Me, My, Mine: Commandign Subjectivity in Painting
Curated by Carrie Moyer
Nadia Ayari, Ginny Casey, Geoffrey Chadsey, Sharon Madanes, Julie Ryan, Michael Stamm, Peter Williams
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 16, 6-8pm
DC Moore Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Me, My, Mine: Commanding Subjectivity in Painting curated by Carrie Moyer with works by Nadia Ayari, Ginny Casey, Geoffrey Chadsey, Sharon Madanes, Julie Ryan, Michael Stamm and Peter Williams. Motivated by the enduring interest in figuration Me, My, Mine zeros in on the potential of commanding subjectivity in representational painting. Through their work, these seven painters generously extend an invitation to experience the prickly anxieties, obsessive self scrutiny and extravagant fantasies that exist in the privacy of their own brains.
Lavish patterning, seductive surfaces and meticulous detail give an optical and tactile immediacy to the selected paintings while disorienting perspectives, subjects depicted from above or very, very close up, place us literally in the painters’ “shoes.” Running interference between the physical world and the brain, hands and eyes are central subjects, the primary receivers of the data overload particular to our time.
Michael Stamm stamps his intimate domestic scenes with a unique, glossy, storybook mannerism. In Yet I Have the Feeling… (2015), a black cat stares intently at her naked, headless human companion who speaks to her from outside the picture frame. A recurring “familiar” in Stamm’s work, the cat represents the canny, silent loner who is able to intuit so much more than meets the eye.
Geoffrey Chadsey’s elegant, life-size “portraits” on vellum diagram our endlessly morphing identities. A consummate draftsman and internet scavenger, Chadsey seamlessly hybridizes his figure drawings mapping the passage between our computer screens and our physical surroundings, moments when in our imagination we can be anyone or anything.
In lieu of Chadsey’s imagined selves Sharon Madanes, in her painting Cut Three Ways (2015), looks down upon a sliced and gutted body, from the vantage point of the physician. With facility and a decidedly gleeful flourish, Mandanes paints the corpses’ various limbs and oozing innards against a field of minty hospital green.
Gillgan, Peter Williams’ protagonist, is based on the lovable doofus of “Gilligan’s Island,” a popular all-white television series from the 1960s. In Gillgan Himself (2014) our hero perches forlornly on the remains of a shipwreck, his face hidden by a large yellow mask slung backwards over his head. The startling intensity of the mask’s vacant eyes and broad grimace clearly allude to the history of American minstrelsy and black caricature dating back to the 19th century.
With their dense, “woven” finish and strong oily aroma, Nadia Ayari’s small, “touchy” canvases are allegories for repressed feeling. Ayari’s heavy deep-purple orbs attached to spoke thin branches pass diagonally through the frame as if on a conveyer belt. The perfect fruit in Multiple (2016) are gleaming gifts just waiting to explode at the next errant touch.
In Ginny Casey’s world ordinary objects possess a spectrum of human emotion, including suspicion, melancholy and doubt. From the picture plane of Peeping Jug, one of three soft Morandi-esque vessels peer at us, as if to question the very nature of painting itself — is it truly the artist who brings her subject to life? A deliciously deadpan humor and glowing palette animates everything in Casey’s purview.
Julie Ryan’s richly-patterned abstractions are inspired by the artist’s intense study of Wiener Werkstätte decoration. Like radiant screensavers, Ryan’s lightly painted surfaces expand and contract as if breathing. The hand-painted ceramic tiles that run along the vertical edges of the paintings bracket the flow of data like dream catchers for the age of information overload.
Carrie Moyer is a painter who writes about painting. Moyer’s latest essay, “Louise Isn’t Angry Anymore. She’s Painting,” is included in the exhibition catalog for Louise Fishman: A Retrospective, currently on view at the Neuberger Museum of Art through July 31, 2016. Her most recent solo exhibition at DC Moore Gallery was titled Sirens.
Me, My, Mine: Commanding Subjectivity in Painting will be on view through July 29th