von ammon co | Dinos Chapman and Jason Yates Too Little Too Late

Sat, May 11 2024 — Sun, June 16 2024

Dinos Chapman and Jason Yates. von ammon co 2024.

 

Opening Reception: Saturday, May 11 from 12-3pm

 

von ammon co announces the opening of Too Little Too Late, a two-person show by Dinos Chapman and Jason Yates. This is Chapman’s first and Yates’ second major exhibition at the gallery.

Though usually sought out by those who desire its ideal climate to maximize productivity and wellness, Los Angeles is sometimes treated as a redoubt for the most deranged, battered and cynical of us. From these isolated sources tends a style of artwork that synthesizes the stuff of Los Angeles—the failing vision of the animation houses; being subsumed by technologies that would prefer to sink into our skin than offer a refuge from the onslaught of daily boredom and toil; the cozy archetype of the 20th century suburban householder sleepwalking into a new era of Christian nationalist cultism. It is through the eyes of Los Angeles and its sprawling environs that the most beguiling, repulsive vision of the 21st century can be seen. Whether via invasion of the exurban household or the hijacking of the Hollywood prop studio, Chapman and Yates have plundered the resources at their disposal in their city of choice to bring a heterogeneous picture of doomed American ingenuity and taste to Washington as the nation sulks through the first decades of a new millennium.

The recent output of Dinos Chapman is a synthesis of his three-decade practice of transgressive figurative sculpture, but has taken on a new complexion since the studio relocated to the United States. For the first time in several decades, Chapman has chosen to revisit his celebrated body of work of modified mannequins and mannequin parts. Using the narrative rudiments of the Disney fairy tale, Chapman has initiated a new series of severed heads, whose impish features, when casted in supple prosthetic materials and colored with great fidelity in oil, more resemble disfigured cadavers dragged out of battlefield trenches than pre-war cartoon characters. These talismans of brutal fanaticism—appropriately mounted on spikes—beckon a further downward spiral into violence and carnage as child’s play. A typical American family armory—a mix of daddy’s assault weapons and the childrens’ super-soakers—hangs together as such on an adjacent wall, each weapon of mass murder or playtime (respectively) entombed deeply within guano-like swaths of colorful glittery resin, as if it just left craft hour in little sister’s bedroom. Militaristic figures that one might find on little brother’s bookshelf or in the deepest recesses of the Pentagon’s autonomous weapons department share in the arsenal’s globby excess. Chapman’s visual language always intentionally goes one phrase too far: among these ghoulish emblems of America’s eschatological, loosy-goosy attitude towards the endangerment of its most vulnerable is a kid’s table with nobody in its seats—distorted scenes from Snow White are scorched onto the backrests with pyrography, like the photograms left by a nuclear blast.

Jason Yates contributes four major new examples from his most well-known series of shelving sculptures. These physically and formally heavy monochromes, in counterpoint to the childish, exuberant rage of Chapman’s work, speak to an erstwhile American sentimentality, doomed to petty neglect, foreclosure, or greater cataclysm. Yates is, fundamentally, a gleaner of the stuff left over by failing communities of the Valley. These extraordinarily dense shelving units are the result of incessant trawling through hobby stores and thrift outlets: zones of exception for forsaken or dispossessed American heritage. Each recovered object—and there are thousands packed into each slightly oblong floating built-in unit—represent some failed American ideal: eat your vegetables, celebrate your mother, love thy neighbor. Composed upon rows of well-spaced horizontal wooden planks, they might resemble musical staves packed with notations spelling out particularly hellish jingles. Some of the most deranged content are the ribbon-script die-cut slogans of the American Christian liebensraum—cloying phrases of hope, joy, and serenity for the gracious home: packed together, they feel more like an inverted, demonic tongue-language. Once these gargantuan, bulky musical bars are just overstuffed enough, Yates applies a spotless coat of sprayed black enamel. This final step not only embeds these works into the woodwork of American expressionism, but connotes the benighted American epoch, the shadowy oblivion of the crawl space, or the blackened aftermath of some grandiose, stupid disaster.

von ammon co
3330 Cady’s Alley NW
Washington DC 20007
info@vonammon.co
+1 202 893 9797
www.vonammon.co
Saturday – Sunday 12pm-6pm or by appointment