On Jan. 15, Grant Shumate opened his first solo exhibition at The Underground Museum in Los Angeles titled "OUROBOROS" and presented by Commonwealth Projects. The show features paintings by Shumate, as well as three collaborative performances with several artists, such as Paz Lenchantin, The Garden, Alex Knost, Alrik Yuill, Dane Peterson, and Kayla Varley.
"Really what all this started from was me being studio-less, and I couldn’t play with paint like I had before, so these paintings traveled with me everywhere," Shumate told Art Info. "The process was dictated by the fact that I had nowhere to put them." That process involved the artist printing video stills, painting over them, making photocopies, repainting, resizing, sanding, and manipulating the images in various other ways before the artworks could be considered complete. "It’s a process of removal," he explained. "Any context they originally had was gone so it’s just left with this vague, ethereal image."
The gallery says that exhibition was designed so that the 15 paintings would become "set dressings" for the performances: "EAST (Jan. 15)," "SOUTH/WEST (Jan. 28)," and "NORTH (Feb. 15)." The Ouroboros, also known as the tail-devouring snake, is a symbol for eternity and the cycle of life, a theme that connects the work in Shumate's show. The performances take "organization from Native American sacred hoops" and represent life's stages while also being "linked" to the paintings.
The exhibition will also feature a pop-up shop curated by Jay Carroll of One Trip Pass that features products from The Elder Statesman, Total Luxury Spa books, Mateo and Brittany, and ESP Records. For a more in-depth explanation of the performances and his process, check out Shumate's interview with Art Info and head to The Underground Museum's website.