V1 Gallery proudly presents ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS I NEVER ASKED a solo exhibition by John Copeland (US, 1976).
There is tension in Copeland’s works. The paintings vibrate between figuration and abstraction, putting your eye and mind to work at first glance. The situations depicted; dinner parties, original bikers, classic portraiture, lingering nudes and gritty still lives share a cinematic snapshot quality. The works generate curiosity and questions; what is happening? What has occurred? What will happen next? There is suspense in the painted moment, a sense of urgency, amplified by the seemingly furious pace of the painting style. As if it had not been captured fast, it would disappear. Moments like these never last.
In juxtaposition to the suspense in the single work, there is a timelessness in the subjectmatter and general imagery. This contrast is also emphasized by the style of painting, that effortlessly draws from neo expressionism, bad painting (as defined by Marcia Tucker) and abstract expressionism.
Contemplating this new body of work, 13 paintings and 10 works on paper, another reorcurring theme is images of images. Paintings of people looking at paintings. People reflected in mirrors. Distorted reflections of figures turning to abstraction or vica versa. A feeling of voyerism and simultiniously being watched. Copeland’s work is beautifully uncomfortable, violence and carnal pleasure smile at you, enticing you.
If you stare, the world stares right back at you.
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS I NEVER ASKED is American painter John Copeland's (1976) second solo exhibition with V1 Gallery in Denmark. Copeland is part of a younger generation of prolific New York based painters revitalizing the narrative of contemporary painting. Copeland has recently taken part in exhibitions in Zurich (Switzerland), Portland (USA), Boston (USA) and New York (USA). Copeland’s work will also be featured in the upcoming exhibition “Wonder Works – Master Works from Private Danish Collections at the Museum Of Modern Art Aalborg, Denmark (opening June 9). An interview with John Copeland is featured in the new spring issue of Elephant magazine (issue no 10).