Exhibition Text


ANDREW RAFACZ is pleased to announce 202-456-1111, a solo exhibition of work by Jason Lazarus in Gallery Two.

Chicago, IL, November 03, 2018– ANDREW RAFACZ continues the 2018 fall season with 202-456-1111, a solo exhibition of photograms by Tampa-based artist Jason Lazarus. The exhibition continues through Saturday, December 29, 2018.

In 202-456-1111, Jason Lazarus presents his largest works to date in a continuing series started in March 2017 of unique photograms, each hand-applied with photo developer, stop bath, and photo fix chemicals on various types of fiber and resin coated paper and utilizing various lighting exposure techniques. The artist paints this sequence of numbers, typically dialed to reach the White House, over and over in the near pitch-black of the darkroom. The results of this process are at times distinct & legible, nebulous & abstract, colorful & dynamic, dark & brooding, and capture the liquidity of the photographic medium.

In the artist’s own words: ‘Since January 20th, 2017, the White House phone number has been alternately disconnected, overburdened, under-serviced, and duplicitous. The heterogeneous process and materials used to create these works employ a deliberate speed akin to protest sign making. The message must be produced at the risk of neatness, clarity, consistency, and, sometimes, visibility. The White House phone number, serially repeated and emptied of meaning, transpose into a generic surrogate for any type of public resistance, as well as the bodies of precarity implicated by the current regime.’

For Lazarus, this project is very personal. On November 25, 2015, Trump publicly mocked New York Times reporter, Serge F. Kovaleski who lives with a rare physical condition, arthrogryposis, the same one that afflicts the artist. With these newest works, Lazarus has shifted the scale up and in doing so has implicated his own body in a more discretely existential act. He uses his entire frame in the dark, arms and legs reaching up and down, to produce each document. The results are a kind of return to self-portraiture amidst a larger political concern, made in a very specific time with the artist himself situated in every mark that is made.

A 48-page saddle-stitched book, documenting this project and published by the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, NY, with an essay by Martha Rosler, will be released on November 3rd. A special edition of 250 that augments the book with a second accordion folded version will also be released.

JASON LAZARUS (American, b. 1975) lives and works in Tampa, FL. He received a BS in Marketing at DePaul University (Chicago, IL) in 1998 and an MFA from Columbia College (Chicago, IL) in 2003. He has had recent solo exhibitions at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art (Kansas City, MO), the Luminary Center for the Arts (St. Louis, MO), the Contemporary Jewish Museum (San Francisco, CA), and the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago, IL). Recent group exhibitions include the Orlando Museum of Art (Orlando, FL), the High Museum of Art (Atlanta, GA), Co-Prosperity Sphere (Chicago, IL), the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (Detroit, MI), Open House Contemporary (Chicago, IL), SF MOMA (San Francisco, CA), Muzeum Ludwig (Budapest, Hungary), George Eastman Museum (Rochester, NY), and Columbia University (New York, NY). He will be included in a group exhibition at Sarah Kay Gallery (New York, NY) in 2019, and the Ringling Museum of Art (Sarasota, FL) in 2020. His work is in numerous private and public collections. This is his sixth exhibition with the gallery.