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Rental Gallery opens 'Vanquishing Ocular' curated by David Salle and Nicole Wittenberg
Chris Martin, Untitled, 2015-2019, 64" x 59", oil, acrylic, collage and glitter on canvas.

EAST HAMPTON, NY.- Rental Gallery is presenting Vanquishing Ocular, a group contemporary painting exhibition curated by David Salle and Nicole Wittenberg.

Artists include: Logan Adair, Sofi Brazzeal, Gaby Collins-Fernandez, Martha Diamond, Federico De Francesco, Sarah French, Steve Gianakos, Tamara Gonzales, Jocelyn Hobbie, Justen Ladda, Abby Leigh, Gina Magid, Chris Martin, Howard Michels, Dawn Mellor, Trevor Shimizu, Patricia Treib, Juan Usle, John Wesley, Darryl Westly and Olivia Van Kuiken.

“The show’s theme is: no theme. As the title suggests, we point to visuality as a primary value, an end in itself. Even for those artists whose work invokes a personal back-story, or points to complexities and histories beyond the frame, the experience of what’s actually on the canvas – it’s aliveness in the moment and its insistence as a physical thing – is how we come to know it, and which forms the terms by which it can be understood. One might just say: good painting, or even simpler: paintings we like.

Our criteria are not generational or stylistic; Vanquishing Ocular brings together a broad range of painters, from Martha Diamond (age 72), to Logan Adair (age 21) – a 50+ year spread. The list includes names we know, like Chris Martin and Patricia Treib, and those we should know, like Howard Michaels, a painter who has been working methodically without a public for more than 40 years. Different artists have different aims, but the spirit of independence is present throughout.

One artist - Sarah French - is not a painter at all. She makes games, structures for creative play. Her inclusion in the show foregrounds that aspect of painting which allows the artist to 'make it up out of thin air' or, in her case - whole cloth. Her work is like painting - the act of painting - but it doesn’t result in a thing at all. It’s in an alignment of spirit that reflects a process and presents itself as the game of thinking.

While some is fashionable, none of the work caters to fashion. The selection of artists mixes together painters who use imagery with those who do not, gestural painters with straight-edge users. These artists trust their intuition, they look inward while keeping an eye outward. It is a risky endeavor to trust ones instincts, not to blink of flinch at the risk of failure. And this makes for a show about decisive moves, a coming together of different energies that define the image and the pleasure of looking at a world that has been formed from the inside out.”

— The Curators

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