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Andrea Rosen Gallery: Enigmas || Gallery 2: Sharon Hayes, Tony Lewis, Adam Pendleton - 5 Mar 2015 to 25 Apr 2015

Current Exhibition

5 Mar 2015 to 25 Apr 2015

Andrea Rosen Gallery
525 West 24 Street
544 West 24th Street
NY 10011
New York, NY
New York
North America
T: 212 627 6000
F: 212 627 5450

Julian Schnabel, 2014-2015
Image courtesy Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York

Artists in this exhibition: Martin Barré, David Ostrowski, Julian Schnabel, Reena Spaulings


Martin Barré, David Ostrowski, Julian Schnabel, Reena Spaulings
Curated in collaboration with Alison Gingeras

Opening Thursday, March 5, 6 - 8 pm, at Andrea Rosen Gallery

Andrea Rosen Gallery is pleased to announce Enigmas, an exhibition of works by Martin Barré, David Ostrowski, Julian Schnabel, and Reena Spaulings. Curated in collaboration with writer and art historian Alison Gingeras, the exhibition engages the notion of imprimatur. 

Despite the word's initial loftiness, it offers a precise entrée into a specific set of problems that many artists face when creating pictorial work. This exhibition hopes to explore the ways artists both physically and metaphorically create credible "imprints" or gestures at the same time that they generate a sanctioning belief in their various approaches to mark-making. The term "imprimatur" also brings to mind the burden of approval: in an ecclesiastical setting, the term refers to the Church granting permission to publish or print.  In an artistic context, imprimatur addresses the artist's need to create a distinguishing mark, to give credence to their enterprise (no matter how de-materialized, unorthodox or conceptual), to generate approval or faith in their oeuvre. In different ways, then, each of the artists in this show is concerned with signature residue: their works challenge the viewer into believing in the artistic aura of their gestures, however minimal.

An artist whose work is almost synonymous with the notion of imprimatur, Julian Schnabel has created a group of paintings that highlight his significance as a paradigmatic practitioner of contemporary abstraction. Many of Schnabel's signature tropes-the use of dropcloths and soiled canvases, the incorporation of studio debris and other "imperfections" into the body of the work, and his re-imagining of found materials-have become celebrated gestures in contemporary painting. Although not always acknowledged, his influence is visible in the works of a current generation of painters that includes, Joe Bradley, Dan Colen, Sergej Jensen and Oscar Murillo to name but a few. 

While Schnabel has been making paintings with spray-paint for more than thirty years, the body of work on view in Enigmas remains relatively unknown; these more recent paintings are built on a single found photograph whose weathered emulsions gave birth to an image beyond the original. The exhibition sets up a specific dialogue between Schnabel's works and three significant oeuvres that provoke viewers to consider how meaning is created and communicated via even the most minimal of visual and conceptual gestures. 

Martin Barré's spray-paint works from the 1960's establish an early chronological and conceptual anchor. Barré created spare, minimal figures which left much of the canvas open; when he began using spray paint in 1963 as a reflection of his appreciation of graffiti in the Paris metro, he employed a particular matte black to create white surfaces marked by traces or stripes.

David Ostrowski's painting practice provides a contemporary counterpoint. Ranging from restrained blue marks on a raw canvas ground to barely visible foot print traces on a naked canvas, his work draws on the performative "aura" of these marks and is fueled by a self-generated mythology centered on his studio practice and his infamous foot fetish.

Reena Spaulings' Enigmas series extends the theme of the mark-as-gesture into sociological terrain; formally, the soiled tablecloths from art-world dinners, stretched into minimal paintings, close the circle opened by Schnabel more than thirty years ago.  The exhibition borrows its title from this body of work: its principal concern is the enigmatic process by which artists generate an "imprimatur" and invest their work with an aura of credibility. 

In keeping with the Gallery's program, this exhibition is grounded in a deep critical examination of the work. Presenting Julian Schnabel's new paintings considers both his influence and his critical reception. Contextualized in relation to historical and contemporary practices engaging the physical, metaphorical, and sociological types of mark-making, the works provoke a simultaneously distinctive and historically positioned experience for deepened interpretation and reflection.

Martin Barré was born in 1924 in Nantes, France. He lived and worked in Paris.

David Ostrowski was born in 1981 in Cologne, Germany. He lives and works in Cologne.

Julian Schnabel was born in Brooklyn in 1951. He lives and works in New York City and Montauk, Long Island.

Reena Spaulings emerged from the daily operation of an art gallery (Reena Spaulings Fine Art, founded by John Kelsey & Emily Sundblad), in 2004, and works in New York City.


Sharon Hayes, Tony Lewis, Adam Pendleton

Opening Thursday, March 5, 6-8 pm at Andrea Rosen Gallery 2

Andrea Rosen Gallery is delighted to present an exhibition of work by Sharon Hayes, Tony Lewis, and Adam Pendleton at Gallery 2. The exhibition explores the relationship between the use of language and the formal and social implications of abstraction. 

In this exhibition Sharon Hayes presents two works, each a fragment from a banner carried in the Women's Strike for Equality on August 26th, 1970, that said "WOMEN OF THE WORLD UNITE!". The works approximate the scale of the original banner, but the material transformation and presentation of selected letters from the word WOMEN alter the original's legibility and seemingly straightforward declaration of meaning.

Tony Lewis presents a large graphite work on paper diptych featuring a symbol based on Gregg shorthand. These works continue Lewis's interrogation of language systems. Using the shorthand symbols, these works are at once technically more specific while becoming increasingly gestural and abstract.

Presenting a painting from his well-known body of work "Black Dada" as well as a work from a series layering text and images on mirrored stainless steel, Adam Pendleton's works in this exhibition give material form to the artist's engagement with a dynamic idea of history; one that is ever mutable and reflective of subjective and infinite narrative potentials.

Instrumental in the thinking about this exhibition is a 2006 essay about Felix Gonzalez-Torres's work by Miwon Kwon. In it she argues: "the radicality of FGT's work lies in the insinuation of the particular in the place of abstraction, while simultaneously destabilizing the particular as a fixed positivity. And with this complex move, the artist accomplishes a remarkable reversal: everyone becomes a particularly marked subject, making it impossible for there to be an unmarked, invisible, hierarchy-determining point of reference. Which means that no one is less than public either." Kwon's text provides a useful lens for reading these works as well, offering a possible way for abstraction to engage with specific histories, politics, and identities.

Sharon Hayes was born in 1970 in Baltimore, MD. She has had major solo exhibitions at the Reina Sofia, Madrid; the Art Institute of Chicago, and most recently at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Her work has been widely exhibited in significant exhibitions including The Encyclopedic Palace at the 55th Venice Biennale; the 2010 Whitney Biennial, documenta 12 (collaborative project), Kassel; MoMA PS1, Long Island City, NY; Generali Foundation, Vienna; Museum Moderner Kunst (MUMOK), Vienna; Artists Space, New York; New Museum, New York; Tate Modern, London; and the Istanbul Biennale. Hayes has been recently granted the Alpert Award in the Arts. The artist lives and works in New York.

Tony Lewis was born in 1986 in Los Angeles, California. Recent exhibitions have taken place at Massimo de Carlo, London; Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago; Room East, New York; Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago; and Autumn Space, Chicago. His work was presented in the 2014 Whitney Biennial, and will be the focus of an upcoming solo show at Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago. Lewis lives and works in Chicago, IL.

Adam Pendleton was born in 1984 in Richmond, Virginia. Recent solo exhibitions have taken place at Galleria Pedro Cera, Lisbon; Pace Gallery, New York; Shane Campbell Gallery, Lincoln Park; Travesia Cuatro, Guadalajara; and Pace Gallery, London. Pendleton's work recently included in group exhibitions at Whitechapel Gallery, London; 21er Haus and Winter Palace, Vienna; Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Pace Gallery, Beijing; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Swiss Institute, New York; and Palais de Tokyo, Paris. Pendleton lives and works in Germantown, New York, and Brooklyn, New York.

This exhibition is organized by Cory Nomura.

For media requests, please contact Laila Pedro at or Justin Conner at

Andrea Rosen Gallery

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