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February 10 – March 13, 2022

Sarah Gavlak Gallery in Palm Beach

February 10 – March 13, 2022

GAVLAK is pleased to present Quantum Garden, a solo exhibition
of new and recent work by Los Angeles-based artist collaborative FriendsWithYou, on
view from February 10 to March 20, 2022. There will be an opening reception for the
exhibition Saturday, February 12 from 6-8pm. Through FriendsWithYou’s iconic strategy of
“remixing” modern archetypes to tell new stories, this latest body of work includes several
free-standing bronze works and a number of wall-mounted clay sculptures, which recall
the bas-relief in their form and capacity for whimsical narratives, decorative flourishes,
and well-known subjects. Underlaid by a rich understanding of art’s potential as a
connective force and mechanism for empowerment, Quantum Garden introduces a
generative era for FriendsWithYou, during which their visionary practice will be directed
towards designing a paradigm for new systems of belief.

This project interrogates the anthropological dynamics of spirituality, asking how classical
forms of ritual and myth might offer lessons for living in the present. Beginning with their
renaming of Earth as “Ocean,” FriendsWithYou imagines our planet as one where past,
present, and future imminently converge in a teleological metaphor for global unity. The
advent of what they foresee to be a decades-long venture, Quantum Garden offers a first
view at what the collective terms “open-source spirituality.” As a deconstruction of the
traditional structures of religion, FriendsWithYou proposes a philosophy devoid of dogma
or leaders, instead imbuing their work with an agenda based upon FriendsWithYou’s
motto, “Magic, Luck, and Friendship.”

Hijacking familiar likenesses from popular media, FriendsWithYou’s tableaus use
intellectual property as their palette to produce records of the contemporary cultural
landscape, translating this global iconography into overflowing compositions that
analogize the rapid speed of media consumption. Akin to the public art projects and
large-scale installations for which the collective is best known, these comparatively
smaller works maintain a heightened sense of interactivity—rendered in a spectrum of
bright hues, their densely populated landscapes lend to a wholly immersive experience.
Such flashes of joy, nostalgia, and warmth are the result of what FriendsWithYou
describes as their “positive propaganda,” transporting the viewer into a transcendental
state of childlike—or ultrapure—wonderment.

Relational aesthetics remains a continued interest for FriendsWithYou, echoed in their
works’ positioning as vehicles for community building and societal healing. By playing
within the zeitgeist, the collective leverages an earnest effort to create a more empathetic
world.

 

  • Sarah Gavlak Gallery

    Palm Beach

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