I Know I’ll Never Love This Way Again
May 15 – June 19, 2021
Nino Mier Gallery is pleased to announce I Know I’ll Never Love This Way Again an exhibition of new sculptures by Canada-born, Los Angeles based artist Jon Pylypchuk, opening May 15 and on view until June. There will be an opening reception on Saturday, May 15th from 3 – 9pm.
In recent years, Jon Pylypchuk’s multidisciplinary practice has focused on the making of and use of bronze. For Jon, the medium offers a mode of non-directed experimentation. The artist controls the aging process of his sculptures through the use of different patinas that effect color and finish, making his works appear older and weathered after only having recently been cast.
While the artist’s use of bronze may be new, Pylypchuk continues to use his sculptures as a way to explore the frailty of human existence and social relationships. Through anthropomorphism, he creates characters that seems to have lost their way, appearing in a wounded condition, harmed by themselves or by others. The combination of cynicism, anger and sadness imbue his installations and sculpture with a sense of survivalist humor.
I Know I’ll Never Love This Way Again is an exhibition of ten bronze cigarettes all languishing in various poses throughout the gallery. The cigarette motif is not new to Pylypchuk’s work, but whereas before Pylypchuk’s cigarettes were made of found materials, reinterpreting the bricolage of the Art Brut tradition, their reincarnations are now solely in bronze. These new cigarettes are metaphoric for change – the intention to change and longing to return to a flawed normal. Pylypchuk's cigarettes remind viewers of our false perceptions of control—a fact that has only become more poignant after a year of the pandemic—and of how strongly we might long for those things which we know we shouldn’t, and which ultimately impede our flourishing.
One can’t help but feel a kinship with the exercising cigarette “Untitled, I Know I’ll Never Love This Way Again (situps)” whose body is scrunched into an impossible U shape – his aspirations of a better body seemingly far away against the reddish rust of his bottom half. The weakness of will that Pylypchuk seems to be targeting has its auspices in Greek philosophy, for wasn’t it Socrates who said that “No one who either knows or believes that there is another possible course of action, better than the one he is following, will ever continue on its present course.” A particularly depressing inevitably given the varying cigarettes perceived endeavors to be better.
Smoking is the perfect metaphor for sin, which is a moral version of the means by which our conscious and publicly expressed desires are frequently sabotaged by another part of ourselves whose power we give insufficient credit to.
Since 1998, Jon Pylypchuk continues to be an indelible figure of the Los Angeles art community--as a fixture of the 2000’s Chinatown art scene, a leader in the 2010’s DTLA art scene, and an artist that embodies the independent and maverick spirit of Los Angeles. He maintains a studio in Altadena, however all work of the last year was produced in his backyard, in his underwear.
Jon Pylypchuk’s works are in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Saatchi Collection, London; the Museum of Old and New Art, Berriedale; the Whitney Museum, New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit and the Albright–Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo.