show runs from June 29 through September 1, 2017, with an opening reception on Thursday, June 29 from 6 to 8 pm.


Matte Black Marks, Matte Black Pictures extends Chang's investigation into what constitutes a picture in an inkjet era. From his Cache, Active series of unfixed and unstable gelatin silver prints, to his monochromes printed from digital files, to his works on paper using inkjet printer ink-each body of work endeavors to reveal the medium's necessary support structures. By focusing on the forms of production and materiality, Chang is able to call attention to the unique potential of the photographic image to function simultaneously as commodity, artifact for cultural significance and object for philosophical investigation.


The new works on paper in the exhibition were made by manually applying matte black inkjet printer ink directly onto the surfaces of matte inkjet paper using foam brushes. The materials used were third-party bottled ink manufactured by Vermont PhotoInkjet applied to inkjet paper manufactured by Canson, Epson and Hahnemühle. Each of the works was hinged on Cool White, acid-free Museum Board and framed under OP3 Acrylic at Art Services Melrose.


A variation of marks will be on view including single marks, multiple marks and Chang's attempts at covering entire sheets of inkjet paper with matte black ink. In several of the works, Chang has manually applied matte black ink to actual inkjet prints that display variations of grey. On close inspection, it is difficult to discern any differences between the results of the printer or that of Chang's labor due to the absorbing qualities and flat surface of inkjet paper.


The exhibition emphasizes the material properties and economic conditions of inkjet media, as seen in the works' titles, the collision of third-party ink and a dominant brand's paper product and the choice of solely using matte black ink and matte surfaces of inkjet paper. The works here reflect inkjet printing developments where the goal of achieving dense blacks resulted in the creation of two different black inks, each optimized for a certain type of paper: photo black ink for glossy papers and matte black ink for matte papers. The latter relationship informed the works for this exhibition.


Phil Chang (b. 1974, Elkhart, IN) received his MFA from the California Institute of the Arts and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. Recent solo exhibitions include Monochromes, Static and Unfixed at the California Museum of Photography, Riverside and Cache, Active at LA><ART, as well as a forthcoming solo exhibition at the George Eastman Museum, Rochester, NY. Recent institutional group shows include Light Play: Experiments in Photography, 1970 to the Present at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; A Matter of Memory: Photography as Object in the Digital Age at the George Eastman Museum, Rochester, NY; About Time at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Unfixed: The Fugitive Image at the Cleveland Museum of Art's Transformer Station, OH. Chang's work has been written about in ARTFORUM, The New Yorker, Los Angeles Times, Aperture, Blind Spot, IMA Magazine and C-Photo. Other published texts include those with Charlotte Cotton, James Welling and Walter Benn Michaels, and an artist's book Four Over One, published by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Curatorial projects have included Soft Target at M+B, Affective Turns? at Pepin Moore and Seeing Sight at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions. His work is in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the California Museum of Photography, Riverside. Phil Chang lives and works in Los Angeles.


To download the complete works list, click here.


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