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Opening May 6th
Gasonline Prices by Kenny Cole
 

 

1500gas4Monkitree will debut two screen-print suites by artist Kenny Cole of Monroe, Maine. "Gasoline Prices” is a suite of eight prints that illustrate every gas price, to the nearest cent, from twenty cents to five dollars. The prices are arranged in random order and subject to the dictates of the picture plane, thus each print is a group of numbers that are clearly readable but also an abstract field of shapes that are composed in an “all over” fashion in which each area of the composition is given equal attention and significance. They are silk-screen printed using cut paper stencils. The font face is based on the hexagonal shapes found in a seven-segment digital display, which is typical of gas pump read outs.
 
Cole’s approach to this work is conceptual, narrative and visual. Conceptually he sets up a rule, to represent a finite group of numbers that are relational to retail consumption of gasoline. This simple gesture brings with it the whole history of oil production, international conflicts over resources and the ensuing history of domestic economic crisis’s that have rippled through countries due to price fluctuation. That, in turn, opens up a collective narrative, relative to one’s personal timeline and an earliest identity with or memory of a lowest gas price. The imperfect hand cut stencil, random order and arrangements create dizzying vibrations, odd negative spaces and accidental visual alignments.