Purple small cinders 53, 2012, acrylic on archival pigment print

Luce Gallery is delighted to present the first solo exhibition in Italy of Californian artist Sam Falls. The exhibition will cover different stages of the artist’s work, showing how he seeks to explore the greatest possible number of medium.

The combined use of alternative materials alongside traditional forms of art, it’s together with a tendency to involve himself in a dialogue between photography and other means of expression, such as painting and sculpture. But everything starts with the photography, investigating it in order to discover its potential for expansion into an art form.

In his work, Sam Falls tries to bridge the distance between different mediums and techniques, for instance between printing and painting which are united in the same work, or the use of bricks, depicted in images or used in a sculpture that is eventually painted, in the continuous search for complete harmony between many expressive tools.

The images in his works are mainly minimal and abstract, while the colours are often bright and are used to enhance the shapes, which change with the light depending on the time of day. Time takes on a key importance in Sam Falls’s work. Many of his works are made to be displayed outdoors; infact, the artist is interested in the changes inevitably wrought on the work by the passing of time and he seems almost to deliberately induce the effects caused by different weather conditions or the simple passing of the days, in an original comparison between life and the inanimate object.

The artist pauses to analyse the contemporary work of art, which, by definition, is new and fresh in its creation but is marked by nature; so while the works vary with changes in the sunlight or with the passing of time, the rain or wind have a more profound effect, making the final result even more interesting and unpredictable. His works made from fabrics, for instance, through a process that is both painterly and at the same time intrinsic to printing, undergo the changes wrought by outdoor exposure, having been left out in the open for several months at the mercy of the weather, with objects resting on them that imprint their own shapes. The drawings are carried out using the “rubbing” technique, an elementary process involving the tracing of the relevant shapes, whereby the artist places the paper on the floor or on a brick so that it takes on the shapes beneath it; it is a technique that recalls photographic printing in a new attempt to link photography and drawing. The steel sculptures can take the form of a canvas, in the attempt to recall a painting, but at the same time they offer a contrast between the smooth shape of the frame and the rough imperfect surface of the steel sheet contained within it, creating a tension between the surfaces used and the changing of the work due to oxidization of the material as it ages.

The artist follows a very precise aesthetic thread, which runs through all his work, through the use of colour, light and material, exploring new techniques of developing the work that create a dialogue with the past, and framing the work with the representation of the work itself and with time, seen as the element that changes and alters the object. He questions himself, seeking to establish whether a representation tied to classicism is more appropriate or one tied to the alternativeness of contemporary art and he answers by establishing that photography is the solution to the attempt to investigate the work.

Sam Falls

10 Nov – 29 Dec 2012 | Luce gallery | Turin | Italy

Ph: +39 011 8141011 |  


Sam Falls was born in San Diego in 1984; he lives and works in Los Angeles. His works have been exhibited in America and Europe. His solo exhibitions include Fotografiska (Stockholm), American Contemporary (NY), Printed Matter Inc. (NY), West Street Gallery (NY), Marta Cervera (Madrid), M+B (Los Angeles) and International Art Objects (Los Angeles), to name just a few. Sam Falls was chosen by Modern Painter as one of the “100 Artists to Watch” and picked as “Best of 2011” by Artforum, as well as being named one of the “Top 30 Under 30” by Forbes.