- Grand Prix -

HVW8 Gallery - Hollywood, CA

Upon first glance Grand Prix, the new collection from Erin D. Garcia tempts one to see it as a radical departure from previous works. The artist has thus far engaged in an exploration of deeply primary elements—the repetition and arrangement of shapes and colors—resisting any representational imagery. To date Garcia’s work has been a joyful exercise in the most ethereal yet immediate aspects of human cognition. But in Grand Prix we are confronted with some images that shock the imagination, and possibly give occasion to re-scale our understanding of this artist’s earlier output.

But these new iterations of objective drawings and text are alongside pieces that clearly continue the exploration of shape, color, and process that identifies Garcia’s work. In addition, assemblies of drawings structured together push all these ideas further. In context, the new pieces actually read as an extension of previous studies—newly representational, yes—but in the unmistakable idiom developed by the artist over the past handful of years. 

Garcia has moved past ‘process + limitation’ into full-blown methodology, a slight but distinct operation that is a delight to witness. His stated aim of “creating compelling compositions using simple techniques and forms” has developed into an eye with which nearly anything can be seen. 

The title of the collection itself, Grand Prix, plays on curious associations and arrives at a beautiful paradox. Initially conjuring motor sports racing; the apex of aggressive competition, opulence, and the guzzling of fossil fuels, the collection is actually populated with plants and flowers, rhythmic shapes, and colorful gradations. Grand Prix is certainly a meditation on the ‘grand prize’, but its images and ideas of victory are decidedly non-zero sum. The escape provided by these rose repetitions, geometric insinuations, and the freedom found in Garcia’s methodology all seem to suggest that a world is possible in which we all win.

Text by Jimmy Jolliff

Photos Jake Michaels