Naming by David Lynch

David Lynch, Untitled (Industrial, New York), 1988, archival silver gelatin print, photo credit: Robert Wedemeyer. Courtesy of the artist and Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles

The man who brought us creepy, atmospheric flicks like Eraserhead, Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive invites us to dive deeper into his bizarre world with an exhibition at a Los Angeles gallery. David Lynch’s assured, even casual treatment of the unorthodox is revealed through his paintings, drawings and watercolours in a way that can only be described as Lynchian (an unknown witty person once quipped that when your name becomes an adjective, you know you’ve earned your place in history). Naming explores the difficult relationship between objects and their nomenclature. States Brett Littman, who wrote the essay for the exhibition catalogue: “[the show] highlights how in the Lynchian universe the use of words, sentence fragments and the act of naming something is never a simple gesture… they are always vibrating against each other in unusual ways”.

Naming is infused with Lynch’s signature absurdism and stylistic simplicity. Take for example My Girlfriend Had Red Hair, which features three completely decontextualised images (namely grass, a zebra, a girl with red hair and a black house). One is then prompted to ask: what can language tell us about the world, and where does it lie between clarity and obfuscation? Lynch doesn’t claim to resolve this conundrum – rather, he simply creates awareness of the latter through his works. 

The show is on until 4 January. 

Kayne Griffin Corcoran, 1201 South La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90019

Images courtesy of the artist and the gallery. 

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