Skarstedt is pleased to present Nice Weather, an exhibition of paintings curated by David Salle, at both its Upper East Side and Chelsea locations. Inspired by the title of Frederick Seidel’s poem, this exhibition brings together some of the strongest painters of the present day. Spanning two galleries, Nice Weather hosts a platform for conversation within a multigenerational group of artists, ranging in age from their twenties to their eighties, many of whom will be seen together for the first time.
Each work is concerned, to one degree or another, with the basic properties of painting: size, scale, surface, shape, color and gesture. Some of the paintings are also concerned with imagery, with how it can be presented and integrated with pure painting, but none of these artists are realists per se. Overall, there is an emphasis on structure and materiality. Many of the works are declarative; they make an immediate impact. Some are visually blunt; others are more lyrical. All have a strong sense of painting’s internal energy. A few of the artists are not “painters” in the strict sense, but their inclusion here makes visual and material sense. The show communicates an aesthetic, which while difficult to name, examines the role of gesture, in all senses of that term, in painting. Whatever differences in starting premise or choice of media, the show examines how paintings talk to each other across stylistic orthodoxies – how they connect beneath the surface. Employing a variety of strategies, theseworks achieve a result that is neither exclusively figurative nor completely abstract, one that expresses an immediacy and engagement with materiality.
Although the painters here work toward different objectives, a point of intersection is an interest in making an “open” type painting, one in which more or less anything – including nothing at all – can happen, and does. These artists share a lack of dogma; their work is aware of, but not in the least constricted by, canons of the past. Embracing an overall “constructed”, or constructivist, approach, they generate a fresh image: not an image of the world, but a new image on its own terms. This exhibition does not attempt to be encyclopedic or all-inclusive of the best painters today; the show is a small sampling of the painters working now. The selection brings together painters whose work represents a fresh mind-set; they share some original quality – one without a name. The show affords an opportunity to see that this attitude is something realized by a diverse group of painters, with widely divergent points of origin.
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