Gender This: New Paintings

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Party Girl, 2008 Oil On Canvas 96 X 72 Inches © Courtesy Andrea Meislin Gallery
Gender This: New Paintings

534 West 24th Street
New York, NY 10011
May 10th, 2008 - June 21st, 2008
Opening: May 10th, 2008 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Tue-Sat 10-6


Andrea Meislin Gallery is pleased to present Gender This, an exhibition by Toronto-based artist Shelley Adler.  The show consists of eight new paintings and will be Adler’s first solo exhibition in New York.  An opening reception for the artist will be held on May 10, from 4 to 7 PM.


The human face is the subject matter of Shelley Adler’s paintings.  In this exhibition, each painting features a single figure against a blank background. By removing any sense of narrative, Adler provides only the mutual gaze between subject and viewer, effectively isolating the psychological component of this interaction. In paintings where the subject turns away from the viewer, an inward reality is still apparent.  Adler uses a muted palette of pinks, blues, and oranges, creating a feeling that is subdued while at the same time unsettling.  The process of painting is felt in the active brushwork and layered texture on the canvas.


With her new paintings Adler has turned her focus to gender identity and the representation of young men and women.  In the male-dominated field of painting, young adults have often been rendered by men who look upon the care and development of children with detachment and romanticism.  Directly addressing this issue, Adler emphasizes the “female-gaze,” investigating the physical transformation from adolescence to adulthood as well as the psychological transition from childhood innocence to adolescent awareness. “Boy in a Cap,” for instance, depicts a jaunty youth sporting an expression of arrogance and mischievousness, his ball cap sitting tilted atop his head.  As Adler explains, “I am interested in how motherhood can be a subject in the realm of contemporary painting without putting it into the expected corners…..effectively painting it from the inside out.” 


Shelley Adler has exhibited extensively throughout Canada.  She has had solo shows at Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto (2006), State Gallery, Vancouver (2002), and has participated in numerous group exhibitions including Sarah Myerscough Fine Art, London (2008).  Adler received her MFA from Boston University in 1987.  She graduated from York University in Toronto in 1983 and attended Edinburgh College of Art in Scotland in 1982.  In the fall of 2007, Canadian Art Magazine published a feature article on her work, written by Gillian Mackay.


For more information please contact the gallery at or (212) 627-2552.