18 April - 31 May 2014
Don't be fooled: they're not pretty. They might be harmonic, but dissonance dominates. And while they're birthed in a series of personal reveries, every time in the outcome they're social. I recall Adorno thought Schoenberg was valid because his meticulously-fractured, mathematically-battered structures perfectly mapped the world from which they withdrew. And later it was: yes to poetry after Auschwitz...provided it's a scream. You might think this too heavy given the living color and the hypnotic-magnetic allure of Iva's toppling geometries. But that's why I start with a warning. Don't look away; trust the nauseous corner of your eye. Three out of four paintings are mean and the fourth one is an apocalypse.
I've been watching these assemblages coalesce for over a decade. They oscillate over the years, allusions to beauty, testaments to violence, Daumier-Grosz-Gogol cartoons. She's worked out her content, left it, come back: the war, this perpetual war we barely observe just beyond the air conditioning, all masked between headlines, and a parallel war between truth and sense: ravaged women, psychotic pigs, horses in gas masks, men who are cubes. Today it's a splay of trashed women, something about Don Quixote - she's sympathetic to him-he's true, like she wants her paintings to be... These stories, you don't see them right away, sometimes it takes month, but they're not just there and hidden, they're saturating the whole thing, it's all Don Quixote, the stupidity of men who think conflict ends conflict, their honor, the impossible dignity of insect versus supernova. For Don Quixote it's a caress and a hall pass (she knows we're empty inside our armor and she feels sorry for us). The ones who work for the explosion though, those princes of Armageddon facilitating the last big dive, for them it's all hate and admit it or not she's painting under their steam. These are their paintings really. These mathematically-battered structures perfectly map the world.
I've watched the form grow too. She didn't grow it; it occupied her. Like the daydreams of a spymaster, she's got virtuosic control by virtue of a fatal transparency to the trembling whims of the powers in which we're enmeshed. I'm sure she just watcheds it happen and lucid-eyed digs the wind as it passes straight through her, watches perfect line become game piece in tornado. And then later her tendons ache. In the early 200s it hurt her so bad at times she could not walk. That is not an exaggeration. There is nothing here about decoration. In 1999 when I met her it was blobs and collage, very cartoon and humor and despair, but it's never been just hte parts, the elements, in summation. It's always been dialectical, about the relations that almost but don't quite line up. The unit of composition is never one, sometimes two, often three or seven. It's systems in asymmetrical relation, distribution mobiles, flocks and series of gesture, and especially the deep coalition of every-shifting color with throbbing architectural tissue. Iterations of forms of fracture bleeding inverted colors, bomb-nauseous light just for a second suspending some precarious complexity that only doesn't fall because gravity just got cracked. Freeze-frame: cracked gravity: feel that still-tumbling feeling. Recently all this wandered off the wall from installational object to sculpture, and then it went back, and weirdly it neither gained nor lost dimension in either direction. The whole process is folding dimensions, multiplying dimensions, exploring, with this classical Cézanne-Balla composure, the very breakdown of dimensions, the black blood of materiality scabbing grids of light. She keeps pushing how much space can be compressed, how many systems collided, synesthesias puverized, because she keeps feeling the black wind press. And that black wind, of course, is the real world, which she is obsessively hearing on podcast as her hand does what her hand does. Woman-bodied dog-headed demons, F16s flowers and discal policies, weeping Prozac suburbanites flashing their breasts at the pigs. From her perspective it's direct translation and she doesn't even have to think about it.
So what should you know of this art? It looks great on the wall; it activates space for sure. But it also pulls on your eyes and if you're honest and you don't run you can hear it and I'm telling you it's not just beautiful, it's desperate, it's your livelihood, it's injustice, it's the very impossibility of a solution to these moments we inhabit, it's our participation in a perpetual breakage. It's the vertigo of the truth, Futurism without the hope. They're pictures of the world we live in. - Matthew McGarvey