Soft As Velvet Eyes Can See Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili, K.R.M. Mooney, Kate Spencer Stewart March 18 - May 8 2021

Bureau is pleased to present Soft As Velvet Eyes Can See, a three-person show featuring Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili, K.R.M. Mooney and Kate Spencer Stewart. The exhibition emphasizes the somatic experience of perception, allowing for the works to be read intuitively and sensorily. The title for the show, Soft As Velvet Eyes Can See is a lyric from the band My Bloody Valentine and suggests a kind of synesthetic transfer, offering the possibility of experiencing the tactile through sight. My Bloody Valentine are known for a highly textured wall of guitar noise, where technique is pushed to a sonic limit, to create an immersive and encompassing soundscape. The exhibition seeks to create a similar lush bombardment.

Each artist is acutely sensitive to the materiality of their own practice. Their works, however physically grounded, are beguiling, engrossing and enigmatic. Alexi-Meskhishvili’s photographic images – framed or billowing on floor- length, translucent cotton textile – approach abstraction despite the concrete nature of the medium. A distant and veiled subject is obscured in an enveloping gauzy light, eschewing focus. Influenced by a background in jewelry and small metals, Mooney’s sculptures have a solid, machine-like physicality, yet refuse a specific function. The works are positioned intentionally within the gallery’s architecture, placed directly atop the sun-lit floor or hung at hip-height of an interstitial space. Mooney’s object-amalgams manifest a steely, metallic quality that is met with a luminescent softness, as disparate surface textures catch the fluctuating qualities of light. Stewart’s oil paintings open up vast expanses of color and space that are as abundantly aqueous and atmospheric as they are glowing and igneous. The surfaces are built up with densely layered pigments that forge a shimmering vision that morphs at angles and seems to buzz with an ecstatic haze of noise.

Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili (b.1979 Tbilisi, Georgia) lives and works in Berlin, Germany. She received a BFA from Bard College, New York. Solo exhibitions include Boiled Language, LC Queisser, Tbilisi, 2020; mother, feelings, cognac, galerie frank elbaz, Paris, 2019; Hollow Body, Andrea Rosen Gallery 2, New York, 2016; I Move Forward, I Protozoan, Pure Protein, Micky Schubert, Berlin, 2016; Hollow Body, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, 2015. Selected recent group exhibitions include, Studio Berlin, Berghain/Boros Collection, Berlin, 2020; Albrecht Fuchs: Album. Portraits 1989-2020, Museum für Photographie Braunschweig, 2020; Auguries Cast Aside, Karma, NY, 2019; Outlandish and Emblematic, the Still Life in Photographic Concepts of the Present, Kunst Haus, Vienna, 2018; Made in Germany III, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, 2017; and Surround Audience, New Museum Triennial, New York, 2015. She will be included in the Louis Roederer Discovery Award exhibition in Arles, France this summer, 2021.

K.R.M. Mooney (b. 1990 Seattle, WA) lives and works in Oakland, CA. Mooney received a BFA from California College of the Arts, San Francisco and a BA with Honors from Central Saint Martins, London. Solo exhibitions include Ores, David Dale Gallery, Glasgow, 2019; Näcre, Altman Siegel, San Francisco, 2019; Carrier, Kunstverein Braunschweig, Braunschweig, 2019; SECA Art Award exhibition, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, 2019; Oscine, Reserve Ames, Los Angeles, 2016; Near Passerine, Pied-à-terre, Ottsville, PA, 2015; En, Set, The Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco, 2015. Selected recent group exhibitions include, The Inconstant World, ICA LA, Los Angeles, 2021; Sometimes when birds make sounds, it feels like the sounds are coming out of me, Yale Union, Portland, Oregon, 2020; In Practice: Total Disbelief, Sculpture Center, Queens, NY, 2020. Mooney will have a solo exhibition at Progetto, Lecce, Italy in 2022.

Kate Spencer Stewart (b. 1984 Phoenix, AZ) Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. She received a BFA from Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles, and attended the Mountain School of the Arts, Los Angeles. Solo exhibitions include Park View/Paul Soto, Los Angeles, 2020; The Gallery @ Le Hangar Restaurant, Paris, 2019; The Gallery @ Michael’s Restaurant, Santa Monica, 2018. Selected recent group exhibitions include, Friend of a Friend, Piktogram Gallery, Warsaw, 2019; Here’s why patterns, Here’s why patterns, Here’s why patterns, Misako & Rosen Gallery, Tokyo, 2019; CD SM KSS, Redling Fine Art, Los Angeles, 2017. She will have a solo exhibition at La Maison de Rendez-Vous, Brussels in 2022.

Image of oil on linen painting by kate Spencer Stewart with an atmospheric brushy wash of crimson paint over a pale background with hints of green and yellow underneath

Kate Spencer Stewart, Sisi, 2021, oil on linen, 27 × 27 in.

Installation view looking down the hallway towards the back gallery, with KRM Mooney's sculpture in the foreground and Kate Spencer Stewarts painting on the wall to the right.
Installation view of a sculpture by KRM Mooney consisting of 7 hand made objects displayed on the floor.
Close up view of KRM Mooney sculpture, consisting of silver plated tubing mounted to a steel bracket with a knurled handle with white electrical wire extending from it.

K.R.M. Mooney, Plates (xi), 2019, silver conduit, steel, bronze, grounding wire, solder, polyolefin, dimensions variable

Installation view looking from the hallway into the main gallery, showing a photograph by Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili hanging on the hallway wall, a see-through curtain by Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili, and a painting by Kate Spencer Stewart.
Abstract blue and red photograph with obscured text and scratched lines going horizontally across the image.

Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili, Standing order, 2020, archival pigment print, 27 ½ × 22 ⅛ in.

Installation view of three large abstract paintings by Kate Spencer Stewart.
Abstract oil on linen painting by Kate Spencer Stewart with a multi-color underpainting and water-like ripples of dark blues and purples overtop.

Kate Spencer Stewart, Gen, 2021, oil on linen, 66 × 66 in.

Abstract oil on linen painting by Kate Spencer Stewart with a white/gray underpainting and pale yellow stipple-like application of paint on top.

Kate Spencer Stewart, Lal, 2021, oil on linen, 66 × 66 in.

Abstract oil on linen painting by Kate Spencer Stewart with an almost black, heavily brushed layer of purple paint with faint areas of pink and orange coming to the surface.

Kate Spencer Stewart, Dromm, 2021, oil on linen, 66 × 66 in.

Installation view with a small red photograph by Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili on the left, and two paintings by Kate Spencer Stewart on the middle and right walls.
Installation view with a wall sculpture by KRM Mooney on the left and two photographs by Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili to the right.
Image of an artwork by KRM Mooney comprised of a black metal jeweler's vice holding a basin of delft sand used for metal casting with a small aluminum cast of the letter "K"
Image of an artwork by KRM Mooney comprised of a black metal jeweler's vice holding a basin of delft sand used for metal casting with a small aluminum cast of the letter "K"

K.R.M. Mooney, Detrition II, 2021, GRS specialized jewelers vise, aluminum, delft sand, silver, 5 × 5 × 7 in.

Image of photograph by Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili depicting and mostly purple image with a light blue tint around the edge of the image. There is a decorative pattern visible deep within the purple of the image.

Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili, Vines, 2020, archival pigment print, 27 ½ × 22 ⅛ in.

Image of photograph by Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili depicting an abstract red image with a splash of orange and yellow throughout. There is an image of flowers partially obscured and blurry at times throughout.

Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili, Black lace flowers, 2020, archival pigment print, 15 × 12 in.

Image of a light green/blue and yellow curtain with a black border hanging ceiling to floor and occupying most of the wall visible. There are a few red spots in the center of the curtain.

Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili, Nails, 2021, inkjet print on organic cotton, dimensions variable

Installation view with a curtain work by Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili on the left side of the image, to the right  is a sculpture by KRM Mooney followed by two photographs by Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili.
Image of an installation view with two paintings by Kate Spencer Stewart on the left side of the image and a curtain work by Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili to the right, with a hallway on the far right.

Photography by Dario Lasagni