Los Angeles

14 September – 9 November, 2019


In the wind of the mind arises the turbulence called I.
It breaks; down shower the barren thoughts.
All life is choked.
This desert is the abyss wherein the Universe.
The Stars are but thistles in that waste.
Yet this desert is but one spot accursed in a world of bliss

-Aleister Crowley

Praz-Delavallade is pleased to present PARA, an exhibition of new paintings by Chris Hood. This will be the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery.

Chris Hood creates paintings that depict layered arrangements of images set against fields of stained color, with scattered landscape vignettes, picturesque vistas, “clip art”-style icons and simplified central figures. Painted from behind as opposed to from the front, Hood works in a reverse layering process — as each layer dries it seals the surface, blocking the successive layers from penetrating the canvas. The imagery appears to fracture, double, and dissipate amongst the surfaces. Drawn from an archive of personal photographs, self-portraits, advertising imagery and anatomical studies, the figures that Hood paints seem to be in a trancelike state — dreaming, sleepwalking, or hypnotized — suggesting that the disparate images that make up the compositions may be organized by dream logic or governed by a series of undetermined associations. With “portal” vignettes of sunsets, caves, and mountains, the paintings create a telescopic sensation of simultaneous depth and flatness. These sly structural allusions to the devices of artificial perspective act in constant tension by disorienting interpenetrations of layered images and the flatness of the stained surface. Their chief interest is in the complication and the relinquishment of boundaries: between the individual and the archetypal; media and medium; the subjective and the collective; the front and the back of the canvas.What may appear as collage is revealed to be a collision, with the picture plane serving as an interface between the image and the imagined.

The title of the exhibition, PARA, refers to the Greek prefix which lends a multitude of meanings. Originally referring to things being “next to” or “side by side”, the prefix’s meaning has expanded to include ideas of “moving or going beyond” a thing, “through” a thing, “past" a thing, “resembling” a thing, “apart” from a thing and ultimately, estranged and abnormal. This is the mood and condition of these works. The visual fragments have an immediate sensation of being recognizable, archetypal, and even cliché. Their artificial and generic condition has become so fully absorbed into our visual language that they become surrogates for incredibly personal and individual expression. The gap between our inarticulable interior lives and the arbitrary symbolic language of images we use to communicate creates a sense of uncanniness and alienation.

Chris Hood, b. 1984, is a painter that lives and works in Los Angeles. He holds an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. He has had solo exhibitions at Lyles & King, New York, US; Mier Gallery, Los Angeles, US; and Galerie Bernard Ceysson, Paris, FR. Group exhibitions include The Zuckerman Museum of Art, Kennesaw, GA; Venus Over Los Angeles, Los Angeles, US; CANADA, New York, US; Saatchi Gallery, London, UK; and Jack Hanley, New York, US among others. Hood's work has been featured in Art in America, Elephant, Galerie, Mousse, The Art Newspaper, Wall Street International, Time Out New York and New American Paintings.

Chris Hood: PARA is on view at 6150 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90048 from 14 September to 9 November 2019, Tuesday through Saturday, from 11:00AM to 6:00PM. There will be an opening reception on 14 September from 4–7pm.