Shulamit Nazarian is pleased to present von Neumann’s Dream, an exhibition of new works by New York-based artist Anastasia Komar. This marks Komar’s first solo presentation in Los Angeles, and her first with the gallery.
The exhibition’s title, von Neumann’s Dream, is inspired by the interdisciplinary thinking of John von Neumann, a Hungarian-American who was instrumental in the development of early computers and their architecture. Taking cues from von Neumann’s interest in the intersection of mathematics, biology, and technology, as well as his research on the evolution of social behaviors in biological systems, Komar has created her visual language, one that combines a historical approach of non-representational painting with new technological advancements in industrial 3D printing. Utilizing glass and electroplated polymer materials, along with acrylic paints, her wall-based works are an amalgam of painting and sculpture.
Komar renders her paintings with short bursts of undulating brushstrokes that create an implied organic movement. She often likens her luminescent surfaces to the invisible substrate of the natural world, oscillating between a macro and micro point of view. Surrounding the painted panels are sculptural forms made of durable, high-definition, semi-translucent, or electroplated polymer. Reaching around the edges of the paintings like organic tentacles, these hyper-realistic forms reference the natural world, while also being entirely alien. The painted panels and sculptural forms have a peculiar co-existence, one that is at times symbiotic and others parasitic.
The foundation of Komar’s practice is rooted in an investigation of synthetic biology, eroding the boundaries that distinguish the natural from the engineered. Organic, cybernetic, and inorganic hybrid forms open new possibilities for how we understand the world around us. As the diversity of some species wanes, other, new and compound beings, inevitably morph, develop, and thrive—merging biological and artificial systems of life. Just as Charles Darwin noted in On the Origin of Species, “From so simple a beginning, endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved,” Komar asks if we should let go of the artificial boundaries that have governed our understanding of the natural world and instead embrace the possibilities of a newly developed and amalgamated future.
Anastasia Komar (b. 1986, Russia) is a New York-based artist with an MA in Architecture and Environmental Design. Komar has had solo exhibitions at Management in New York, and Bank in Shanghai. She has participated in group exhibitions at Kristen Lorello & Van Doren Waxter in New York, Harper's in East Hampton, the Gallery of the School of Visual Arts in New York, the CICA Museum in South Korea, and has executed several site-specific projects in New York and California. Her work is in the public collections of the START Museum in Shanghai and the Zabludowicz Collection in London.