Miles McEnery Gallery opened exhibtion on work by Kevin Appel

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Miles McEnery Gallery opened exhibtion on work by Kevin Appel
Installation view of work by Kevin Appel at Miles McEnery Gallery.

NEW YORK, NY.- Miles McEnery Gallery opened an exhibition of recent paintings by Kevin Appel. The artist's third solo exhibition then the gallery opened on March 16th and will remon on view through April 22nd, 2023. Accompanying the exhibitin is a fully illustrated digital catalogue featuring an essay by Molly Warnock.

"Kevin Appel’s paintings are distinctive physical objects, prepared to exacting standards and built up over a period of weeks or months. The canvases, which are frequently life-size or larger, are mounted on panels and primed with gesso to a porcelain finish; the subsequent paint coats, which in the present body of work pass from acrylic to oil, reveal a keen attention to the specific material properties of each medium. At times remarkably abstract in appearance, with buried, barely visible passages alongside more immediately legible incidents, the results demand sustained, in-person engagement.”

"Rooted in specific encounters with things in the world, the photographs have been divested of ready legibility in the course of their subsequent itineraries in digital space, where they have been variously cropped, blown out, and enlarged—reduced, in many cases, to something approaching abstract patterns. Transferred to the surfaces of Appel’s paintings, these ghostly, grainy elements at times conjure simplified motifs present both in the painter’s earlier work and in pictorial modernism more generally, from cubism to color field.”

"...rather than printing the image on the canvas at the outset and then doing something to—that is, upon—that image, Appel builds up the current paintings through the repeated layering of the diverse elements via silk screen (but not with silk-screen ink; the painter instead deploys acrylic and oil media for which the meshes are not adapted). Where previously the image was interrupted or obscured by overlying forms and gestures, the images in these paintings interrupt themselves; they get in their own way."

"Appel has expressed the wish that the paintings might function similarly to the Brutalist structures he most admires, effectively attaining something of the latters’ 'extruded monolithic sensibility.' This can sound like an old dream of modernism: the passage from representation to pure presentation, from seeming to being. Yet Appel’s attachment to Brutalist architecture might point us equally to an ethics of the 'as found,' described by the scholar Ben Highmore as 'an obligation to respond to the objective world, a responsibility to be responsive.' An entanglement, in other words, from which there can be no exit."

"There were visible repetitions of certain elements and sequences, whether within the same work or from one painting to the next. The details, meanwhile, disclosed untold strata of superimposed patterns: stripes, dots, grids, and flecks; the telltale grain of dramatically enlarged photographs. The layers ranged in translucency from milky veils to near-opaque laminas.”

-Molly Warnock in "Appel's Attachments"

Kevin Appel (b. 1967, Los Angeles, CA) has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Miles McEnery Gallery, New York, NY; Christopher Grimes Gallery, Santa Monica, CA; Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Culver City, CA; ACME., Los Angeles, CA; The Suburban, Chicago, IL; Two Rooms Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand; Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York, NY; and Wilkinson Gallery, London, United Kingdom. His work has been included in group exhibitions at numerous institutions including the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, University of California, Berkeley, CA; Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, PA; Kunstmuseum Brandts, Odense, Denmark; Museum of Contemporary Art Pacific Design Center, Los Angeles, CA; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN, among others.

Appel’s work is held in the public collections of the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; The New York Public Library, New York, NY; Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; and the Saatchi Collection, London, United Kingdom.

Appel received a Master of Fine Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Parsons School of Design in New York. He is a Professor of Art and currently serves as Art Department Chair at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, University of California, Irvine.

Appel lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.

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