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Ronald Feldman Fine Arts presents new work by R ico Gatson.  The Promise of Light is partly inspired by the book\, The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson\, which chronicles t he black migration out of the American South spanning World War I through t he early 1970’s. Gatson’s family undertook this journey\, moving from Georg ia to California in the late 60’s for the promise of a new beginning. The “ promise” is a reference to the intrinsic optimism of the distinctive Califo rnia light\, while alternately referencing the universal struggle inherent in striving toward idealized promise. 

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The transition from dark to light is represented conceptually and formally as the viewer m oves through the exhibition. The first gallery consists of paintings from t he Watts (2011) series and a large video projection also titled The Promise of Light (2013). The paintings are inspired by aerial ph otos taken during the Watts Riots in 1965 and are a distillation of the ori ginal photographs’ energy. The predominant elements in each painting are fi re\, road\, and horizon. The video combines footage of atmospheric light an d sound layered upon graphic historic imagery. The light in the video is tr ansitional\, alluding to journey\, transformation\, and the passage of time .

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The second gallery consists of sculptures\, paintings\, digital p rints\, and a multi-panel painting installation. The sculptures\, Magic Stick #15 and #16 (2013)\, function as talismans symbolizing protection and good luck. Digital prints titled Family (2013) are composed of reworked images of members of Gatson’s family in Georgia years before moving to California. A focal point in the exhibition is the multi- paneled painting installation\, Untitled (Collective Power) (2013) \, which approximates African textiles and geometric abstraction with vibra nt colors and pattern. The painting\, Obama (2013)\, places the 44 th president of the United States within the broader historical context of the exhibition.

Rico Gatson has been exhibited at P.S.1 Contem porary Art Center\, the Whitney Museum of American Art\, the Brooklyn Museu m of Art\, the New Museum of Contemporary Art\, and MIT List Visual Arts Ce nter and is in public and private collections including The Denver Art Muse um\, Norton Family Foundation\, The Studio Museum in Harlem and Yale Univer sity.

DTEND:20130525 DTSTAMP:20141220T221955 DTSTART:20130406 GEO:40.7210296;-74.0017957 LOCATION:Ronald Feldman Fine Arts\,31 Mercer Street \nNew York\, NY 10013 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY: The Promise of Light\, Rico Gatson UID:269178 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:20130406T200000 DTSTAMP:20141220T221955 DTSTART:20130406T180000 GEO:40.7210296;-74.0017957 LOCATION:Ronald Feldman Fine Arts\,31 Mercer Street \nNew York\, NY 10013 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY: The Promise of Light\, Rico Gatson UID:269179 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR