The Ministry of Artistic Affairs
Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Opening on September 9, OHWOW will present a solo exhibition of new work by José Parlá. "Character Gestures" will exhibit a series of paintings, mono-transfers and installations and build on the artist's earlier work that dealt with the concept of psychogeography and depicted distressed architectural surfaces layered with calligraphic text. While Parlá continues to broach the idea of how we experience urban landscapes and the visual language of mark making, the shift within Character Gestures stems from a deeper engagement with process and abstraction.

The notion of "character" is as much about text, integrity, and specific traits, as it is a literal nod to Parlá's performance, wherein he assumes the role of hypothetical pedestrians who interact with marred city walls, as he creates the work. "Gesture," encompasses the ideas of movement, communication, and demonstration, and is mutually respectful of the artist's accidental and calculated actions when applying medium to surface.

In addition to the paintings, a large-scale installation will also fill the central gallery space. This freestanding sculptural translation of classroom memories opens a conversation with the surrounding paintings. In a collection of work on paper, which Parlá refers to as "mono-transfers," he experiments with a form of frottage, documenting his new paintings via the impressions they leave on paper.

Character Gestures exemplifies Parlá's deftness at technical execution. His fluency in visual communication is mindful of the fact that any emotion or memory that attempts physicality can only serve, in reality, as an abbreviation of its original essence. He mitigates this condition through his poetic and individualized form of aesthetic dialogue, while navigating the art historic doctrine of Abstraction.

José Parlá studied fine arts at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia, and The New World School of the Arts in Miami, Florida. His work has appeared in exhibitions in London, New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Sydney and Paris. Character Gestures is his first solo exhibition at OHWOW, and a catalogue will be published in conjunction with the show. Parlá's monograph, Walls, Diaries, and Paintings (2011), was published by Hatje Cantz for the occasion of his solo exhibition at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery in New York. Parlá currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

José Parlá
"Character Gestures"
September 9 - October 22, 2011
937 N. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90069