Kaufmann Repetto announces Earthquake Weather, Dianna Molzan’s first solo painting show at the gallery. In Dianna Molzan’s work, paint, canvas and wood are the starting point for a deeper investigation of the medium that both upends and embraces traditional forms of painting as a means to speak about larger cultural norms and customs. With an additive approach that is concerned with style as much as formal experimentation, Molzan’s paintings – often referred to as painting-objects –create unexpected visual experiences that are essentially abstract and yet often deadpan in their depiction of everyday objects. Coins, fringe, stuffed pillows, as well as art historical references ranging from genre floral still life painting to postminimalism, are reoccurring elements found in Molzan’s work.
Earthquake Weather is a show about many things, but mostly it is about inherited belief systems and structures, handed down and perpetuated over centuries of human activity that continue to guide our present cultural climate. For instance, many people in the world eat with forks, knives and spoons, and though they come in different shapes and styles (akin to type fonts) and are made from disposable plastic to the best sterling silver, the why and when of their invention is trivia for the curious, but not necessarily for the everyday user. Sitting at a table to eat, much like putting paint on a smooth surface for others to contemplate, is a designed experience developed over many centuries with each generation slightly altering and refining the parameters.
The title of the show came from a casual conversation the artist had with a stranger in passing. It is not uncommon for people in Los Angeles, where Molzan lives, to observe, “Looks like earthquake weather today.” Despite a lack of scientific evidence showing a connection between the two (maybe one of the few calamities unaffected by global warming), some continue to believe that a certain type of weather can predict earthquakes. It is of course also much discussed how a portion of the population does not believe global warming is a problem caused by human activity, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. That so much of what we do or believe or value seems highly pre-determined yet also arbitrary was the guiding idea for the work in Earthquake Weather