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solo show: benjamin bertocci

20 may - 30 june 2018

von ammon co

8 spruce street, unit 46f

new york, ny 10038

reception 20 may 4-8pm

von ammon co is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of oil paintings by new york artist benjamin bertocci. The exhibition will run from 20 may until 30 june 2018.

bertocci’s first exhibition with von ammon co will consist of seven small, realist oil paintings on marble, granite and laminate.

the liquid crystal display is a site of projection. any image it reveals is non-logocentric: a so-called “solid” object is dissolved into a dense matrix of varying energy levels. the legibility of an LCD screen is determined strictly upon the viewer’s vantage point. Seen from a distance, an LCD dot matrix may give the illusion of a logocentric reality of objects and language; from inches away, the same matrix reveals its true nature: as a homogeneous arena for the free interplay of energy levels. modern physics sees the cosmos in a similar way: physical reality merely the manifestation of different intensities in the subatomic realm.

oil pigment is a similar attractor. regardless of each pigment’s history and provenance, its basic function is the designation of an energy level. in this sense, painting is the structuring of energy on a flat plane. the makers of the LCD screen, like metallurgists, have not imposed “a form upon their materials, but rather have elaborated an increasingly rich and consistent material, the better to tap increasingly intense forces” (1). one could argue that bertocci is using oil paint not to impose forms upon the paint, but to unlock the potential of pure pigment to create an ineffable mesh-like realm wherein the pigment can behave independent of formal constraints: his own painterly “plane of consistency”.

painting on monochrome stone supports spans the history of the medium. bertocci chooses to paint on stone to allow the painting to interact with different notions of time—specifically, geologic and cosmic time.

from bertocci’s perspective, the hierarchy of reality has dissolved completely. though each painting contains tens of thousands of painted pixels, the referent imagery of the screen has flattened to a nearly uniform topology. by examining cultures various communication apparati, bertocci interrogates with notions of ontology in the age of digital reproduction.

the black ground in painting can allude to deep, cosmic space. bertocci’s painted LCD matrices float in ambiguous voids. devoid of a gravitational orbit, an object’s relation to time begins to contort.

bertocci’s subject is a non-subject—using paint to structure light, the resulting figure is immaterial—a projection—hovering in deep space. using the most rigorous modes of hyperrealism, the artist explores the potential for unreality in a traditionally objective-oriented painting tradition. bertocci’s recent painting practice eschews notions of abstraction in favor of a deep study of the field upon which most information is transmitted in the late capitalist era: the liquid crystal display.

von ammon co is an apartment gallery organized by todd von ammon. it is open by appointment only.

to make an appointment or for more information, please email or call 917 658 5444.

(1) Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, (University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1987), page 336.

benjamin bertocci, triumph of love v, 2018, oil on granite, 18 x 18 inches
benjamin bertocci, triumph of love vi, 2018, oil on marble, 18 x 18 inches
benjamin bertocci, triumph of love i, 2017, oil on marble, 12 x 12 inches
benjamin bertocci, triumph of love iii, 2018, oil on granite, 12 x 12 inches
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