Euan Macdonald Kimball1901 (2010); Single-channel video 7 minutes; Courtesy of the artist and Galleria S.A.L.E.S., Rome, Italy


Euan Macdonald

January 27 – March 25, 2011

Euan Macdonald, a Los Angeles-based artist, works in a variety of media—video, sculpture and drawing—producing deadpan and idiosyncratic works that defy immediate comprehension. Focusing on the everyday, he documents actions and events that at first glance appear ordinary and unspectacular, but on closer inspection reveal complex interrelations between individuals and disparate objects. Conceived in two parts, Macdonald’s most recent work KIMBALL 1901 –, made specifically for Pitzer Art Galleries, is comprised of a stop-motion animation on video and an edition of silk-screen printed anagrams.

Euan Macdonald Kimball1901 (2010); Play The Piano Drunk...(part 4); Courtesy of the artist and Galleria S.A.L.E.S., Rome, ItalyEmploying one of the earliest forms of moving-image technology, Macdonald’s stop-motion video is a portrait in absence—depicted through a lifetime of discarded books and an abandoned antique parlor piano found in her neglected living room. Constructed frame-by-frame, with books of various shapes and sizes, the video captures the gradual building and dismantling of a wall that both obscures and reveals the battered piano positioned behind. Through the collapsing of time and space and ongoing cyclical process of construction and disassembling, the film reflects on the vicissitudes of a lifetime packed with experience, human loss, entropy and the transient nature of our existence.

Referencing another life lived to the full is Macdonald’s series of silkscreen printed anagrams using all the letters of title Play The Piano Drunk Like A Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin To Bleed A Bit (1979) by Charles Bukowski. Linked by the piano’s subject matter and apparent randomness of the stacked books, the anagrams provide a compelling yet quieter companion piece to the continuous and chaotic building and removing of the wall.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a 64-page catalogue documenting the making of the exhibition and will include an essay by Lisa Gabrielle Mark, director of Material Means and former director of publications of the Museum of Contemporary Art and an interview of Euan Macdonald by Ciara Ennis, director/curator of Pitzer College Art Galleries.

Related Events

Opening Reception: January 27, 5-8 p.m.
Nichols Gallery,

Thursday, February 24, 3:30 p.m.
Nichols Gallery, Broad Center, Pitzer College
Discussion and exhibition walkthrough with artist Euan Macdonald and director/curator Ciara Ennis