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Mary Boone Gallery opens solo exhibition of works by Peter Saul and Will Cotton
Installation view of Will Cotton's exhibition at Mary Boone Gallery.


NEW YORK, NY.- Mary Boone Gallery opened at its Chelsea location Fake News, an exhibition of new paintings by Peter Saul.

Peter Saul has maintained his over sixty-year career as an affront to good taste, political correctness, and Academic standards. His unmistakable paintings mash elements of Pop, Surrealism, comics, editorial cartoons, and adolescent doodles – they break down preconceptions of serious art and are impossible to forget. Saul’s high esteem among both his peers and much younger artists comes from this enduring conviction to define on his own terms what constitutes the appropriate subject matter and style for painting.

In the current exhibition, Saul tackles art history and its celebrities, as well as a present-day aspirant and his conundrums. Rembrandt’s 1642 masterpiece is re-imagined as an unthreatening militia of costumed ducks in Nightwatch II, Gainsborough’s beloved portrait subject cools off in Blue Boy with Ice Cream Cone, and the Texas Revolution takes a gruesome turn in Return to the Alamo. Donald Trump in Florida and Quack-Quack, Trump depict our presiding President in a variety of ignoble situations, oblivious to the imminent catastrophe presented in Global Warming, the Last Beer.

Saul’s send-up of politics and former United States presidents is a highlight of the first comprehensive survey exhibition in Europe of his work that is being held at the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt, Germany, from 2 June through 3 September 2017.

Mary Boone Gallery also opened at its Fifth Avenue location an exhibition of new paintings by Will Cotton.

The attractive elsewhere promised in the child’s board game Candy Land continues to serve Will Cotton as a metaphor for adult desire, temptation, and indulgence.

The paintings in the current exhibition meld this imaginary world with reality, as Cotton has invited his studio models to participate in a collective fantasy by selecting their own costumes from among a number that he has created. These dresses are constructed from contemporary commercial packaging materials for cacao beans, candy, donuts, and sugar. The alluring bright colors and bold graphics of these familiar brands are as captivating and comforting as the frosting crowns and lollipop trimmings are implausible and exotic.

In the most recent painting Departure, Cotton alludes to an impending shift in the place his figures occupy. This model turns away from the viewer, one raised arm shielding her eyes from the glare of sun and cool blue water. Her outfit, made of cane sugar bags, blends in color and pattern with the deck on which she sits. She gazes toward an idling seaplane, the peppermint-striped letters of the carrier name mostly obscured but presumably Candyland Airways. The painting is an orchestration of layers of red and white, and the only thing edible is the model’s crown. A bag is packed, a plane awaits – perhaps the model is really reaching for her crown, ready to relinquish it and leave behind her realm where sweetness is the most prized attribute.





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September 10, 2017

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