LOS ANGELES, CA.- LAXART is pleased to present a new sculptural installation entitled RANK by Los Angeles-based artist Kori Newkirk. Centered upon a highly polished mirrored podium exaggerated to architectural scale, RANK mimics the visual logic and cultural pervasiveness of a recent and forthcoming political theater. By restaging this trope of public speech at a time in which the nation awaits the upcoming presidential election, Newkirk heightens the charge and urgency surrounding this ubiquitous form. Otherwise rendered inconspicuous as a medial device, the functionality of the podium is herein transformed by a manipulation of scale and the application of a mirrored surface to give way to both formal abstraction and pure spectacle. Conjuring both ideology and the body, RANK offers an unspecific monument in which meaning and content are delivered through tensions of presence and absence. It is in this context that Newkirks intervention animates the theatricality of minimalist sculpture, implicating viewers through devices of reflection, while also interrogating the role audiences play in the rituals of political discourse.
Kori Newkirk currently lives and works in Los Angeles. He received his BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1993 and his MFA from the University of California, Irvine in 1997. His work was the recent subject of a ten-year survey at the Studio Museum in Harleman exhibition that is currently on view at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. Additional recent solo exhibitions have taken place at The Project, New York (2006), MC, Los Angeles (2006), the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (2005), and Locust Projects, Miami, Florida (2005). Notable group exhibitions include the 2006 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, DAKART: 7th Dakar Biennial in Dakar, Senegal (2006), the 2004 California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach, California, and Only Skin Deep at the International Center of Photography in New York, the Seattle Art Museum in Seattle Washington, and the San Diego Museum of Art in San Diego, California (2003).