Michael Rosenthal Gallery [San Francisco] is thrilled to present Schema, Brooklyn-based artist Justin Amrhein’s first solo exhibition. In a series of intricate yet gracefully spare drawings and lightboxes, Amrhein plots and charts the inner workings of imaginary machines. Evoking patent diagrams, textbook illustrations or the work of an evil mastermind intent on destroying the world, the works capture the viewer’s curiosity on both an intellectual and technical level.
Immediately apparent is Amrhein’s spirited inquisition into his chosen subject matter, whether that be the terminally-elusive weapons of mass destruction or the bio-mechanical processes that allow insects to live. If an object is to be defined by the listing of its attributes, the combination of Amrhein’s labeled parts creates complicated, purpose-driven and often humorous machines. In parallel, the separate works in Schema combine to implicate the fine-tuned machinations hiding just under the surface of all organizations, objects and systems we take for cohesive wholes.
A Sacramento native, Amrhein completed his MFA at San Jose State University in 2006 and moved to New York the following year. He has exhibited widely in group and juried shows on both coasts. Most recently, his work was part of a three-person show at Lesley Heller Workspace on the Lower East Side. He lives and works in Brooklyn.