NEW YORK, NY.- The FLAG Art Foundation
presents two exhibitions: Im Walking Here! Richard Patterson curated by Toby Kamps and Roy Lichtenstein Nudes and Interiors curated by Hilary Harkness & Ewan Gibbs, organized in cooperation with the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, featuring a selection of drawing, collage, and sculpture. The two exhibitions are on view from February 8 through May 17, 2014.
Im Walking Here! is a mini-survey and the first comprehensive presentation in New York of Richard Pattersons career to date. It chronicles the British-born, Dallas-based artists many painterly innovations and pop-cultural inspirations and highlights new directions in his work. A veteran of Damien Hirsts seminal 1988 exhibition Freeze and a leading light in the influential YBA, or Young British Artist, group, Patterson developed an exuberant and sumptuous style he dubs hyperabstraction. Made with outrageous skill and humor, his meticulously constructed images combine elements of photorealism and gestural abstraction in an attempt to update the brushy breakthroughs of modernist painting for an era when images travel at the speed of light. They are loaded with countless references -- art-historical, cinematic, historic, and Freudian. To enter the pictorial and psychic space of one of Pattersons images is to tumble into a fantastical realm in which distinctions between form and symbol, surface and depth, and the sublime and the absurd are lovingly blurred.
Its title is inspired by a painting The Kennington Years that references the 1969 film Midnight Cowboy as well as the artists own down-and-out early years in a pre-gentrified pocket of London. The exhibition maps Pattersons intricately interlocking visual universe-one populated by beautiful women, British motorcycles, and outré industrial design objects. In addition to paintings and digital sketches, the installation includes a vintage Matchless Typhoon track bike, a Johansson triplex extending lamp designed in 1919, and, for the first time ever, a selection of the paint-daubed figurines and studio maquettes on which he bases many of his best-known compositions.
The exhibition is organized in collaboration with the artist by Toby Kamps, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Menil Collection, Houston.
Richard Patterson was born in the UK in 1963 and graduated from Goldsmiths College in 1986. He is represented by Timothy Taylor Gallery, UK. Richard was included in Damien Hirsts Freeze, Surrey Docks, London (1988); as well as Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK; Hamburger Bahnhof Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, Germany; Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, USA (1997-00) among other notable exhibitions. He has had solo exhibitions at Anthony dOffay Gallery, London (1997); James Cohan Gallery, New York, USA (1999 and 2002); Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas, USA (2000), Timothy Taylor Gallery, London (2005, 2008 and 2013); and the Goss-Michael Foundation, Dallas, USA (2009). Richard currently lives and works in Dallas, Texas, USA.
Toby Kamps is the curator of modern and contemporary art at The Menil Collection. Previously, he was senior curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. He has organized solo exhibitions by artists such as Wols (Wolfgang Schulze), Claes Oldenburg, Ellsworth Kelly, Vanessa Beecroft, Martin Kersels, Adi Nes, Danny Lyon, Torsten Slama, and the collaborative team of John Wood and Paul Harrison. He also has produced numerous thematic survey projects including Silence, The Old, Weird America, Small World: Dioramas in Contemporary Art, and, with a curatorial team, Baja to Vancouver: The West Coast and Contemporary Art. A graduate of the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art and the Getty Museum Leadership Institute, Kamps has written on extensively on contemporary art and artists.
Pairing established and emerging talent is central to FLAGs program. We are proud to present Roy Lichtenstein: Nudes and Interiors curated by artists Hilary Harkness and Ewan Gibbs organized in cooperation with the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation. The exhibition includes 37 works by Lichtenstein including drawing, collage and sculpture as well two original works created by our curators in conjunction with the exhibition.
In Drawing from Inspiration and A Nude of Ones Own, the essays prepared for the catalogue accompanying the exhibition, Gibbs and Harkness reveal themselves to be artists meditating on the creative process with Lichtenstein in the foreground. What does it mean to make art through time; what does it mean to pay homage; what does it mean to create an artistic space that can accommodate ones cognitive and passionate impulses? Their reflections are as artists who have been at work for over a decade and who share a vantage point that is both of their time and of artists throughout time.
Gibbs and Harkness note a number of influences shared with Lichtenstein, including paying homage to artists such as Matisse and Picasso - artists whose works (and lives) have sustained and nourished the curators creative processes. The preparatory works featured in the show resonated with both curators for the clues the works leave behind with respect to Lichtensteins efforts, his fervor, and his passion. Clues sometimes overlooked in the fully realized collages and paintings that would follow.
Harkness finds Lichtensteins ability to assimilate high and low visual influences into a language that was his own inspiring. For this show, she has chosen to feature Lichtensteins late nudes, many of which were painted when he was in his seventies at a time when Harkness observes, he no longer had anything to prove and nothing to lose and which results in works laced with a palpable joie de vivre.
Gibbs approaches Lichtensteins interiors from a place of comfort and familiarity, having worked directly from photographs of hotel rooms taken from holiday brochures since 1993. It was Lichtenstein, with his use of pictures from comics, phone books and advertisements, who provided Gibbs with a feeling of artistic freedom and confidence to use mass-produced advertising images as source material.
As Harkness observes, painting grows out of the personal. There are times when we have to fight it, sometimes we submit to it, sometimes we let go of it. But always it is there and we have to figure out what were going to do about it.
In this exhibition, Gibbs and Harkness invite us to take a glimpse into the world of Lichtensteins interiors and his nudes. A world packed with the indelible marks of a career that spanned decades and integrated a variety of artistic influences.
Ewan Gibbs was born in 1973 and graduated from Goldsmiths College of Art in 1996. He is represented by Timothy Taylor Gallery, UK and Lora Reynolds Gallery, Austin, Texas. Gibbs was commissioned by the SFMOMA as part of their 75th anniversary celebrations and has been featured in notable group exhibitions including Drawn from Photography, The Drawing Center, New York (2011); Making a Mark: Drawings from the Contemporary Collection, High Museum of Art, Atlanta (2011) among others. Recent solo exhibitions include Ewan Gibbs: America, Davidson College of Arts, North Carolina (2010); Ewan Gibbs, Timothy Taylor Gallery, London (2008). Ewan lives and works in Oxfordshire, UK.
Hilary Harkness was born in Michigan in 1971 and is a graduate of the University of California-Berkeley and holds a Master of Fine Arts from the Yale University School of Art. She exhibits with the Mary Boone Gallery, NY. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain, and the Deste Foundation in Athens, Greece and is in the collection of the Whitney Museum. In 2013, The FLAG Art Foundation hosted a retrospective of her cross-section paintings. Harkness has been featured in publications including the New York Times, The New Yorker, Interview magazine, Esquire and blogs for The Huffington Post. She has taught painting and sculpture as Artist in Residence at Yale Summer School of Art and Music, and lectured widely at institutions such as Columbia University, Yale University, and the Baltimore Museum of Art. Hilary lives and works in Brooklyn.