April 9 – June 7, 2015
Reception Thursday, April 9, 7 to 10 pm
2630 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami, FL 33127
Alejandra von Hartz Gallery is very pleased to present Intimate Material Systems, a solo exhibition by Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova. This is the artist first solo exhibition with the gallery and will feature a large scale installation and several new wall and floor works. The show runs from April 9 to June 7, 2015. An opening reception will take place on Saturday, April 9, from 7 to 10 pm.
The aesthetic decisions that govern basic self-expression are not always based in theory, culture, trends or taste, but sometimes by economics and necessity. Economic and industrial forces may be at work steering the choices made available to us. Although there exists an infinite range of options, economic limitations may curtail the opportunities for truly autonomous self-expression.
These economic circumstances may create a cultural passivity described by Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer’s “Dialectic of Enlightenment” which discusses their notion of the “culture industry.” They view contemporary society’s culture industry as an aspect of the enlightenment that has betrayed itself by allowing instrumental logic to take over human social life. According to Adorno and Horkheimer, the culture industry is a phenomenon of late modernism, one which encompasses all products and forms of mass self-expression. All these forms of popular culture are designed to satisfy the growing needs of mass consumers.
Products of the culture economy take the appearance of artwork or of self expression, but are in fact dependent on industry and economy—meaning they are subjected to the interests of economic powers. All products of the culture industry are designed for profit and based on consumer statistics and therefore perpetuating these issues. This means that possibly every work of art or act of expression is turned into a consumer product and is shaped by the logic of consumer rationality (i.e. whatever sells best). Art and self-expression is no longer autonomous, but is rather a commodified product of the economic relations of production. Rodriguez-Casanova elects to work within these confines by allowing these forces to do their bidding, thus engaging in a practice that questions the autonomy of art making while demonstrating the passive and subordinated role society may have become in their most intimate and self expressive environments—their homes.
Ultimately, Rodriguez-Casanova presents to his viewers, a series of geometric constructions using the most basic and limited material standards available to him with a strict set of peramiters. The materials follow typical domestic architectural arrangements, but reconfigured to remove there original designed intensions. This leaves unfinished and sporadic compositions that act as a social disobedience within the Culture Industry. The choices that have been pre-defined for him are used to move outside of this framework and create new narratives with these objects.
For his first solo exhibition with the gallery, Intimate Material Systems, Rodriguez-Casanova continues to explore the formal relationships with the intimate materials of domestic environments while initiating his response to the economic forces that dictate his production. He is particularly interested in rhythmic and geometric compositions that develop out of wooden structures and drywall use to make walls, shelving panels and brackets, glass pains, doors, blinds and other materials found in domestic spaces.
Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova (b. 1973 Havana, Cuba) immigrated to the United States with his parents in 1980 during the Mariel boat lift. He currently lives and works in Miami, FL. He attended the Ringling School of Art and Design and New World School of the Arts where he was awarded the Frances Wolfson Endowed Visual Arts Scholarship, and has completed residencies at the Capri Palace, Capri, Italy; Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT; Ville de Paris-Cultures France program at the Centre international d’accueil et d’échanges des Recollets, Paris, France.
Rodriguez-Casanova has exhibited throughout the US and abroad in numerous exhibitions including: Textures of Place, Prosjektrom Normanns, Stavenger, Norway; Una Mirada Multiple: Selections from the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana, Cuba; The Fabric of a Space, Abrons Arts Center, New York, NY; Open Space, Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, NY; InPractice, Sculpture Center, Long Island City, NY. Recent solo exhibitions include: ZONA MACO, Alejandra von Hartz Gallery, Mexico City, DF; An Uneven Floor, Locust Projects, Miami, FL and You might sleep but you will never dream, David Castillo Gallery, Miami, FL.
His practice has been covered in various publications including The Wall Street Journal, ArtNews, Art in America, Sculpture Magazine, Arte al Dia, Art Nexus and the Miami Herald to name a few. He is in the permanent collections of the Perez Art Museum Miami, PAMM; CIFO: The Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation; The Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum, FIU; The Cintas Foundation, Miami; The Bass Museum of Art as well as in several private collections internationally.
He received the South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship for Visual & Media Arts twice, Frances Wolfson Endowed Visual Arts Scholarship, The Cintas Foundation Fellowship for Visual Arts. His work will be in Temporary Autonomous Zones, Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, FL in March and Intimate Material Systems, Alejandra von Hartz, Miami, FL in April.