Acoustic foam, felt, audio cable, and music stands are materials Los Angeles-based artist Nikita Gale often employs to visually articulate the mechanics of sound and to point to the intertwined histories of politics and “the crowd.” Gale’s large, multi-part installations are also informed by the relationship between histories of protest and the urban landscape and, more recently, new theories about mass communication, social relationships, and listening. Gale’s work features familiar forms, such as crowd control barricades, that signify control and power; however, the artist reconfigures these items in new orientations which grant them new currency and meaning. Gale’s site-responsive installations consider the specific architectural features of a site, drawing our attention to the corners, the seams, the edges, and other interstitial spaces that are often overlooked but are integral to the structural foundation of the building. EASY LISTENING considers how the new or unfamiliar can quickly become normalized and mainstream, shedding potency or radicality along the way. Everyday materials, such as concrete or music categorized as “easy listening,” fade into the background, droning within the structures of contemporary life.
Nikita Gale: EASY LISTENING is organized by MacKenzie Stevens, Director, Visual Arts Center.
This exhibition is generously supported by the Kaleta A. Doolin Foundation.
Nikita Gale (b. 1983, Anchorage, Alaska) received a BA from Yale University (2006) and an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles (2016). Gale has had solo exhibitions at Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles (2018); Atlanta Contemporary Art Center (2018); 56 Henry, New York (2018); Artist Curated Projects, Los Angeles (2017); PARMER, Brooklyn (2014); and The Front, New Orleans (2013) amongst others. Gale has participated in group exhibitions at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha (2019); The New School, New York (2019); CUE Foundation, New York (2019); Cubitt, London (2019); Martos Gallery, New York (2019); Ceysson & Bénétière, Paris (2018); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2018); Reyes Projects, Detroit (2018); Rodeo Gallery, London (2017); The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2017); Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery, Stony Brook (2017); LUX, London (2017); LAXART, Los Angeles (2016); Ochi Projects, Los Angeles (2016); American Academy in Rome, Rome (2016); Public Fiction, Paris (2015); and the Zuckerman Museum of Art, Kennesaw (2015) amongst others. Gale has held residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and the Center for Photography at Woodstock, NY.