Mïr Srebriansky's first solo exhibition in New York opens at 81 Leonard Gallery

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Mïr Srebriansky's first solo exhibition in New York opens at 81 Leonard Gallery
Taher Jaoui, Don’t Pretend Nothing is Wrong, 2019. Mixed media on canvas. 43 x 61 in. Courtesy of the Artist.

NEW YORK, NY.- 81 Leonard Gallery is presenting artist Mr Srebriansky’s first solo exhibition in New York. The exhibition opened to the public on Thursday, March 5th and remains on view through April 30th, 2020.

Age of Resin presents Srebriansky’s resin works, amassed since his return to painting. After a cataclysmic fire razed Srebriansky’s studio and destroyed his body of work, the artist took a sabbatical from painting. Upon returning to his practice, Srebriansky experienced a strident shift in subjectivity and medium; the artist evolved his paintings beyond pigment and canvas to incorporate resin as a medium. The works on view in this exhibition represent epochs of this painterly investigation, notably a new series of tulip and tondo-style paintings, resin and mixed media paintings, and select works on paper.

Upon entering the gallery, the viewer encounters a vibrant spray of tulips rendered in resin and affixed to the wall. The works posit a salutation to gallery-goers, who are called to consider that tulips, like art, have historically incited frenzy among consumers and connoisseurs. As the titular centerpiece of the exhibition, the tulips nod to the historic phenomenon of the Dutch Golden Age appropriately coined as tulip mania. The works usher viewers into a metaphor for the sensuality of art and its relationship to consumer culture.

Srebriansky’s resin works appear to break the fourth wall, protruding from their two-dimensional frame with technical bravado. Srebriansky is, in fact, approaching the medium as though it were pigment. Works like Sploosh (2017) are representative of the physicality of the act of painting espoused by the artist that evokes confectionary, synesthetic qualities and prompts the viewers’ sensory faculties, among them sight, taste, and smell. These works reveal material explorations involving puncturing, layering, and erasure, and the application of discarded resin elements from prior works. The viscosity and transparency of Srebriansky’s materials yield compositions that are simultaneously graphic, painterly, and perspectival.

The circular shaped-canvas works reference tondi of the High Renaissance, espoused by artists for both Ecclesiastical and profane commissions in fifteenth-century Italy. The incorporation of Mylar and the application of pigment in sfumato and chiaroscuro seeks to push forward Srebriansky’s iconic graphic style, nevertheless placing the work squarely within the art historical vernacular. Watermelon (2018) incorporates cartoonish signifiers rendered in acrylic and spray paint that materialize among the impressionistic layers of the resin and suggest brief impulses of subjectivity within the otherwise abstract composition. Napalm D’Or (Climate Change) (20182020) maintains this whimsical aesthetic but reveals an earnest message. The work is a witness of the symbolic climate change that the south of France (and the entire country) had suffered after the traumas of terror attacks. Its title is a wordplay with Cannes' festival's prestigious prize Palme d'Or and the explosive mixture Napalm.

The exhibition culminates in a salon-style presentation of works on paper, both a conduit and foil to Srebriansky’s sculptural resin paintings. This cross-section reveals the subconscious and psychoanalytic musings of the artist through a fantastical variety of subject matter and narrative elements drawn from fact and fiction alike. Taken as a whole, the artist’s body of work can be likened to an exquisite corpse, with each element referencing or precipitating from its own unique source and whimsy, in direct dialogue with both predecessor and progeny.

— Ellie Hayworth

Age of Resin will be accompanied by an illustrated catalog featuring an essay by Rachel Verliebter and poems by Bob Rosenthal and Scott Beal.

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