Harper’s is pleased to present Doublestar, Jonathan’s Casella’s first exhibition with the gallery. Featuring a new series of the artist’s trademark compositions composed of riotous amalgams of dots, checkers, stripes, and bold swaths of color, the exhibition opens on Thursday, January 26, 6–8pm with a reception attended by the artist.
Over the past two years, Casella has approached his work through a singular lens: the “doublestar.” This title, referring to the astronomical phenomenon of two stars that appear as one given their proximity to Earth, is interpreted through a pair of five-pointed geometric polygons laid atop one another. For the artist, the doublestar constitutes a vessel in which to explore and define a unique visual language through endless permutations of color, shape, and pattern, the foundation from which Casella launches his investigations.
Throughout the two-year process, Casella has recognized that his disciplined approach has resulted in the unconscious development of his own geometric vocabulary across the paintings. In works like Doublestar (A.B.B. Eat It Up) and Doublestar (A.B.B. Super Booming), the tips of the stars are often capped with a section reminiscent of the tip of an arrow. Casella views these sections as “weapons,” a means to disrupt the compositional grids of the canvas and to direct the eye around the canvas. Yet despite his love for energy and movement, Casella carefully maintains an exaggerated flatness in his picture plane: there is neither a hierarchy of form nor an attempt to communicate depth. Instead, Casella strives to keep all his forms locked together, an effect which results in a sense of taut, coiled energy in each of his works.
Casella’s approach to painting aims to expand and challenge the strict geometric rubric outlined by Josef Albers and the non-objective spirituality of Kazimir Malevich. By wielding a maximalist sensibility through use of high-key colors, pattern, repetition, and pastiche, he continues a postmodern legacy brought to both highbrow and mass consumer consciousness through movements such as the Memphis Group. The paintings featured in Doublestar are Casella’s largest to date. Taken together, the exhibition forms a constellation, each painting a supernova burning with a unique and palpable energy.
Jonathan Casella (b. 1986, Houston, TX) received a BA from San Francisco State University in 2010. Most recently, Casella’s work was the subject of solo presentations at Mindy Solomon Gallery, Miami (2023); Untitled Miami Beach (2022); F2T Gallery, Milan (2022); M+B, Los Angeles (2021); Gallery Mei, Busan (2019); and O.N.O, Los Angeles (2016). He has participated in group exhibitions at The Pit, Palm Springs, CA (2022); M+B Gallery, Los Angeles (2022); Harper’s, Los Angeles and East Hampton (2022 and 2021); Mindy Solomon Gallery, Miami (2021); Baik Art, Los Angeles (2019 and 2018); and Ed Varie, Los Angeles and New York (2018), among other institutions. Casella lives and works in Los Angeles.