Carl Cheng: John Doe Company invites you to an exhibition of products 1966-1981

Art Basel
Basel, Switzerland

Philip Martin Gallery is delighted to present a solo exhibition of works by Los Angeles-based artist Carl Cheng (b. 1942).


Cheng takes a material and conceptual approach that pushes the boundaries of post-minimalism, systems and environmental art. He is one of the first Asian-American artists working in LA in the 60s, and his sense of technology and corporate critique contextualizes the post-war expanded art object in Southern California. At the same time, Cheng reveals US-Asia connections among the emerging post-war worldwide avant-garde – one of the most important topics in art history today.

Carl Cheng created his corporate AKA, "John Doe Co." in 1965. John Doe Co. allowed him to critique corporations by acting as a corporation and – as an Asian-American – a sense of anonymity in the context of American Vietnam War-era racism. Philip Martin Gallery's Feature Sector booth takes on the intellectual and visual rhetoric of Cheng's John Doe Co.

On view will be a selection of Cheng’s expanded photographic works in which he experimented with fabricating molded plastic and photographic film as a basis for sculpture and photography. Also on view will be Cheng’s Nature Machines, designed to “model nature, its processes and effects for a future environment that may be entirely controlled or completely made by humans.” Also on view will be works from his “Art Tools” and “Liquid/Solid” series, which are reflective of his travels to Japan, India, and China in the 70s and 80s.

In addition to this selection of art objects, our presentation will include John Doe Co. product cards and corporate literature designed to subvert the advertising climate of the post-war years.

Philip Martin Gallery booth is located in the Feature Sector.

Art Basel is located:
Messe Basel
Messeplatz 10
4005 Basel

Public Days
Thursday, June 13, 2019, 11am to 7pm
Friday, June 14, 2019, 11am to 7pm
Saturday, June 15, 2019, 11am to 7pm
Sunday, June 16, 2019, 11am to 7pm

June 13, 2019
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