Eleven Rivington is delighted to present the new work of New York artist Douglas Melini at its 11 Rivington Street location, on view from September 2 – October 5, 2014. The exhibition will feature recent acrylic and oil abstract paintings in artist-made frames.
Investigating the construction of his previous canvases, Douglas Melini takes a different approach to this new body of intimately scaled works. Concealed are the formally realized hardedge geometric spaces from his previous paintings and in place is a more organic accumulation of fluid marks. While traces of a grid system from the earlier works remain present, they serve as the ground for the act of a new painting, allowing diminutive triangles to co-mingle with accumulated brushstrokes and minute daubs of densely applied paint.
Melini begins each canvas with several days of paint and color mixing, and then proceeds to construct a grid underpainting. During this time, the frame for the work is painted and prepared. After the ground and support are completed, the artist spends one full day from morning until evening executing a single painting, often without any breaks. Melini’s practice is intuitive, and he employs palette knives and small brushes to create his marks. At the end of the day, the painting is deemed complete, with no further adjustments made. A single realized activity is completed, transforming the physical undertaking of one day’s work into an aesthetic experience. The process is akin to On Kawara’s date paintings, where the objective of each work records the act of the day; in Melini's case, the record of the workday manifests itself as a densely painted image rather than an unassuming date. The portrait size scale of these new paintings further captures the intimacy of the recorded act.
Melini has used a framing device as a support for his work for the last several years. He views the frame as integral to the functionality of the work and is interested in both its formal as well as cultural significance. The structure of the frame and its color are both considered as part of the overall painting from the earliest stages of the work. Melini states: "The frame in my work functions in multiple ways. It suggests that the painting can be perceived as an interior, a space of depth. It also sets the painting off as an object, encouraging the viewer to read the work in many different ways.”
Douglas Melini (born 1972) was educated at CalArts, LA and University of Maryland, College Park; he currently lives and works in New York. Melini’s previous solo exhibitions include Feature Inc., NY; The Suburban, Oak Park, IL; Minus Space, Brooklyn; Richard Heller Gallery, Santa Monica; and a White Room at White Columns, NY.