Morgan Blair and Alex Gardner at The Hole
On view September 7th - October 15th, 2017
TL;DR is Morgan Blair’s first major solo show in New York, and presents seven new landscape and tondo-shaped paintings, each titled as off-kilter as the cropped moments that appear within the dimensions of the canvasses.
The Brooklyn-based artist translates miscellaneous web junk into neon abstract forms and anthropomorphised figures with acrylic, airbrush and sand. Drawing on click-bait articles, pixelated YouTube tutorials and blurry Craigslist ads for free items; the non-sensical, non-factual and non-important – the works stand as giant whimsical reminders of the digital clutter we are surrounded by on a daily basis, borrowing from a neo-Dada sort of unearthing of true meaning – while playfully discarding and rejecting meaning altogether.
At face value, the paintings are fresh, striking and innovative – and clearly exhibit not only the immense craftsmanship of the artist, but also an aesthetic language that is very much her own.
Also making his biggest debut in the city to date, Alex Gardner presents a new body of work titled ‘RomCom’. Working primarily with acrylic on linen, Gardner’s ink-black, genderless and race-less figures are dramatically activated and engaged in narratives, while otherwise completely devoid of facial features or expressions.
Draped in white cotton garments creased by the movement of flaying arms and legs, a raised foot or a gestured hand, the LA-based artist draws on elements of classical painting while skilfully inserting these entirely imagined scenes into a contemporary context; a wordless romantic comedy, and the complexities of the modern relationships that lie therein.
Meanwhile, Bertie the chocolate teddy-bear Pomeranian (that belongs to The Hole’s visionary founder and director, Kathy Grayson) looks on, casually laying across the exhibition postcards and catalogues on the desk at the entrance of the gallery. Tonights artists, guests, visitors and dedicated gallery-hoppers appear activated by the energy in the room, surrounded by the illuminated pastel hues of Gardner’s paintings, or Blair’s neon puzzle-piece animals in the other room, engaged in conversation over beers and pomegranate margaritas.
Welcome, fall in New York City – with dropping temperatures and shifting colours comes the influx of art exhibitions, happenings and events in the city!