With typical humor, illustrator and New Yorker cartoonist Ros Chast updates the painted egg tradition with a colorful rendition of an anxious Frida Kahlo; in the egg to the left, a giant sign reading ‘buy this’ hints at the commercialism of the holidays. (At Danese Corey in Chelsea through April 18th).
Ros Chast, installation view of ‘Eggs,’ eggshell, dye and polyurethane, approx. 2.25 x 1.625 inches, 2010-13.
8 Painters, an exhibition organized by gallery staff member Jillian Brodie. Included are works by eight artists of a new generation who continue to expand the conceptual and expressive capacity of painting to inspire, to convey through color, texture, form and scale a depth of feeling and understanding that speaks directly to the human condition. While the artists employ differing styles, techniques and imagery, they are unified in their enthusiasm for the history of painting and their ongoing commitment to the discourse and practice of this long and rich tradition. Each artist is represented by one major work that has not previously been exhibited. These robust and innovative paintings embrace the metaphorical and literal, the ironical and sincere, the joyful and elegiac – their subject matter at once universal and deeply personal.
Nina Chanel Abney: I’ve become more interested in mixing disjointed narratives and abstraction, and finding interesting ways to obscure any possible story that can be assumed when viewing my work. Abney “paints vibrant multicultural murals with disjointed narratives that confuse and delight. With a bold palette and bolder sense of humor, she creates bizarre scenarios that add a hint of perversity to each piece, resulting in a mashup of celebrity and literary references.” Her painting “illustrates storytelling in an age in which a coherent narrative is obsolete.” (Huffington Post, 2012) Born in 1982, Chicago, IL, Abney lives and works in New York, NY. She received an MFA from the Parsons School of Design, New York, NY, 2007. Work consigned by Kravets and Wehby Gallery, New York.
Matt Bollinger: Upon close inspection, the collaged elements in my paintings give my work a fragmentary appearance. The bits of painted and collaged paper announce that my paintings pull from many disparate sources….Like the narratives that I create, the materials I use suggest that the work is a reenactment of many different moments pulled together to form a whole.
In my recent piece, Storage, I depict my father’s 1974 Camaro….In 1970, while driving home with friends in an earlier Camaro, my father was stabbed in the heart and nearly killed…When I was growing up, the Camaro…seemed like the greatest sports car, but was also a central figure in this tragic family story. In Storage, I show it as I found it on a recent visit: tarped, tires flat, and among my father’s many tools and projects. Born in 1980, Kansas City, MO, Bollinger lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He received an MFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI, 2007. Work consigned by Zurcher Studio, New York.
Caitlin Cherry: At the core of it, there is this impulse to take a rational painting on stretchers and alter the way it’s displayed. “Caitlin Cherry demands more than mere painting is willing to provide. She teases the viewer with the promise of illusionistic painterly space and then she catapults her canvas into the void, forcing it to exist in real time, building little fortresses, and firing cannons in its general direction. I have a sense she will continue to break apart the rules governing painting and sculpture, and tease that unsettling sweet spot that disarms viewers’ expectations.” (Kara Walker) Born in 1987, Chicago, IL, Cherry lives and works in New York, NY. She received an MFA from Columbia University School of the Arts, 2012.
Joey Frank: Originally Summer Puzzle consisted of three paintings made up of interchangeable puzzle pieces. Two of those works are now arranged into one painting – A Palm Reading, tarot cards scattered on a table and A Therapy Session, a woman, eyes closed, palm on her forehead.The shapes of the puzzle pieces are distinct and recognizable forms— a sea horse, a palm tree, a shovel, a rat – a visualization of the subconscious acting as reality. The work draws inspiration from the poem Lost in Translation by James Merrill, in which a narrator searches for a lost copy of the poem, The Palm by Rilke, reminding him of being a child…looking for a missing puzzle piece. The relationship of losing and finding meaning within a text relates to my own feelings encountering and interpreting a work of art. Born in 1981, Washington, DC, Frank lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He graduated from Brown University and studied painting at RISD, Providence, RI; MICA, Baltimore, MD; the Slade School of Fine Art, London.
Doron Langberg: I see my paintings as a conduit between the viewer and me, through which my experiences become theirs. In my process, I search for affinities between textures, marks or color relationships and moments in my life, ranging from banal to sexual….Through their visual impact, I want my paintings to bridge this gap between how I see myself and how others see me. By foregrounding color, gesture, and the tactility of paint, I try to create a connection with a viewer that speaks to the shared sensations of the bodies we inhabit rather than the social categories that constrict us. Born in 1985, Yokneam Moshava, Israel, Langberg lives and works in Queens, NY. He received an MFA from Yale University, New Haven, CT, 2013.
Liz Markus: Gradually the rooms became less important as the paintings turned into portraits of the great socialites from the 1930s to the 1960s. These very glamorous and powerful women often had great tragedy in their lives. Using paint to stain unprimed canvas, the images became distorted and the inner lives of these iconic women reveal themselves.Born in 1967, Buffalo, NY, Markus lives and works in New York, NY. She received an MFA from Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA, 1997.
Kimo Nelson: The imagery in my work is loosely based on references to historical landscape painting and anonymous or found landscape photography. My objective is to form a tension between three-dimensional elements and illusionistic space, and to generate through technical means, conditions of chance in order to subvert and reinvent preconceptions. The anticipated, but unknowable final work, challenges my expectations of success or failure.Born in 1980, Honolulu, HI, Nelson lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He received an MFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI, 2012
Jennifer Packer: I’m interested in meaningful contradictions, especially the ones that distract us from the truth….I think about images that resist, that attempt to retain their secrets or maintain their composure, that put you to work. I feel that way about someone like Billie Holiday: her voice and love versus the content of her life and her music. I hope to make contradictory paintings, works that suggest how dynamic and complex our lives and relationships really are.”
Known for graphite-on-paper drawings of trees, Massachusetts-based artist Sandra Allen creates an almost abstract, immensely powerful image from the trunk of a tree in ‘Ballast’ from 2009. (At Danese Corey through July 31st).
Sandra Allen, Ballast, graphite on paper, 11 x 18.5 feet, 2009.
It’s hard to believe that Deborah Butterfield’s latest horse sculptures are crafted from bronze, the patina applied to their surface is so believable. Each towering creature represents a different animal’s character and mood, making this show a must-see for more than just horse-lovers. (At Chelsea’s Danese Corey through October 11th).
Deborah Butterfield, Otter, unique cast bronze with patina, 91.25 x 117 x 33 inches, 2014.
California-based ceramic artist Cheryl Ann Thomas uses the age-old technique of building a vessel from coils of clay, but Thomas’ coils are so fragile, her pots collapse in the kiln. The results are textile-like forms that seem to embody motion. (At Danese Corey through August 1st).
Cheryl Ann Thomas, Relics 300-303, porcelain, 21 x 24 x 27 inches, 2012.
British artist Susie MacMurray is known for elegant sculptures and installations created by repeated use of one material or form. At Danese Corey’s new space on 22nd Street in Chelsea, she fashions household gloves into a regal dress, juxtaposing beautiful refinement and hard work (through Oct 12th).
Susie MacMurray, A Mixture of Frailties, household gloves turned inside out, calico and dress form, 2004/2013.