MICHAEL AJERMAN - Glossolalia
Toomey Tourell is pleased to announce the first one-person exhibition in the United States of new paintings by the artist Michael Ajerman, entitled Glossolilia.
Michael Ajerman (born 1977), an America artist living in London, belongs to a generation of gifted artists who completed their MFA studies at the Slade School of Fine Art, London. Ajerman is an American painter who has predominantly been working and living in London for the past nine years. Originally trained as a painter working from direct observation, his process is now multifarious and includes a more emotive and psychological process. The term Glossililia refers to the process of speaking in tongues - an apt metaphor for his use of imagery that can belie its suggested appearance.
Ajerman's subject matter ranges from the caring embrace between a father and a son, erotica, and also the depiction of static, non-moving objects to depict human sensation and expression. Recurring motifs in his work (pumpkins, snowmen, animals, women's shoes) serve as symbolic backdrops to experience, rendered in layer upon layer of rich color. Upon first viewing, the application of paint appears to distort the object, but on closer observation the surfaces are carefully controlled. He removes and adds as if he were excavating - the additions and subtractions introduce variations in each work that can reveal (or obstruct) their literal meaning. Through this process, the human figure, or indeed any subject, often appears as a distorted abstraction.
While evoking the Abstract Expressionists, Ajerman’s work also nods to the stark realism of Nolde, Beckmann and Soutine, even as it stands firmly in the present day. Or, in the words of the curator Marie Shek, "Michael Ajerman takes his place between Soutine's past and the present a la Alice Neel, Philip Guston, and Susan Rothenberg, allowing his dark side to be expressed where innocence becomes dramatic and where humor and horror are linked to vibrant paintings.
This is Ajemran's sixth show with Toomey Tourell.
Reception with the artist: Thursday, January 6th, 5:30-7:30 PM