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  • Source: ARTFORUM
  • Author: Anne Prentnieks
  • Date: September 14, 2014
  • Format: DIGITAL

Kon Trubkovich: Snow

Exhibition Review

Kon Trubkovich, Untitled (Lenny), 2014, graphite on paper, 29 x 22 1/2".

A pair of solid wooden doors with small brass knobs acts as the physical portal into “Snow,” Kon Trubkovich’s latest show. Opening them feels illicit, like entering a home without knocking. This intimacy is the base layer that connects the works inside: A film assembled from home-video footage and a series of eight oil paintings and mixed-media works visually layer the pixelation of CRT screens with feathered imagery of memories. Trubkovich has said that in his work, “the pause is the abstract gesture.” In “Snow,” the cinematographic paused moment is isolated and transmitted through the hand-worked processes of painting and drawing, rendering freeze-frame images that both celebrate and obliterate the nature of gesture, recalling a lineage of Gerhard Richter.

The film—Snow, 2014—begins and ends with quiet footage of snow falling through trees. This drifting, soft visual brackets ephemeral parcels of imagery: Snow White in the magic kingdom; a family gathering; an urban street blurrily viewed through a windshield. Over the music of slow, low-octave piano notes, each sharpens into focus and then fades out of view. Trubkovich drew directly onto the film with paint, rendering a shape-shifting texture of New Age–y color splats that dance across the surface of each moving image.

This collapsing of layers—suspended individual moments, film, and the viewed surface—creates a sense of delayed déjà vu as one regards the image through seemingly multiple exposures and planes. The camera’s lens becomes fused with the picture plane in canvases and mixed-media works such as Aeroport and Koltsevaya, both 2014. Diligently reproduced from film stills, the paintings capture each pixel in a staccato brushstroke, and the images feel intensely personal. And yet this intimacy is obscured by the flutter of TV fuzz—the snow, as it were, or static—in silent stasis: memory, elusively captured, a gesture in time.