Sarah Fripon: Talking About C

Nov 26, 2022 - Jan 7, 2023

30 Orchard St, Gallery 1

Harkawik is pleased to announce our first exhibition with Zeitz-born, Vienna-based painter Sarah Fripon, Talking About C. Comprised of eleven mid-size and two large-scale canvases, Fripon’s first solo exhibition in the United States offers a remarkably concise debut from an artist whose prior work encompassed video, performance, and clothing design. For the past several years, Fripon has amassed a quixotic and wide-ranging image archive, responding to the misalignment between the narratives of advertising and the realities of a post-pandemic economy. The paintings that result from her investigations are thin, primarily dark-hued works, each creating a surprising disjuncture with the protocols of habitable space. Like an old videocassette struggling to regain its tracking, they jiggle indistinctly, throwing dislocating contrast against real subjects in their proximity. Fripon’s paintings have a tendency to “fold back” on themselves, using imagery not commonly associated with systems of information (underwear, produce, disposable flatware) to create their own micro-reference frameworks that suggest an ideological heterogeneity and a wry take on the enterprise of creating order in a chaotic world. Her canvases “bleed” at the edges, betraying the exactitude of their scale, and creating a blotchy, imprecise sort of picture, even as they function so effectively at ideal range. In Four-Fingered Stitch, the glint of knitting needles competes with a shimmering garland of peach splotches, struggling to approximate the human hand. In Transparent, Satisfying Slice, large representational elements—the glint of a knife reflecting the light, a red organic mass, and lumpy, mutable digits—mask abstract ones: chemtrail bursts of color, frosted-glass effects, and wadded-up, streaked off, amalgamated marks and patterns. Fripon describes her paintings as “association chains,” a phrase that recalls both Richter’s exhaustive archive and the more recent investigations of artists like Gina Beavers and Marilyn Minter. Her practice isn’t fundamentally about finding or ranging images according to personal meaning; it is one of profound disassociation, free experimentation, and a relentless questioning of the certainties presented by the world of readymade images.