Portraits presents paintings that reinvigorate the history of portraiture, recasting the genre’s claims to truth and revelation. While maintaining the psychological charge of the sitter locking eyes with the viewer, the works integrate formal devices, including mirroring and distinct brushwork, with language and symbol; beyond biography, they allude to broader psychic landscapes.
Gina Beavers culls images from the internet and social media that she renders in relief with layers of acrylic paint, transforming the digital into the painterly and and the sculptural. Her painting It’s Gonna Be May (Justin Timberlake), whose title refers to a persistent internet meme about the pop star, comprises his image multiplied, fragmented, and modeled between two and three dimensions. Beavers’ transforms the limitless reproducibility of digital media into a handcrafted object, composing something material from the ether.
Srijon Chowdhury’s paintings and installations capture people and nature within a poetic world of transitory moments, repetitions, and symbolism. Recalling the portraiture of both Italian Mannerism and Otto Dix, his painting Father and Child (2019) pictures a man and baby framed by the vines of a flowering Morning Glory. While the plant forms a love heart, the painting’s subjects eye the viewer with an ambiguous self-possession, as if things may not necessarily be as they first appear.
Kenturah Davis integrates figure, design, and text to map the relationship between word and image. A Mirror of a Mirror combines, on an inked and gridded background, a double portrait rendered with stamped letters that spell out the work’s title. Moving between figurative, abstract, and linguistic modes, the works inhabits an imaginative space that is both within and without the conventions of portraiture.
Anna Glantz’s paintings combine a range of art historical styles, from Realism onward, with elements from mythic and personal narratives. Her portrait of Mike Kelley, with the late artist figured above a landscape, a stick animal, goblets, and heraldic-like lozenge shapes, among other things, is both lyrical and open-ended. It has all the oblique connections of a dream, where someone loved but lost to life reappears out of context as if they had never been away.
Keith Mayerson’s iconic landscapes and portraits seem, at once, out of time and timely. The artist’s ongoing My American Dream series presents the effects of a highly persuasive and normative American mass culture upon our personal imaginings. His Michelle, a portrait of the recent, largely beloved First Lady, has a subtle dissonance about it that, despite its subject’s broad and familiar smile, points to the inner-life behind her public persona.
Paul P.’s drawings and paintings of young men apply the tonalities and style of late 19th century Aestheticism to images appropriated from pre-Aids gay erotica. With unexpected color variations and textured brushwork, the artist fuses a visual elegance with a dramatic sense of desire. His three paintings in Portraits show their subjects emerging from shadows or abstract backgrounds, their oddly familiar faces lit by shimmering colors and a wash of pronounced brushstrokes.
Anja Salonen’s paintings and installations pose the body as the protagonist in sometimes disturbing yet magical scenes about the transcendence of both the figure and the canvas. Her painting The Trance of the Plants (Michael) forms part of a series of works that centers around the idea of spiritual ascension. As her subject experiences a trance-like state, he has turned a lurid green, as if his mind has somehow transformed his body.
Gina Beavers (1974, Athens, Greece) lives and works in New York City. She holds a BA in Studio Art and Anthropology from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville (1996); an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL (2000); and an MS in Education from Brooklyn College, NY (2005). Selected exhibitions include: MoMA PS1, Long Island City, NY (solo)(forthcoming); WE BURN OUR DREAMS JUST TO STAY WARM, CAPITAL, San Francisco, CA (both 2019); Condo New York, Foxy Production, New York, NY; Van Goddess and the Masturbakers, Michael Benevento, Los Angeles, CA (solo) (both 2018); American Genre: Contemporary Painting, The ICA at Maine College of Art, Portland, ME (2017); Summer School, Flag Art Foundation, New York, NY; The Female Gaze Part II: Women Look at Men, Cheim and Read, New York, NY (both 2016); and Greater New York, MoMA PS1, Long Island City, NY (2015);
Srijon Chowdhury (Bangladesh, 1987) lives and works in Portland, OR. He holds a BFA from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, MN, and an MFA from Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA. Selected exhibitions include Before Dreams, Antoine Levi, Paris, France (solo); The Coldest Night, Upfor, Portland, OR (solo); Swamp Thing vs Man Thing, Et Al, San Fransisco, CA (all 2018); Water & Dreams, curated by Katy Cowan, The Green Gallery, Milwaukee, WI (2017); Sincerely Yours, Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA (2015); Incognito, Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, CA (2014); and Nepotism, The Gallery, Dhaka, Bangladesh (solo)(2010).
Kenturah Davis lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. She holds a BA in Art History and Visual Arts from Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA, and an MFA from Yale University School of Art, New Haven, CT. Selected exhibitions include: Blur in the Interest of Precision, Matthew Brown Los Angeles, CA (solo)(2019); Narratives and Meditations, Papillion, Los Angeles, CA (solo); Four Women, Alliance Française Accra Mural series, Accra, Ghana; The Yokohama Triennial, Yokohama, Japan (all 2014); and Mas Attack, Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA (2013). Davis has been commissioned by LA Metro to create Sonder, a permanent installation on the new Crenshaw-LAX rail line (upcoming 2020).
Anna Glantz (Concord, MA, 1989) lives and works in Queens, NY. She holds a BA in Art and Linguistics from the University of California Los Angeles, and an MFA in Visual Art from Columbia University, New York, NY. Selected exhibitions include: Anna Glantz, PAGE (NYC), New York, NY (solo); Go Give Get, Marinaro, New York, NY; Splendor Solis, The Approach, London, UK (all 2018); Hecate, Various Small Fires, Los Angeles, CA (2017); Stones for Sandman,11R, New York, NY (solo); Intimisms, James Cohan, New York, NY; I Am Silver, Foxy Production, New York, NY; Surface Tension, Simone Subal Gallery, New York, NY (all 2016); and Horse in the Road, Topless, Rockaway Beach, NY (2015).
Paul P. (Canada, 1977) lives and works in Toronto, ON. Recent exhibitions include: B Wurtz and Paul P., Cooper Cole, Toronto, ON; Front International Cleveland Triennial, curated by Michelle Grabner, Cleveland, OH (both 2018); Born Yesterday (with G.B. Jones), Participant Inc., New York, NY; Civilization (inverted), curated by Lee Plested, Griffin Art Projects, Vancouver, BC (both 2017); The Rex Prisms, Maureen Paley, London, UK (solo)(2016); Whitney Biennial, curated by Anthony Elms, Whitney Museum of Art, New York, NY (2014); and Quarrantanni Massimo Minini 1973-2013, Triennale di Milano, Milan, Italy (2013).
Keith Mayerson (Cincinnati, OH, 1966) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. He holds an MFA from University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA. Selected exhibitions include: My American Dream: Heroes and Villain, Marlborough Gallery, New York, NY (solo); Stonewall 50, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TX (both 2019); Mixed Bag, curated by Jeremy Willis and Joe Bradley, Real Estate, Brooklyn, NY (2018);My American Dream, Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, Cleveland, OH (solo)(2017); My American Dream, Weiss Berlin, Berlin, Germany (solo)(2016); America is Hard to See, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (2015); and My American Dream, 2014 Whitney Biennial, curated by Stuart Comer, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (2014).
Anja Salonen (Los Angeles, CA, 1994) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. She holds a BFA from California Institute of the Arts. Selected exhibitions include New Dimensions in Recreation, ltd Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA (solo)(2017); Second Skin, Lei Min Space, Los Angeles, CA (solo); Sexuality, NAM Project Gallery, Milan, Italy; Booby Trap, The Hole, New York, NY; Mantta Art Festival, Mantta Finland, The Doer of Great Deeds and the Speaker of Great Words, Hap Gallery, Portland, OR (all 2016); Future Bodies, As It Stands, Los Angeles, CA (solo); Strangers Forming A Group Waiting to Kiss, Motel Gallery, New York; and Hot In Here, Sunday Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (all 2015).
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