Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery is proud to present Polarities, its first exhibition with Pepa Prieto and Dean Monogenis.
Pepa Prieto's abstract paintings establish a dissonant geometry equal parts exactitude and ambiguity. The works in this exhibition are studies in abstraction rendered in the language of mark-making. Familiar surfaces are measured against each other while senses of memory and retrieval are played out on canvas. There are painterly accidents and painterly discoveries tempered by form. There are borders and folds, stripes over unbalanced surfaces, colors vying for a way out and dramatic contusions disrupting the composition. All of this patterning disseminates energy. To what end? Nobody knows, but the works are irrepressibly alive.
Dean Monogenis' aggregated landscapes twist one's perspective in unexpected ways, toward a visionary feeling. These fractured, immaculate symmetries owe as much to de Chirico as to Hockney's swimming pools. We see boldly unsettled surfaces with emissions of light and energy radiating over a humanized landscape. We see precise, clipped versions of nature, joyful in their surface quality and resonance. The paintings highlight the tension between the hard edges of architecture and the dynamic chaos of the natural world. The viewer is left with the bewitching allure of the open sky, still water, sunlight and a feeling of disruption.
What do these paintings have to do with each other? A work doesn't have to be abstract in order to create a space where distance is abolished. In both series, scientific objectivity is gone and a plurality of space is emphasized. Shapes become signifiers, interfering with reality. Both artists embody a vivid experimentalism, amalgamating the possibilities of the rectilinear frame, exploring and manipulating the illusory flatness of painting in order to alter one's sense of the possible.
Pepa Prieto was born in 1973 in Granada, Spain and lives and works in Brooklyn. She received her MFA at the Complutense University Madrid and later concentrated on Mixed Media at Central Saint Martins College, London. She has completed residencies at the Fountainhead Residency in Miami, 2010 and the CCA Andratx, Mallorca, 2012 and 2016. Her work was included in group shows at the Torrance Art Museum, California, 2016, History Museum, Zaragoza, Spain, 2012, National Gallery, Amman, Jordan, 2011 and many others. She has exhibited internationally since 2006 including shows at Walter Maciel Gallery, Los Angeles and Xippas Gallery, Geneva.
Dean Monogenis was born in New York in 1973. He received his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and now lives and works in Brooklyn. Residencies include the Artist in the Marketplace Program at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, 2013, CCA Andratx, Mallorca, 2012 and Anderson Ranch, 2010. His work was included in group shows at the McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, 2017, Pavillion de l'arsenal, 2016, France, Musée d'Art Moderne de Saint Etienne, 2014, France, Wave Hill, Bronx, 2013 and many others. He regularly exhibits at Gallerie Xippas and Walter Maciel Gallery, most recently, solo exhibitions in 2017.