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Exhibitions

Michael Genovese (Artist)

Form Shapes Language
Group Exhibition at Morán Morán


 Collapse, Relapse, and Synapse, Gesso on panel in artist frame, 62 X 42 inches. Installation view

Collapse, Relapse, and Synapse, Gesso on panel in artist frame, 62 X 42 inches. Installation view

Morán Morán is pleased to present, Form Shapes Language, an exhibition presenting works by seven artists – Angela de la Cruz, Ann Edholm, Torkwase Dyson, Michael Genovese, Tomashi Jackson, Anthony Pearson, and Hayal Pozanti – who communicate using spatial elements and geometric abstraction. Emphasizing the affinity between shape, form, and personal narratives, the works presented in this exhibition translate intent through the non-representational and the non-objective. Whether by traditional means, alternative materials, exploring the link between social politics and color theory, or by drawing parallels between abstraction and information technology, these artists carry geometric abstraction’s legacy, using it as a foundation for personal expression.

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More Light
Group Exhibition at Joan Los Angeles


 "What it is?!", Installation of 48 works on paper at Joan Los Angeles, Acrylic paint and gesso on cotton, 2017

"What it is?!", Installation of 48 works on paper at Joan Los Angeles, Acrylic paint and gesso on cotton, 2017

Loren Abbate, C. P. Badger, Michael Carter, Manny Castro, Michael Genovese, Marcos Lutyens, Adam D. Miller, Christina Ondrus, Ali Prosch, David Schafer, Katie Shapiro, Astri Swendsrud, Mungo Thomson, and Landon Wiggs

Part I
It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive. –C.W. Leadbeater

Sometimes he saw his real face / And sometimes a stranger at his place / Even the greatest stars find their face in the looking glass. –”The Hall of Mirrors,” Kraftwerk
The darkest place is underneath the lamp. -Chinese proverb

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MIS (Missing) Information
Group Exhibition organized by Jody Zellen


Denial, Acrylic paint and gesso on cotton, 15 X 22 inches

Mis (missing) Information is an exhibition of artists who draw from ‘the media’ in one way or another and make works that exclude information, requiring viewers to contemplate what is missing, what is left, and why. Beginning with an image, a Google search, a make-ready or the daily newspaper, the artists in this exhibition transform the given, infusing it with new content and meaning. The artists include Merwin Belin, Jan Blair, Andrea Bowers, York Chang, Michael Genovese, Elissa Levy, Brian C. Moss, Michael Queenland, Casey Reas, Susan Silton, Samira Yamin, Andrew Witkin and Jody Zellen. Mis (missing) Information is co-organized by Jody Zellen and Brian C. Moss.

While information and media have an increasingly digitized connotation, many of the artists in this exhibition start with the daily printed newspaper. It appears every morning, waiting to be read, deciphered and digested. Each edition represents an accounting of yesterday’s events and reflects our preoccupations with power and money, death and disaster, the quotidian and the glamorous, and a need to participate in the larger culture. Continue Reading ⍄


MIke Genovese

The Monocle Arts Review
Exhibition Review by Francesca Gavin


 Orientalism, Mobile screen grab, .png, 2017

Orientalism, Mobile screen grab, .png, 2017

Robert Bound: Tell us about Michael Genovese’s pieces. This one I feel in doing some preparatory note taking, I did need to be talked through it. Maybe you can fill me in.

Francesca Gavin: Genovese is great, I’ve been a fan of him for a long time. He is originally from Chicago and now he lives and works in Los Angeles. This show is an interpretation of the play on the history of abstraction and also touches in with the idea of how we use our phones. What he did is he looked up different words on his on phone, let’s take the word “guilt” and before things turn over and you’re using google image search you’re presented with these colored, cubic shapes and he’s translated that into these very finely made paintings. So, its very much about a translation of technology from one medium to another, but also at the same time, how do you reinvent our relationship to the abstract in a way that’s contemporary and interesting and has meaning, and I think he does it really well. The format of the paintings echoes the same kind of ratio of the actual format of a phone screen, so very much like, narrow and tall. Michael Genovese’s work at the moment is touching in on this heritage of Josef Albers or Ad Reinhardt, and this history from the 1960’s that’s being given new meaning in a contemporary context.

Robert Bound: What you’re looking at is neither one thing or another, its seems like a very contemporary/ futuristic take on the great subject of so many classical paintings; a sunrise or sunset, it neither here nor there, do you know what I mean? Do you get a sense of nature with this or does these seem exceptionally digital and machine made, not the images themselves, but what Michael Genovese is referencing?

Francesca Gavin: What I really like about this work is that there is a real physicality to it. It feels like it’s an object, it doesn’t feel digital, it doesn’t feel like something clinical in that sense or digitized. You really feel like someone has painted it, which I think is quite important and interesting. Personally, I am really fascinated about our relationship to screens, which I think is very different from our relationship to say television or movies, that kind of cinematic heritage. I think now we have a much more intimate relationship to the screen object/the phone, we touch it in our pocket, it becomes a more extension of ourselves in a way. So I think this is a really important and interesting thing that a lot of artists are addressing in this point and time. This is a very classic way of interpreting that. Other people have used this similar approach such as Rafael Rozendaal, but I think Mike’s new work has a real sense of depth to how it’s materialized.

Francesca Gavin is an Art Curator and Writer.
Robert Bound is a Cultural Editor at The Monocle, London.
Transcribed From: http://monocle.com/radio/shows/the-monocle-arts-review/251/

ArtReview
Exhibition Review by Larry Wilcox


 Intervals, Installation view

Intervals, Installation view

When the Dallas Museum of Art installs its Piet Mondrian collection, the result is illuminating. The museum has enough work, made over a long enough period of time, to allow one into the artist’s head, to see his particular form of pictorial reduction. In the world of popular Mondrian (in which his work is found on coffee cups, cupcakes and Yves Saint Laurent dresses), it is easy to forget the moody plein-air roots of the artist’s blocks of color and black lines. Mondrian painted liminal moments, when the fading sun threw dark shadows and stark contrasts across a row of trees. Analysing moments of transition or in-between spaces was how Mondrian attempted to show the structure of vision. 

Michael Genovese’s new paintings recall Mondrian: they offer the grids of colour, perfect surfaces and hard-edge look that made Mondrian a force not only in art but in design. However, Genovese’s grids do not derive from the crepuscular, but instead from moments of transition found online. Specifically, he finds his abstractions through a Google Image search algorithm, which fills (only for an instant) a browser grid with blocks of colour just prior to the full loading images. The result is a momentary abstraction, a visual stand-in for whatever topic that brings a person to Google. If one’s computer has a fast connection, this intermediate Google space may be impossible to see altogether.

Using a screenshot, Genovese matches the color of the grid exactly. The searches that he uses to produce the the colour grids from Google are suggestive and romantic on purpose; words like ‘guilt’ and ‘pessimism’. Genovese paints the resulting grids on canvas, using accumulating layers of gesso and urethane until the surface is flat, pristine and glossy. The vertical works are slightly larger than a door and installed close to the ground; they are human scale, large enough to contain a viewer in their space. As evidenced by Elation(2016), the paintings offer a sober view of their subject matter. The colors seem pleasingly matched no matter whether the search was for ‘astonishment’ or ‘rage’. 

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Intervals
Solo Exhibition at Moran Bondaroff


 Elation and Guilt, urethane on gessoed canvas, 96 X 56 inches. Installation view

Elation and Guilt, urethane on gessoed canvas, 96 X 56 inches. Installation view

Moran Bondaroff Is Pleased To Announce Michael Genovese’s Third Solo Show With The Gallery, Titled Intervals. This Exhibition Presents A New Body Of Work Comprised Of Large-Scale Paintings Of Urethane On Gessoed Canvas, Which Visually Derive From Screen Grabs Of Keyword Image Searches, Specifically, The Grid That Briefly Appeared While Images Were Loading On His Mobile Phone. Proportionally Scaled To The Screen Ratio, These Paintings Replicate The Exact Color And Pattern That Occurred During Each Image Query Interim. For Over Ten Years, Social Practice And Archives Have Remained An Active Interest For The Artist, As He Has Worked Through Various Methods And Diverse Pursuits Toward Accumulating Material.

Today, Any Moment Or Thing Can Become Decisive (As Trend, Fashion, Crowd Sourced, Etc.) Provided It Is Supported Through The Appropriate Media Channels And Public Platform. And As Is Also Well Known, Such Instants Die Out As Quickly As They Are Made. Easy Come Easy Go. And This Is Precisely What Genovese Has Brought Into Focus By Transforming A Set Of Exceedingly Banal Passing Moments––Moments Not Meant To Be Noted Let Alone Reflected On––Into Frozen And Static Paintings, Immortalized In Time. Put Differently, By Aestheticizing The Most Vernacular Slice Of The Infrathin, Genovese Brings Into Resolution The Pervasive Ways In Which Our High- Speed Culture Privileges Nothing And Values Reflection Even Less. As Artists, Thinkers, Or Cultural Producers, It Is Our Responsibility To Reevaluate Such Cultural Throwaways, Even If Only To Restore A Much-Needed Pause In The Nonstop March To Greater And Greater Acceleration. (Excerpt From Carolyn Kane’s Essay, Bridge Time)

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Reviews & Essays
Bridge Time by Carolyn L. Kane ⍄
ArtReview
Know Wave Magazine 
Monocle Arts Review 


Know Wave
In conversation with William J. Simmons


 Confessions, Urethane on gessoed canvas, 96 X 56 inches

Confessions, Urethane on gessoed canvas, 96 X 56 inches

…WJS: I love the idea of the “unseen,” as this is exactly what you are doing – you’re mining color that is only visible for a few moments from the text you are searching. In this way, you are getting at some kind of interior space, that may not be initially legible, on what looks like highly polished, hard-edged abstract paintings. After all, the origin of abstraction was exactly the search for something that is perpetually unseen – a universal language, some sort of expression without speech that transcends culture, and enters the realm of the spiritual. The other component of the “unseen,” however, is an element of control. Even the most minute experiences we have on our phones are regulated. Is there something nefarious latent in your project? I’m reminded of that very famous Barbara Kruger image/book Remote Control (1994). There is also a connection to Sarah Charlesworth’s Modern History series, in which information and socio-political relationships become reduced to formal relationships.

MG: I’m looking for that quiet and undefined space between information, and what you refer to as the interior space – that flawed moment in translation, color, and order, right before it fails. Charlesworth’s Modern History series is a perfect example. In that work, the entire written context was removed, leaving you with just a stark black and white image, with a floating set of editorial photos, and a header. By way of redaction, you were faced with drawing your own conclusions from the void. These are similar in that way, though the cues of information are further removed to set up issues with context, color, and perception. Deception isn’t designed into the image, but if a painting is contextualized with a provocative title, for example Stereotypes or Faith, the viewer is bringing their history of the subject to the image, and it can be construed as subliminal…. Continue Reading ⍄


MIke Genovese

Ren Ben
Benefit Exhibition


 Abandon Reason, Acrylic paint on canvas 12 1/2 X 27 1/2 inches, 2017

Abandon Reason, Acrylic paint on canvas 12 1/2 X 27 1/2 inches, 2017



"Los Angeles-based Michael Genovese’s recent paintings of colorful rectangles in some ways appear to conform to the well-worn conventions of minimalism and modernist color fields. But they complicate the story with an offbeat set of hues described by art and design historian Caroline Kane as "running the gamut of pale blue, turquoise, muted magenta, burnt orange, and dirty yellow … in a full-blown defiance of any color pairing principle from primary, secondary, and tertiary sets to tetratic, analogous, or simultaneous contrasts." The offset, asymmetrical arrangement of forms disturbs the functioning of the grid undergirding so much of modernist painting, resulting in compositions that appear simultaneously agitated and meticulous."- The Renaissance Society

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Joan Los Angeles
Benefit


Issac (Yishaq), Acrylic paint and gesso pn cotton, 22 X 15 inches, 2017

JOAN is a Los Angeles-based nonprofit space for exhibitions, performances, and screenings with a focus on emerging and under-recognized artists. Proceeds from this auction will directly fund programming at JOAN.

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Bridge Time
Exhibition Essay by Carolyn L. Kane


 Rg. 73, Rage, (Feelings and Emotions Chart), Polished urethane on canvas, 58 X 121 inches

Rg. 73, Rage, (Feelings and Emotions Chart), Polished urethane on canvas, 58 X 121 inches

These days no one has time to wait. Spare seconds, minutes, let alone half-hours and 45-minute sessions have become increasingly expensive in our high-speed, high-resolution, pay-per-download Wi-Fi culture. Everything must be NOW or it risks being at all. At least this is the ideology ushered in through e-commerce, mass media, and corporate capital.

But bridge time does exist. This is the in-between time that stitches together those almost imperceptible instants and forgotten thresholds of passing, segues, and crossovers. In the human world, bridge time is walking across the office, crossing the street, or waiting for someone to answer your call. In the world of computing, bridge time involves downloading, processing, saving, storing, encoding and decoding, transmission, and mass dissemination. In fact, there is a significantly grotesque amount of bridge time in the world of “high-speed” computation. Hi-tech industry may not want us to take much notice of the ubiquity of these in-between states, but they are there, and they are also the key to developing a richer understanding of ourselves and the culture we live in.

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MIke Genovese

Lines and Cracks and Zebras and Horses
Solo Exhibition at OHWOW


 Installation view

Installation view

Lines and Cracks and Zebras and Horses – a recently completed body of work based on lineation, cleave, and the concept implied by the aphorism: “When you hear hoof beats behind you, don’t expect to see a zebra.” A series of plasma-cut steel wall reliefs located throughout the gallery compose a subtle arrangement based equally on materiality and concept.

These raised, sculptural “drawings” suggest following the maxim that common sense is the shortest distance between two points or to recognize the grace in directness. Genovese recreates various, common occurrences of line – an architectural fracture; a hair in the bathtub; the mark of automatic writing; a military line of demarcation; a varicose vein, or a simple fabric seam. He considers where these delineations appear, why they develop, and how they are finally perceived. With a piece titled Mimesis, 2012, Genovese merges a crack found in a Pompeii fresco with a line from Metallica’s …And Justice for All album cover artwork. By stitching these unrelated strands together, Genovese formulates a new pattern, but one that still reads as spontaneous as chance. The compound of seemingly disparate fissures subsequently reveals self-similar patterns, as in the logic of fractal mathematics. Therefore, variations in contour between unrelated sources are not as far removed from one other as they may first appear, and conceptually framed, what one assumes a chasm may actually serve as a suture.


...but not simpler
Exhibition catalogue essay by Shamim M. Momin


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The title of Michael Genovese’s exhibition (Lines and Cracks and Zebras and Horses) draws in part on a colloquial aphorism — “when you hear hooves beat behind you, don’t expect to see a zebra” or “when you hear hooves beat, think horses, not zebras” — which typically is understood to evolve from the principle of Occam’s (or Ockham’s) razor. Attributed to the 14th century logician and Franciscan friar William of Ockham, the principle states, “Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate,” or “Entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily.”

Over time, this principle has been largely misunderstood to mean that as a general rule, in both science and philosophy, one should stick with the most “obvious” hypothesis or conclusion, as that is typically the correct one. In fact, what Occam proposed was a guideline to developing a theory, not a conclusion: the idea that when you have competing theories that make the same predictions/conclusion, the simpler is better. Importantly, the notion of simpler is not necessarily what seems most obvious (which usually includes one’s untested biases, preferences and predilections), but rather the one with the most observable elements (empirically testable), the fewest new assumptions.

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MIke Genovese

The Writing of History
Exhibition Essay by Shannon Stratton


 Cascade, Steel wall relief

Cascade, Steel wall relief

In university my friend, a former ballerina, discovered she had caused a stress fracture in her shin from working out too much at the gym. Sometimes described as a hairline fracture, I imagined watching this crack creeping across my friend’s leg like a  sheet of ice crazing under my foot as my full weight came to rest on its cool surface. Or, to put the emphasis on the “stress,” I imagined my entire body slowly shattering when the weight of anxiety or fear or loneliness could be felt too heavily on my mind, my shoulders, my heart.

While I’ve seen cracks and crazes, and fractures and fissures, the imagining of the incident, the slow traveling of the fractures path as it tears, at a meandering pace, throughout he matter that it is dividing, has resonance. It’s a sharp pang in the stomach you let slip between your fingers the moment, the person, the place, and it falls away from your grasp for good. It’s an ache as a distance stretched out between you and a loved one when the last words exchanged drive you further apart and you both watch, dumbfounded, as this last breach gapes wider, it’s a twinge in your heart as you taste the bittersweet. It’s the distress that crumples the mind, fragmenting into a million little cavities that hold a million little details that can no longer be held together. It’s the sting of disappointment that splinters the ego, as bad news comes to rest. And it is also the stitch, that creeps down your side, marking a moment of exertion when your body feels the last burst of its efforts in a sensation that both severs and joins it, a sensation of both pain and triumph.

Is this what it means to suffer fracture? Is it only pain? An emotional rending that leers its way through nerves and blood and bone and flesh and heart and brain like a surge of electricity cuts through the sky? And why then, is it only sometimes beautiful? Lightening surely fills us with awe, but the soft crazes of a porcelain tea cup or the fissure that worms its way through marble, have a sense of history that soothes us, while the crack that bursts through plexiglass is an eye sore. The plexiglass is ruined, its purpose marred and impaired by the crack, but the marble has acquired more character. The fissure is at home with the gently worn depressions where a million feet have been given support as the beat a path to and fro. Continue Reading ⍄


Shards of Hope, The Cornell Sun
Exhibition review by Daveen Koh


 Lines and cracks and zebras and horses, Installation view

Lines and cracks and zebras and horses, Installation view

Visitors to artist Michael Genovese’s solo show, Lines and Cracks and Zebras and Horses, at the OHWOW Gallery in Los Angeles have cause for concern — massive, silvery cracks run along the otherwise pristine gallery walls. The room appears to be on the verge of crumbling. These fault lines are not really chasms (although you can never really be sure about these things in contemporary art). They are more like casts of chasms, memorials to anything that might take on the form of a line, however sacred or banal. Accompanied by a book of line-dominated images, notably a thunderous herd of zebras, the impossibly reflective sculptures are arresting for their scale and symbolism. Each sculpture is the convergence of disparate worlds: Pompeii frescoes meet Metallica; a crack from an Iranian Mihrab dated 720 A.D. fuses with a mortar line from the vicinity of Castillo de San Marcos in Florida. Looking at them, it’s entirely appropriate to feel like you’re in the throes of an earthquake.

In an interview with Genovese explained that his work is about “designating value” to fragments of life. Whether it’s staring at stray hairs in the bathtub or gazing at a historical landmark (a very loaded term, in the context of this show), these moments mean something because, in that instant, we are registering the things around us and trying to make sense of them. By turning a crack, usually associated with damage, into a sculpture, Genovese alters the meaning of the crack.
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The Belly and the Members
Group Exhibition curated by Antonia Marsh


 Manicured fields of failure, Mirror polished nickel plated steel. 110 X 1/4 inches

Manicured fields of failure, Mirror polished nickel plated steel. 110 X 1/4 inches

"The Belly and the Members brings together artistic positions from 20 international artists that visualise and present the fragmented body as a provocative field of inquiry. Including work from a variety of media, the exhibition focuses on notions of fragmentation, dismemberment and decay specifically in relation to the human body and its inextricable psychological self. The Belly and the Members shares its title with an Aesop Fable from the 6th century BC wherein the extremities, or ‘members’, of the body go on strike in defiance of the belly who they believe to be greedily taking all the food; until they themselves weaken to the point of realisation that they cannot survive alone. The discernment that “all must work together or the body will go to pieces” becomes an allegory for a symbiotic reliance on reciprocal interrogation between artworks.

The Belly and the Members posits that the ontology of an artwork has much in common with the body: responding to pressures, meeting projected expectations and as an outward expression of an inner self whose surface remains a sensitive terrain susceptible to exterior traumas. As our interface with an external world, individually we each relate to the experience of inhabiting a body; but once dissembled, fragmented bodies stand collectively as analogies for our increasingly disparate society and global territories more generally. Living in what has been referred to as a “post-truth” world, the boundaries between fiction and reality come under scrutiny as artists compel a self-reflective reassessment of the political as well as the personal..."

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Joliet
Solo Exhibition at Paris London Hong Kong


Paris, London, Hong Kong presents Joliet, a solo exhibition of new work by Los Angeles-based artist Michael Genovese. "Joliet features a series of plasma-cut steel wall reliefs that explore the value of space, isolation, and stillness. The exhibition’s title references the Illinois city of Joliet, originally spelled Juliet, which is considered by many a small prison town. The connotations of the name (Shakespeare’s Juliet and the city’s reputation), raise a sense of longing and contemplation, and the tension of restraint. Genovese’s works resemble large cracks along the gallery walls, causing a consideration of the confined space and the perimeters, therein. The weighted steel works are the culmination of historical fractures, political, and popular culture references, which Genovese traces and removes from their original context and repurposes for his practice. He employs a reduced material vocabulary as a means to quiet the mind and heal information overload. In doing so, he leaves the viewer in a contemplative confinement; left to confront their innermost thoughts, fears, and desires."

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Post-Post Script
Solo Exhibition at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum


 

Tablet 9, Hand engraved text on nickel plated and mirror polished aluminum plate, 39 X 32 inches

 

Michael Genovese presents Post-Post Scriptum, the second exhibition in a series of work created during his one-year visiting artist tenure at the Frost Art Museum and Florida International University. This body of work is an interpretation of the archived information, research, and development accumulated over the past year, when Genovese studied the social commentary and drawings collected on campus and the surrounding area, through his P.S. Project (2008-12). The information gathered was designated into 16 various subjects, including: Faith, Stereotypes, and Existentialism, to capture the zeitgeist of students during a time of change. The text was then transcribed and translated into different languages, archived in an on-line repository, which was created in collaboration with the Frost Art Museum.

In this exhibition, Genovese reintroduces the information by performing as a scribe. The text is meticulously hand-engraved, using a codex designed by the artist, onto mirror polished plates of aluminum, electroplated and cut into shapes referencing relics of early civilizations from 196 B.C. and the 12th century. The shapes recall the Rosetta Stone and the Seven Tablets of Creation, but rather than the original decrees or sacred texts incised on the surface, Genovese’s inscriptions reveal the social commentary of today. Quotes such as: "Not all brown people are terrorists," or "God. Has. Forgotten. Me," reveal an intimate dialogue that marks our moment in history. The other work in the exhibition include vitrines arranged with documents of the transcriptions, photographic prints of scans and screen shots culled from the internet, collaged images, and a wall relief (Mimesis, 2012), which is a polished steel fissure that combines a tracing of a sidewalk crack found on campus and a line from a fractured fresco found in a photo of Pompeii. Curated by Klaudio Rodriguez

 Mimesis, Installation view at PPS

Mimesis, Installation view at PPS


Post-Script
Solo Exhibition at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum


Fueled by a desire to understand what it is to be human, at the most elemental of levels, contemporary artist Michael Genovese set out to examine the American public during times of transition. This four-year exchange created a social dialogue, through the most fundamental form of communication – conversation. With Post Script, Genovese presented the first of two exhibitions. Seven large-scale works pointed to his research and development, gleaned during his one-year visiting artist tenure at the Frost Art Museum and Florida International University.

He combined over 20 different surfaces, carved and written on with specific themes, such as: existentialism, dreams, and Intoxication, including works from different parts of the country to create a conversation about cross-cultural comparisons. This monochromatic exhibition featured an aluminum composite material incised with markings created by students of FIU and the general public. The plates were arranged in various compositions that pointed to works he studied from the Frost Art Museums permanent collection, including pieces by David Hockney, Agnes Martin, Louise Nevelson, and Frederick Kiesler.

The exhibition begins with a combination of rectangles and squares that climb the wall and rest on the floor, paired with an extrusion chair made by Emmet Moore. This composition is a silhouette of Frederick Kieslers Galaxy 1, and features six aluminum composite plates that have incised drawings and social commentary from various institutions from around the country. The locations include: FIU campus, The Miami Art Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The University of Texas San Antonio, Loyola University, and a plate installed in a bathroom at a local billiard hall.

Next to this installation, Genovese presents a combination of work where the plates are cut to adjoin on the same plane with a circular plate mounted the center of the work. The shapes and color recall a Louis Nevelson piece from the Frost collection, held together with a set of square tubing, which references a work on paper – Chicago, 1952, by Artist Agnes Martin – and an internet symbol – Flipping Table. The plates content mix drawing and social commentary created by Miami-Dade high school students, and the surface of a lunch table from the Frost Art Museum. Continue Reading ⍄


It's Not the Heat, It's the Humility.
Solo Exhibition at OHWOW


 Invisible men, Hand engraved transcription of Ralph Ellison's Invisible man (1952) on polished aluminum with aircraft cables, live plants and stanchions, 70 X 260 inches. The installation is a replica of Frederick Kiesler's installation design of One: Number 31,1950 at "Jackson Pollock 1912-1956" at the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Rome curated by Peggy Guggenheim (1958). Installation at OHWOW (2009)

Invisible men, Hand engraved transcription of Ralph Ellison's Invisible man (1952) on polished aluminum with aircraft cables, live plants and stanchions, 70 X 260 inches. The installation is a replica of Frederick Kiesler's installation design of One: Number 31,1950 at "Jackson Pollock 1912-1956" at the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Rome curated by Peggy Guggenheim (1958). Installation at OHWOW (2009)

Michael Genovese’s work operates as a reflection, both in a conceptual context and in a literal sense. This exhibition addresses a range of subjects, from Art History to American culture, pomposity to personal debt. The artist holds up a mirror in order to understand his identity and his role in relation to these subjects, while challenging the viewer to perform the same exercise. How we define ourselves, our choice of expression, the ways we are influenced by what we read and experience, all create cause for reflection and require a measure of humility in doing so.

Genovese’s text engravings on high-polished aluminum panels are simultaneously illegible and painstakingly detailed; they are further evolved reincarnations of pulp and prose. By turning his formerly disregarded mail – unpaid bills, debt collector threats, and legal documents – into sacred objects, he aims to more accurately convey the power of burden. Also among this collection of engravings is a panel cataloging public commentary gathered from a previous project, citing nonsensical quotes like “Tippy-toe on the pooty-side” alongside profound examples: “Our dreams don’t fit on your ballot”. Another engraving plucks sections of cultural essays; from Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man” : “You ache with the need to convince yourself that you do exist in the real world…”. Two chrome-plated, twin pieces, present the myth of Narcissus – one in Spanish, the other in French.

A pentaptych of paintings, executed in a style similar to the engravings, rewrites selections from a manifesto on Futurism – a lofty art movement, full of Italian bravado, which fell short of its own expectations. “Today, let tomorrow go” is the incomprehensible message on a monochromatic black painting. In each incarnation of the two-dimensional work a reflection is forced, but an obstacle exists – the process of analysis is difficult, uncomfortable, and at times simply impossible. The overall presentation of this work is an appropriation of theories from “Art and the Power of Placement” and a nod to the bygone era of formal gallery settings.

Three large-scale sculptures continue the conversation of obstacle and experience. A porch, missing its home, is preserved like a giant chunk of amber containing the DNA of a tragic history. A bizarre arrangement of ordinary pipes and chains is elevated to grandiose through its nickel-plated treatment. Metal rails are manipulated into a circular formation, grounded with cement footings molded from traffic cones. The motive of this work is also an interactive one; an invitation to flex your agility on a course constructed to humiliate.

Accumulated sheets of paper, in actuality, weigh less than an ounce, yet can resonate the poundage of an anvil. Genovese takes intellectual ideas and gives them anatomy to match significance, while trying to preserve their original integrity. Ten-gauge aluminum panels somehow feel ephemeral, and a hulking wooden sculpture still gives a fragile impression; interpretations change depending on the view.


Resting with the petals of a rose 
Group Exhibition organized by Michelle Weinberg


 Resting with the petals of a rose, Carved blue agave

Resting with the petals of a rose, Carved blue agave

“There is a plant in the side room as well, which may be the most interesting piece in the whole show: this one is alive, and is a blue agave plant on which Genovese has carved text. Anyone familiar with his work will recognize this stylistic incorporation, as he painstakingly writes and carves his version of hieroglyphics on his works, often made of a metal. But in this case, Genovese found the writings of a self-help guru online and repeated his words on the plant, which he will continue to add to as the agave grows. It’s pretty cool all around. On the wall is a nickel- plated aluminum mirror (like everything here, a creative take on an average household object), also with a script inscribed.”Tschida, Anne. Escape this room, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
 

"Resting with the petals of a rose, by Michael Genovese is a piece with a heightened sense of symbolism. The artist who has always had an interest in codification and the representation of history through the construction and deconstruction of symbols, presents up with a blue agave plant whose leaves have been engraved with phrases extracted from self-help videos from YouTube. The job of the agave-whose leaves continually regenerate - is to incorporate the ides of evolution and continuum that underlies Genovese's work." Batet, Janet. Escape the Room, Artes y Letras, El Nuevo Herald, Miami, FL