Mira Schor: Notes from Underground

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Joanna Roche reviews the recent exhibition Mira Schor: Chthonic Garden at CB1 Gallery, Los Angeles.

Roche writes that in Schor's new work "interplay between above and below is key. Chthonic means underground and the concept of lying fallow has deep meaning for the artist. Her paintings—largely ink and oil on gesso on linen—suggest that underground can be a time/place of regeneration, contemplation and renewal. Schor’s fallow isn’t about being dormant, clearly. It’s a time of 'productive anonymity,' which she aligns with 'experimentation' and 'benign neglect,' in opposition to 'celebrity culture' and 'austerity measures'—all words found in Conditions of Contemporary Practice. In the luscious, nocturnal Morning in America, we find the avatar nestled below ground like a seed, protected against so much hovering verbiage, dreaming of benign neglect (as in leave me alone vs. abandonment). But underground is not always fertile or productive. Sometimes the avatar is pitched into the earth or uprooted, like the 100-year-old tree near Schor’s apartment during Hurricane Sandy, another experience of collective precarity entering this body of work."

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