Saturday, February 10, 2024

The Russell Lecture: Elliott Hundley - Too much?

 by Patricia Frischer

Elliott Hundley: details of pinned collage

An artist that makes a mini diorama and takes a photo of it and destroys the diorama before the photos were developed. An artist who created a huge collage, but decided the detritus he created making the work was more interesting than the art. Elliott Hundley constantly wants to exceed what he thinks is his limited mind. During his Russell Lecture at MCASD, you could tell he took the greatest pleasure in encouraging questions. He likes to be interrupted. He appeared almost bored with showing his work and purposely did not prepare a structured talk.

We did learn that he started with abstract painting. He knew there was meaning that no one saw, so he switched to narrative works.  And when painting became too laborious, he took pictures. He cast friends and family as the players.  He is an artist who does not think he has his own rich ideas so uses historic art, myths and theater which he then re-imagines. He is making copies as a way to understand those concepts which are many and varied. So, in the work, many views are revealed.  There is every path contained and every path is explored. 

The artist's mother in costume.

Gluing the photos at one point seems too hard of a decision. That is when pinning was started. He believes the pin was in control instead of him. Hundley then uses a back ground foam. This meant he could add objects and those became inclusive…magnifying glasses to draw attention to certain areas of these vast composition, strings of curtains. In some works, he is carving back into the foam. Eventually the works came off the wall entirely. The installations are more like performances.  There never seems to be enough as he fills every space.

A skeleton chandelier.

Hundley did save everything to begin with, dumpster diving, shopping, even the scrapes from cutting out images. Lately, his space is so filled, he no longer has to accumulate. In fact, as he has become known, people bring him truckloads of things to incorporate.

There are violent works, many of them about anxiety that he puts in separate categories; social, theological, bodily, information, environmental. Hundley is actually building his own world view, but in an uncontrolled way. It just unfolds and we see brilliance. He calls this sublime but reminds us “when a man brushes against the sublime, he is destroyed. “

Elliot Hundley started his talk by saying it was always “too much”. For me, sublime and anxious makes for fascinating. 

Installations sometimes include works directly on the wall
as Hundley believes this helps to under mind the other works.  


Russel Lecture at MCASD


Elliott Hundley in "Secrets" - Season 7 - "Art in the Twenty-First Century" | Art21

Elliott Hundley (b. 1975 Greensboro, North Carolina) received his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence in 1997 and an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2005. He has shown at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2006). The Broad, Los Angeles (2018–2019); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2016; 2017–2018); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2015); Regen Projects (2021) to name a few. He received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Guggenheim Fellowship in 2019 and is in museum collections countywide.

No comments:

Post a Comment