Andrea Rosen Gallery: Michael Raedecker - tour
Gallery 2: Michael St. John - Country Life - 7 Sept 2013 to 5 Oct 2013
Michael Raedecker, place, 2013.
Acrylic and thread on canvas
© Michael Raedecker
September 7 - October 5, 2013
opening reception: Friday, September 6, 6 - 8pm
Andrea Rosen Gallery
525 West 24th Street
New York, NY 10011
Andrea Rosen Gallery is delighted to announce Michael Raedecker's fifth exhibition at the gallery, highlighting substantial new developments in the artist's practice and anticipating an important traveling mid-career survey show opening at the Wilhelm-Hack-Museum at the end of this year.
In a recent shift, Raedecker began cutting his painted canvases apart and stitching the fragments back together to form new compositions. The cut is disruptive and perverse: the rip becomes a repair and the fragmented scene becomes newly reanimated. In his newest body of work, Raedecker uses the intentional precision of this technique to interrogate our sentimental attachment to highly recognizable yet generic symbols of the good life: the suburban model home, the palm tree, the chandelier. These anonymous objects, repeated and set adrift in gestural monochromatic fields of paint, are placeholders for the whole history of the world, appearing and disappearing on the surface of the paintings.
The initial familiarity of these scenes allows for our personal investment in them, but the literal trace of the object, created by the puncture of the needle and gauge of the thread, continues to pull us back to the surface and to the painting itself as the object of extraordinary investment and inquiry. For Raedecker the decorative façade of a house is analogous to a painting - its flatness resists vision, reflecting instead the viewer's own desires and fears. The painting, like the façade or the almost abstract filigree of a chandelier picked out in thread, is always a fragile surface, its loose narratives caving in on themselves, turning upside down and failing to resolve into known pictorial categories. This uncanny loop of recognition and estrangement is intensified by the newest sutures, which disrupt the integrity of the picture and memorialize the essential violence of representation.
The title of the exhibition invokes the tour as a journey undertaken for pleasure or inspection - a contemplative invitation to the viewer with various way stations for connection, exchange and new perspectives.
Michael Raedecker was born in Amsterdam, Netherlands in 1963 and currently lives and works in London. He studied at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam (1993 - 1994), and at Goldsmiths College, London (1996 - 1997). In 2000, Raedecker was shortlisted for the prestigious Turner Prize. Recent solo exhibitions include volume at Hauser & Wirth, London (2012); Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin (2010); and line-up which opened at Camden Arts Centre, London, England (2009) and travelled to Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Hague, Netherlands (2009) and Carré d'Art - Musée d'Art Contemporain de Nîmes (2010).
Michael St. John
September 7 – October 5, 2013
opening reception: Friday, September 6, 6 - 8pm
Andrea Rosen Gallery 2
544 West 24th Street
New York, NY 10011
Andrea Rosen Gallery is delighted to present Michael St. John’s third Gallery 2 exhibition. Titled Country Life, the exhibition unites St. John’s consistent interest in the representation of common, everyday experience with a diligent, but often playful, formal practice. It opens just before the release of St. John’s first major monograph, published by Karma.
This series of work represents source material as varied as 19th Century American trompe l’oeil painting by John Peto, images of women found on the internet by searching “nice racks,” American presidents, and Jasper Johns’ painting “In the Studio,” 1982. St. John’s work makes claims for the relevance of contemporary art by abandoning a hierarchy of culture and placing art equally at the center of the broader discourse with mass media.
At the heart of this exhibition is the question of representation and the slippery boundary between what is real and what is not. Mimicking the “rack” paintings of Philadelphia painter John Peto, St. John employs trompe l’oeil as a metaphor for the increasingly complex nature of fact and fiction and how information is perceived, delivered, represented, and understood in the age of the internet and cable news. St. John cleverly updates the tradition of painstaking, tromp l’oeil painting by incorporating both real objects and modern reproduction (photographs and photocopies). For St. John, the process of collecting and displaying objects and images, whether done by a teenager in a bedroom or an artist in the studio, is both a means of generating a narrative about one’s own identity and who we might be, or want to be, as a people. This body of work moves from the urban studio to the country but it continues St. John’s investigation into how people generate meaning through commemorative acts.
Having lived in New York for many years, St. John now lives in the Berkshires and the title Country Life alludes to the potentially false narrative of simplicity and irony that attends that lifestyle. If the world has truly become inescapable with internet access and cable television, perhaps a country life is as thin a veneer of reality as the faux wood treatment used by St. John in many of the paintings in the exhibition. Using a wide range of techniques, St. John’s paintings alternately fool the eye and call attention to their own material construction.
In contrast to the sentiment of Norman Rockwell’s paintings, St. John’s work is a clear-eyed representation of America at this moment. Without imbuing his works with any ostensible ideology, St. John presents his viewers with the space to occupy a subjective position. “Like watching the news,” St. John says, “you are left to wonder, what’s real and what’s not.”
Michael St. John lives and works in Sheffield, Massachusetts. Karma will publish St. John’s first major monograph in September, shortly after the opening of this exhibition. Karma will concurrently present a large selection of work from St. John’s ongoing series These Days: Leaves of Grass made between 1996 and 2013, on view October 10 through November 2. Along with an extensive resume of curatorships, St. John has held numerous teaching positions.
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