September 08 - September 28, 2015
Galerie Bernard Ceysson is pleased to announce the exhibition : Special Guest
Opening night : 2015, September the 8th, at 6:00 pm
Address : Zürcher Gallery - 33 Bleecker Street, New York, NY 10012, USA
Contact : François Ceysson +33 6 08 07 02 79 / + 1 212 777 0790
Denis Castellas, Franck Chalendard, Joe Fyfe, Sadie Laska, Lauren Luloff, Alexander B. Nolan, Wallace Whitney
This exhibition brings together works by five American and two French artists. It does not compare them but unites them, because beyond differences we might define as formal and stylistic, and iconographic approaches that share no common denominator, there are many remarkable similarities that make these artists in some way sisters and brothers in arms. All are linked to our history, to the history of the gallery, to our passion for painting, to the attention we pay to American art. And especially to those young artists here in New York, who are leading the way in a promising revival of painting. We have introduced them in Paris, Geneva and Luxembourg. And we are especially pleased and proud to show their works in New York.
We could apply the same “game” of criteria and concepts to the works of Denis Castellas, Franck Chalendard, Joe Fyfe, Sadie Laska, Lauren Luloff, Wallace Whitney – and equally to those of Alexander B. Nolan – that Laura Hoptmann used to characterize new American abstraction in the remarkable essay opening the catalog of the exhibition proposed last year by the MoMA, The For Ever Now. Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World.
These configurations of forms that each of these artists offer us resemble not so much compositions as assemblages, montages, made of re-used shapes, motifs, formal structures already used in the past and tried and tested in various venues over time. These artists delved into the Internet to find them, within an imaginary globalizing museum that facilitates not so much a diaspora of forms as the provision of downloadable “parts” adaptable to any graphic or pictorial composition. With the Internet, these artists enjoy an inexhaustible database, a thesaurus of “manufactories” that in real time can spill shapes, patterns and themes into their works in progress. Presented ‘as is’, these data are certainly datable and localizable or attributable, but they can no longer be assigned to a place, a time, a creator. They no longer offer intrinsic content or meanings. They are not even logos. This emptiness saves them from anachronism. They seem to be part of a sort of timelessness that can be described as “present for ever”. It is their re-use here that in some way facilitates their reinterpretation and reallocates them to unpredictable symbolic functions before a “reenactment” which cannot, however, be defined as a mundane plan to reconstitute them. It is effectively impossible to distinguish between these American and French artists, if not by their name. The subtlety we attribute to the latter slakes the energy we instead attribute to the former. This exhibition favors color, as though to protect ourselves from the “tonal” decorum dominating artistic production today. This predilection for color and its expressive and sensual force seems to express a sort of cold nostalgia for abstract expressionism and the energies it unleashed in the arena of the canvas. What is remarkable in this revival of painting in which these artists are participating with impetus is the almost existential affirmation of their creative impatience and their prescient expectation of changes that are wholly unpredictable but would not only affect the art world. I might be so bold as to argue that their works are changing our lives before changing the world.
Ceysson & Bénétière