SUSANNE VIELMETTER LOS ANGELES PROJECTS
Shana Lutker’s demi-stages, rigorously designed quasi-architectural sites that at once frame and enact art-historical moments, would seem to have little to do with the eccentric geometries Bart Exposito paints and draws. But Exposito’s keenly described, looping (and loopy) lines and his sour but luminous palette give his work a cartoonish edge and, resultingly, an almost narrative presence—exactly the kind of presence Lutker’s decks and seats and tables establish overtly. Furthermore, a constructivist aesthetic, clean and brittle, drives the work of each. Exposito’s current batch of images all hint at a figural presence, albeit something of a stick-figural one; they seem to feature bodies and heads, the former sporting limbs, the latter eyes. When he lived in Los Angeles, Exposito oscillated back and forth between such abstract wit and a cooler, less freely referential approach; it’s a bit much to aver that his move to Santa Fe has allowed in a high-desert Native American influence, but there is a bit of the kachina in these apparitions. For her part, Lutker has rooted her quasi-installation (an arrangement of discrete sculptures all of which pertain to the same subject) in an event 90 years past, one of the “bourgeois riots” initiated by the Surrealists in Paris as a provocation against their artistic and political adversaries. Lutker has been tracing The History of the Fistfights of the Surrealists in this manner, with constructions brimming with allusions to the events, their protagonists, key props, and even the distortions years of art-historical legend have given to the original accounts. The bent, askew dinner plates scattering themselves across oddly shaped tables, the wall hung with napkins, the march of strangely-formed shoes down a staircase all allude to the formal banquet at which the to-do took place, the gendarmes who got involved, and other details that “set the stage” for what in Lutker’s context would be a ritualized re-enactment—not the re-living, but the re-dreaming, of the event itself.