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James Fuentes presents Izzy Barber's Crude Futures
Izzy Barber, Crude Futures I, 2022.

NEW YORK, NY.- James Fuentes is presenting Crude Futures, Izzy Barber’s second exhibition at the gallery.

Crude Futures presents Izzy Barber’s new series of paintings bearing witness to life in public and in-situ across New York. Barber’s larger project emerged over two years ago during a transitional moment in her practice, when she reached past the immediate physical thresholds and portals previously recorded in her work, stepping into a broader outdoors. The first of these series began in bars in the last moments before the first pandemic lockdown, just as Barber was also traversing the corners and slopes of sidewalks and parks—presented in her first exhibition at the gallery, Maspeth Moon. Crude Futures crosses the time since, marking the past year as the release of pent-up energy became a shared, often chaotic experience. Barber’s new works are set in various “insides” and interiors, overwhelming in action. They are ever-changing even in silence.

From the colder hued, brightly-lit interiors of the M train to warmer, busier scenes set against the orange curves of the B train at rush hour—Barber also pauses in between to observe that empty, waiting moment, as if stuck on an island. Barber’s work has always held a distinct relationship to time—today all works are completed in one sitting. If the earliest works felt grounded, her recent paintings feel quicker, more chaotic than contemplative, as if we have less time now to take a step back and reflect. Thinner washes of paint reveal a variety of textures, with movement scratched into this surface as figures come and go. Daylight disappears into the shimmer of fluorescence and incandescence, pulling the energy of these moments into line with the speed of oil paint. In first-person perspective, the results are rough, swift, busy, calm, and clear.

Izzy Barber (b. 1990) is from Gowanus, Brooklyn and lives and works in Queens, New York. She received her MFA from the New York Studio School in 2017 and BA in Studio Arts and Human Rights from Bard College in 2011. Barber’s work has been exhibited at James Fuentes, New York; Galleria Franco Noero, Turin, Italy; David Zwirner Platform; New Orleans Art Center; and in the 2012 Brucennial, among others. This exhibition follows Barber’s solo exhibition Maspeth Moon at James Fuentes in 2021 and online presentation Last Call and Chinatown Paintings through James Fuentes.Online in 2020. James Fuentes Press published #3 Izzy Barber in 2021, featuring an introduction from Francesco Clemente.

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